Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan surprised by Jane’s Addiction forcing label to release live debut album

Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins. Perry Farrell of Jane's Addiction

Smashing PumpkinsBilly Corgan has said he was surprised to learn that Jane’s Addiction chose to release a live album as their debut purely for creative reasons.

The Pumpkins’ singer and guitarist was speaking to Jane’s Addiction vocalist Perry Farrell for Live Nation’s 1:1 video interview series when Farrell explained why his band forced the decision to present ‘Jane’s Addiction’ (1987) that way prior to signing with Warner.

The self-titled debut’s basic tracks were recorded live at the Roxy Theatre in LA in January 1987, with additional overdubs and corrections recorded at city’s The Edge Studio.

In the interview Corgan reminisces about hearing Jane’s Addiction for the first time at a friend’s house in Chicago in the late ’80s. He recalls hearing the band’s 1987 debut and feeling “an instant connection” to the LA rockers, whom he began following avidly.

Corgan then remarks that Smashing Pumpkins opened for Jane’s Addiction at a gig in 1988 around the time that the latter’s album, ‘Nothing’s Shocking’, was dropping. “I think I saw you live even before I heard the record,” Corgan said in the clip to Farrell, adding that it’s a “cool” experience few fans don’t get to have.

“That’s why the first record I wanted people to ever hear from us was a live record,” Farrell answered, revealing that he told Warner that his band would sign with the label on the condition that their debut record was a live album.

“I didn’t know that,” replies Corgan. “I always thought – you know, typical musician brain – I thought you guys did it because it was a sort of quicker and easier way to make a record. You know, I didn’t know that you’d asked for that.”

Farrell explained that the idea was to capture the band at what was likely their most “raw” and “energised” state.

He and his bandmates wanted fans to “hear us and know of us in our most honest, innocent”.

“You know, when I say ‘poorest’,” Farrell continued, “I say it in the most beautiful sense. We didn’t have anything. We didn’t have anything to lose at the same time, and I wanted to capture that before anybody could ruin that.”

Elsewhere in their chat Corgan and Farrell touch on Jane’s Addiction’s guitarist Dave Navarro’s absence from the two bands’ current joint tour due to a battle with long COVID, what their current stage show brings to fans, and Corgan’s shock at spotting Farrell and Navarro in the audience at an ill-attended Smashing Pumpkins show in 1992.

In other news, Jane’s Addiciton recently had to pull out of five shows on their arena tour with the Pumpkins, citing an injury sustained by Farrell.

The post Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan surprised by Jane’s Addiction forcing label to release live debut album appeared first on NME.