Led by Billy Corgan, Smashing Pumpkins influences and inspirations are summarized in this infographic:
Smashing Pumpkins, the key alternative rock band of the 90s that emerged in the middle of the grunge wave, released their album CYR at the end of 2020.
Which artists influences the Smashing Pumpkins?
The Cure: Of the many pillars that guided Corgan in the gestation of the sound of his band, we can mention Bahuaus, New Order and The Cure. From the singer’s perception, Smashing Pumpkins had to fuse the heavy rock style (which we will refer to shortly) with the alternative style that he began to listen to more towards his adolescence. It should also be noted that James Iha is a fan of The Cure and provided vocals to the cover of A Night Like This that the band recorded as B-side. On this basis of influence is that the next band is also established as well.
My Bloody Valentine: My Bloody Valentine‘s raucous guitars and dreamy vocals are a good precursor for the Smashing Pumpkins. Billy Corgan remembers buying Isn´t Anything in his high school years, wondering how they made those signature sounds. He called James Iha and said “you have to listen to this.” Years later in a meeting, Kevin Shields praised Corgan for his song Daydream, to which the leader of the Pumpkins replied that he stole them from them.
Black Sabbath: Legend has it that an eight-year-old Billy Corgan came across his uncle’s record collection. Among those Lps was Master of Reality, a key album when it came to defining the rockiest part of Smashing Pumpkins (and Soundgarden, and Nirvana and etc.). Other pioneering heavy rock bands that have been mentioned by Corgan are Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple.
Pantera: Corgan was deeply saddened by the death of Vinnie Paul, the drummer for the heavy metal band Pantera. According to the leader of the Pumpkins, they were a great influence on Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness, which features in several pieces with fast and faster riffs. Some examples are the songs JellyBelly, Here is no Why, and Where Boys fear to tread.
Cheap Trick: Among all the music that Corgan is a fan and has nurtured, which is not little, it is worth highlighting the role of Cheap Trick. Specifically, the head of the Pumpkins has explained that Robin Zander‘s vocal style helped him define his, a search that took time due to his “nasal voice”, which not everyone liked.
Other influences are: Souxie and the Banshees, Depeche Mode, Sonic Youth, Ride, Joy Division, just to name a few.
Which bands are inspired by The Smashing Pumpkins?
Deftones: Chino Moreno, singer of the key nu-metal band Deftones, has repeatedly expressed his passion for Billy Corgan‘s band. Moreno mentioned that Siamese Dream is one of his favorite “non-metal” albums and has also collaborated with Corgan notably for live versions of Bodies and Snail.
Tame Impala: Siamese Dream is an album that Kevin Parker is a fan of. But it is not that he just likes the album, the inspirational quota goes further. You see, as is known, Billy Corgan took over most of the bass and guitar responsibilities for the first two Pumpkins albums, Gish and the aforementioned Siamese Dream. In addition, he was involved in the production side by side with Butch Vig. That model of “one man band” served as a reference for Parker to shape his project on records such as Inner Speaker and Lonerism. Basically: he could shape the project by himself before he had a band.
My Chemical Romance: Gerard Way, singer of My Chemical Romance, says that it was at a Smashing Pumpkins concert that he said “this is the band we want to be”. And from there came the theory that My Chem’s trajectory is carved after Corgan’s band. Such is the case that it is even speculated that the separation (hiatus, break, as they say) aims to last the same as that of the Pumpkins lasted. The jocularity goes so far as to say that Gerard looks too much like Billy.
Silversun Pickups: Hailing from Los Angeles, California, Silversun Pickups have been repeatedly compared to the Pumpkins. Shoegaze, multiple layers of guitars with fuzz, delay and whatever, female bassist… The band doesn’t deny the link, but rather corroborates it by saying that they had gotten tired of trying not to sound like other bands.