Billy Corgan Talks Smash Mouth: 'I Think We Won the Battle of the ‘Smash’ Bands'

Billy addressed the current beef between his band and legendary ‘90s soundtrack heroes

September 14, 2018

By Scott T. Sterling

This just in: Billy Corgan is really funny!

While the bad guys of the shadowy cabal known as the fake media (zing!) would have one believe that the Smashing Pumpkins frontman is all frowny-face at the Happiest Place on Earth, the truth is something much, well, funnier.

Mr. Bill addressed the current beef between his band and legendary ‘90s soundtrack heroes, Smash Mouth during an interview with KROQ joq Kat Corbett who stepped up and addressed the Shrek-sized elephant in the room.

“It actually goes back to Machina,” Corgan explained, referencing Smashing Pumpkins’ 2000 full-length, Machina/The Machines of God. “In 2001, we had the song ‘Untitled,’ I went to have a meeting at DreamWorks with Jeffrey Katzenberg, and they were talking about putting the song ‘Untitled’ in the original Shrek movie. So I met with Jeffrey, who was lovely. I got to see Shrek in very early form where it was like half of it was still pencil drawings. It was amazing. You could tell it was going to be a big hit.

“Somewhere in the process—and I never understood the chain of command—they said no, we don’t want to use you. We’re going to use the Smash Mouth version of (The Monkees’) ‘I’m a Believer,’ which became a big hit. I was never bitter about it. It’s just the way it happens in Hollywood.”

When Corgan first revealed this information during an online Q&A, the guys in Smash Mouth were not amused: “Actually we said no and Michael Austin from Dreamworks kept calling,” the band fired back on Twitter. “That went on for over a month. We assume multiple bands were asked. If it feeds Billy’s ego to think they were first let him think that. Def would have been a darker approach. The Eels are on it & others.”

The way Corgan tells it, this online animosity comes as a complete surprise.

“So 17 years later...I didn’t say anything negative about them, and all of a sudden they’re blowing me up on social media. What’s so stupid about this story and what was kind of to me dumb was I used to hang out with those guys because we had mutual friends.” Corgan revealed. “They knew the story from like 2002 on. So it wasn’t like I was hitting them sideways. I told them the story. I don’t know where the diss was. I never had a problem with the band. But this is the modern world of clickbait.”

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Ever the diplomat, Corbett set the stage for a mending of fences between Smashing Pumpkins and Smash Mouth.

“I think the Smash Mouth bridge is burned forever,” Corgan said with a comedic flourish. “Correct me if I’m wrong: there’s Smashing Pumpkins, there’s Smash Mouth, and there was a band called Smashing Orange that we once played with at CBGBs. Is there any other ‘smash’ bands? I think we won the battle of the ‘smash’ bands. Now there’s some clickbait. Red meat clickbait.’”

If Billy Corgan ever wants to give up this rock and roll stuff, dude has a promising future writing headlines.