Billy Corgan Talks Feeling Suicidal During Nirvana's Success

28 February 2017, 15:59 | Updated: 28 February 2017, 16:02

Nirvana's Kurt Cobain and The Smashing Pumpkins Bi

The Smashing Pumpkins frontman opened up about his feelings of inadequacy when Nirvana and Pearl Jam became popular.

Billy Corgan has revealed the suicidal depression he experienced when Nirvana became successful.

In an interview with Why Not Now? with Amy Jo Martin, the Smashing Pumpkins singer talked about how the huge popularity of the Kurt Cobain-fronted band and their grunge rivals Pearl Jam made him feel "inadequate".

As Alternative Nation reports, the 1979 singer revealed: “The Smashing Pumpkins had put out one album, which was very successful, but as we were out promoting our album, the Nirvana album came out, and as everyone knows Nevermind was a massive album, and then Pearl Jam came out too at that time, and they were massive. 

"So within a short span of time I went from thinking I was very successful within my given field, to all the rules had changed in my given field. Everything I had built myself up to be and do was no longer as relevant as it needed to be. I went into a very strange depression because I felt like something had been not taken, but the change made me feel kind of inadequate in a way I wasn’t prepared for."

Listen to the podcast here:

He continued: "I went through a very long depression where I could not write songs, and really struggled for a breakthrough, which I’ve talked about a few times. It really came off the heels of like a suicidal depression, I just really struggled with the emotions I was feeling. I reached this kind of morning in my life where it was like I’m either going to jump out a window, or I was going to change my life. I know that sounds very dramatic, but that’s literally what happened."

Talking about how his bleak period influenced the band's Today song, Corgan revealed: "I woke up one morning, and I kind of stared out the window and thought, ‘Okay, well, if you’re not going to jump out the window, you better do whatever it is you need to do.’ 

"That morning I wrote, I think it was the song Today,’which people would probably be fairly familiar with, it’s the ice cream truck video song. It’s sort of a wry observation on suicide, but in essence the meditation behind the lyric is that every day is the best day, if you let it be."

Watch the video for Today here:


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