Founding Smashing Pumpkins guitarist and vocalist Billy Corgan was recently a guest on Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich's Apple Music Beats 1 Radio Show. Corgan reveals he's a lifelong metalhead and talks about growing up being in the music. He says for him, metal revealed a whole different world that he could get into that aligned with his life experiences.
Corgan also says he's shocked that metal is still disrespected despite its growing popularity.
“For years, I would take shit about being a fan of metal – it should be beneath you. It gets into weird class politics. Most of the people who criticise people like us for being who we are, what we are, or what we represent, had better backgrounds than we had.
“We didn’t necessarily go to the nice school, we didn’t get to read the cool newspaper. For me, bands like Metallica told me that there is this other world that is more closely aligned with the experience you’re having than the one you’re being told about.
“So when I heard Mercyful Fate, Metallica or Ted Nugent, that told me, ‘Wait, there’s this other world than the world you’re telling me that I’m supposed to believe in.’
“Even to this day, for all the money that metal moves, it’s amazing how disrespected it is.”
I'm not so sure if metal is disrespected so much as it is just not for everyone. That, and maybe metal fans and musicians take criticisms from non-metal folks a touch too seriously. Because at the end of the day, as long as the community is digging the music and interested in what's going on, then who the hell cares if someone not in the genre dumps on it?