With our best advice episode Gigi, Charlie XXX, And Rush, We got it this week Billy Cargan Of The Smashing Pumpkins. As one of the most played alternative bands on the radio in the 90’s, The Pumpkins’ influence is significant, a vision and innovation that has always been driven by the Chicago Quartet divider and the magnetic frontman. In November 2020, the band released their eleventh album CYR – The first of their 20 years with the original guitarist James Itha (who left D’Arsi in the 1st year) – and this September they headlined Riot festival In their own city.
This episode of Best advice Offering something a little different than the previous installment, primarily because moving the music industry and creating records in a single power is one thing, but when you’re a band mobility factor it’s a completely different beast. So, of course, we dig into it, and the ego, the ability to brand an artist, the comparative nature of the art, the advice that he would give to his 20-year-old self, and much more.
Billy freshly states: He really believes that knowledge-sharing, like our conversations, can help artists. And he’s generous with what he’s learned, because even after more than 50 years of playing – he’s still busy, hungry for creation, and observing what’s going on around him in and out of the industry.
Listen to Billy’s episode, some of his important ways below it.
Highlights from Billy Cargan’s Best Advice episode
Got author block? Let yourself write a bad song.
I always say just let yourself write a bad song. I think the main thing when dealing with a writer’s block is not to suppress what your soul is trying to say if it’s a bad poem, it’s a bad chapter, it’s a bad song, it’s great. It’s good to keep the call flowing, and sometimes you may have to write two bad songs to get a good one. I found a lot of songs that I wrote that were good when I wasn’t really thinking about it and it just kind of happened because I was in the stream.
Hold ownership and build your brand.
[The] I would advise any artist: do what you can to retain ownership of your song. This doesn’t mean you can’t deal where you lease or license, but you must retain ownership of your songs. The real value in the future of the music business is the brand. It’s not going to be your ability to sell records; This will be your branding ability.
Be careful when comparing yourself and your numbers with other artists.
At the end of the day you have to believe in yourself. There are many times where numbers just don’t indicate where you are on your own journey. If you sit there and compare yourself to someone else and say “well, they’re ten times more interested than me,” it’s just because they’re more trendy. If you’re an alternative artist like me, you can’t compare yourself to that number.