Pumpkins: Beatles redux, and more
(CNN) -- While today's "alternative" rockers were growing up on '70s punk and '80s new wave, a young Billy Corgan was rocking out to classic stadium-oriented and album rock -- Black Sabbath, Cheap Trick and Pink Floyd.
After the failure of Marked, his fledgling goth-metal band, Corgan in 1988 formed Smashing Pumpkins. Corgan, the band's writer/singer, recruited D'Arcy Wretsky on bass, James Iha on guitar and Jimmy Chamberlin on drums.
As Corgan told CNN WorldBeat correspondent Serena Yang, "The band is basically modeled upon what we call like a Beatles ideal, which is that the band is about being the band and the music is the band's personality and interests."
Critics praised the group's 1991 debut, "Gish," for infusing provocative lyrics into the loudness of classic rock while maintaining the punk sensibility of D.I.Y (do it yourself).
The band's successive albums, "Siamese Dream," "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness," "Adore" and now, "MACHINA/ the machines of God," have collected more commercial and critical success. More important, each progressive album has pushed the Smashing Pumpkins to explore new musical terrain.
"It's my role as an artist to basically destroy the obvious and recreate the obvious, to put it back together into a form that maybe you wouldn't have considered," Corgan says. "I'm not into making things unimaginable."