Billy Corgan has unleashed a flurry of activity lately leading up to the release of the new Smashing Pumpkins album, Oceania, which is due in stores on June 19. The band is already streaming the entire new album via iTunes so fans can get a sneak peak, and Corgan also hosts the new FMQB Productions radio special, Inside The Smashing Pumpkins: Oceania, which can be heard on radio stations nationwide starting on June 15. Furthermore, on Tuesday night (6/12), Corgan set sail on a yacht on Lake Michigan for an intimate album release party, hosting a small group of friends, family and acquaintances.
After the audience on the ship listened to the entire 13-track album, Corgan performed a solo set on the ship's top deck. The 20-minute set included sing-along renditions of Pumpkins tunes like "Tonight Tonight" and "Luna," as well as one of the band's earliest numbers, "Bleed," that Corgan told the crowd was one of the songs he played at the first Pumpkins gig in 1987.
After the party, the head Pumpkin sat down with Rolling Stone and spoke about his new band - featuring Mike Byrne on drums, Nicole Fiorentino on bass and Jeff Schroeder on guitar - as well as his new outlook on both his life and his music. "Some things happened to me in the last four or five years, probably since [the last album] Zeitgeist, where I've had to come back into a personal place," he explained. "The satisfaction is that I'm still motivated and lucky to be in a good band and be making good music."
Corgan also noted that it's refreshing to hear such an overwhelmingly positive fan response to Oceania. "It's the most positive the fan base has been since the Nineties," he said. "Literally every album I've made since Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness – Adore, Machina, the Zwan album, Future Embrace and Zeitgeist – it's like I had to f**kin' hear it – 'It's not this, it's too much that. It's too dark. It's too weird.' This is the first time everyone's like, 'Wow, I like it.'"