Billy Corgan thinks that Facebook is stifling innovation in rock music:
"You've got a Facebook with a few hundred friends. If you do something truly radical, are you ready to withstand the forty negative comments?," Corgan asks. "Most people aren't. So they're getting peer pressured at levels they don't even realize," he adds.Corgan, of course, is known for his radicalism, taking the wild and crazy step of reviving the Smashing Pumpkins not to pacify the gods of iTunes or Facebook, but simply because it was a valuable brand name that could be used to shake dollars out of ageing fans desperate to chase their fading youth but who were, frankly, uninterested in either Zwan or his solo stuff ("for wild experimental reasons").
You've got to wonder how people would get 100 Facebook fans if 40% of them didn't really like what you were doing.
The bigger question, though, is if Corgan actually understands what experimentation and risk-taking actually are. If you do something really different, difficult and challenging and don't expect half of your fans to dislike it, you're probably not really taking that big a leap.
The suspicion has to be that Corgan doesn't really like the internet because it's not an environment that rewards very rich men pulling 'serious thinking face' with quiet nodding and the odd tear of respect. Corgan dates from an era when rock stars were at the top end of a one-way street of adoration. It's no wonder he doesn't feel comfortable in a world where the audience talks back.
The irony is that if the web had been a more common medium twenty years ago, Corgan might have been saved from disappearing into his own fundament.