Last year marked the 20th anniversary of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness by the Smashing Pumpkins, though the band chose not to commemorate the occasion with any sort of re-release or tour featuring nightly performances of the complete double album. “The idea of getting up and playing an album that was never meant to be played live in that sequence smacks of consumerism,” Billy Corgan tells Rolling Stone. “That stuff is the dregs of the music business. I have a hard time believing that everybody out there doing it really wants to do it.”
That doesn’t mean he isn’t fond of the album. “I’m proud to have made such an album that’s important,” Corgan says. “The millennials love Siamese Dream. Who’d’ve guessed, I mean, no one’s harder on the millennials than me. But they loved Siamese Dream? Great! But I’m not gonna go out there and hack around just to reclaim some light that I don’t feel has gone out. The light is still in my eyes. I’m still more than capable of producing new work. I wrote a new song this morning and that’s what I’m out here doing.”
The complete album concert craze began in 1998 when Cheap Trick played their 1970s LPs on a widely acclaimed tour. Brian Wilson followed with a Pet Sounds tour in 2000 and since then, everyone from Liz Phair to Pixies to Devo and even Bruce Springsteen has gotten in on it. “I think it’s played itself through,” says Corgan. “I think the fans have already grown bored with it, best I can tell. You don’t see as much of it as you saw a couple years ago.”
The Smashing Pumpkins return to the road on March 22nd when they launch their In Plainsong tour, where they will present stripped-down version of tunes from their entire catalog at theaters across America.