Billy Corgan

Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan has explained why he wants to go by the name “William”, and joked that the decision was partly spurred by Diddy.

The singer-songwriter was talking in an interview on The Mistress Carrie Podcast earlier this month when the topic arose, and he explained why he released his 2017 solo record under his given name, William Patrick Corgan.

Explaining the choice in wrestling terms — as he is a fan of pro wrestling and the owner of National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) — he said: “The way I see it in my brain is…Billy is like my stage name at this point; it’s how everybody knows me. And for anybody who knows wrestling, we mostly in wrestling call people by their stage names.

“Even if I know somebody’s real name, I’ll still call them by their gimmick name. So, to use the term, ‘Billy’ is my gimmick name, ‘William’ is my real name… I’ve asked people to call me William, ’cause that’s, I guess, what I’m comfortable with at 56.”

Corgan joked that the decision to swap names was spurred on by American rapper Diddy, who was formerly known as Puff Daddy.

“It’s been kind of a funny journey how we got to William. I kind of blame Puff Daddy. I thought it was kind of funny how he kept changing his name. So I was, like, ‘Oh, I’m just gonna change my name and see what happens.’

“It turned into this weird thing; people wrote articles making fun of me for changing my name from Billy to William, even though William’s my real name,” he continued. “Now I’m William Patrick Corgan, which is my real, real name… But everybody calls me Billy. It’s all good.”

Prior to releasing ‘Ogilala’ under the name William Patrick Corgan, the singer explained to Rolling Stone that he wanted to make the shift as he no longer related to the name, and wanted to “change up the wallpaper” (via Blabbermouth).

Billy Corgan. Credit: Theo Wargo via Getty Images
Billy Corgan. Credit: Theo Wargo via Getty Images

Last year Smashing Pumpkins announced the new three-part rock opera LP, ‘ATUM’ — which serves as a sequel to their classic double records ‘Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness’ (1995) and ‘Machina/The Machines Of God’ (2000). Parts one and two were released respectively in November and February. Following delays, ‘Act III’ is now set to be released on May 5.

“There’s a lot of people who believe less is more these days. I’m on the opposite side – I actually think more is more,” Corgan told NME, discussing the 33-song project.

In March, Smashing Pumpkins headlined a new festival in Mexico called The World Is A Vampire alongside Interpol. They later announced a US tour of the same name, which will take place across July, August and September.

Last month, the frontman also discussed his side-project supergroup Zwan, and announced that he has 65 unreleased songs, which he plans to release on an upcoming box set.

The post Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan on why he asks people to call him William appeared first on NME.


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