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Billy Corgan won’t give in to fan pressure and play The Smashing Pumpkins’ greatest hits

Billy Corgan refuses to succumb to fan pressure by playing the Smashing Pumpkins’ greatest hits at their gigs.

The 47-year-old musician – who fronts the rock band and plays alongside guitarist James Iha, 56, and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, 59 – insists that the group doesn’t need to appease fans with their tracklist because he thinks doing so is “kind of cheese”.

During an interview with Kerrang, he said: “I don’t play any songs I don’t want to play. I don’t care if they’re a classic or not.

“If I don’t want to play it, I just don’t play it. I don’t put that on the audience like, ‘Well, I’ve got to play this one for you.’ I think that’s kind of cheese.”

The ‘Mayonnaise’ hitmaker added the band wanted to pique concert-goers’ curiosity by playing their lesser-known songs.

He explained: “Here’s the best way I would say it: the best show for me would be, you’re a fan that really is mostly focused on the older music.

“You come and you hear those songs you think, ‘Wow, those sound great, band sounds great. The voice is still there.’ You feel good about your decision to come to the show.

“But then you might hear five, six, seven other songs, and you find yourself going, ‘I don’t know this one,’ so you look up one, and go, ‘Oh, that was a deep cut from 1996. I didn’t know that one. It was some B-side. That’s interesting.’

“And then someone making the same discovery about your new stuff, but thinking it was old. I’m not talking about causing confusion. I’m talking about having the person be curious about that.”

Billy stressed that music stars can’t “live in the past” by only performing their greatest hits and added that doing so would lead to the “death of any artist”.

He said: “It comes from a good thing, which is that people really love your music, you know what I mean? It’s not a bad thing that they want to hear songs that they love. But you can’t live in the past. It’s the death of any artist.”

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