"God is the Third Rail of Rock Music"—Billy Corgan


As a longtime believer that Christian rock is neither, I was interested in this snippet of an interview with Smashing Pumpkins and Zwan frontman Billy Corgan. I saw it on Matt Lewis' Twitter feed (subscribe here) and Daily Caller blog.

Corgan notes that the Romantic notion of the suffering artist—a staple of rock and roll, which may well be where 19th-century aesthetic imperatives have gone to die—is only worth a couple of albums' worth of music.

He also talks about how "God is the third rail of rock music" and that that's a shame, given how many people believe in god.

He also advises Christian bands to "make better music" if they want to succeed and notes that U2, which soft-pedals its religious bona fides these days, created the template for much of contemporary Christian rock. That's true, though all pop music fans always do well to remember Bob Dylan's absolutely awesome, fire-and-brimstone-huffing masterpiece, Slow Train Coming (1979), which among other things, asked "so-called friends…to imagine  the darkness that will fall from on high/when they will beg God to kill them and they won't be able to die."

Anyhoo, Corgan is an interesting character and it's worth listening to his thoughts on rock/pop.

For those interested in the often-tormented relationship between rock music and Christian theology, make a point to read Peter Bagge's great 2002 cartoon essay on the matter.

And if you're in DC on Friday, September 13, come to Reason's HQ to have lunch with Bagge.