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Billy Corgan Names Kurt Cobain + Himself as the ‘Top Two Scribes’ of the 1990s

Billy Corgan / Kurt Cobain
Frank Micelotta, Getty Images

The ’90s was a rich time for rock music. With the grunge and alternative rock worlds absolutely shining with undeniable talent, musical gems from Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, the Smashing Pumpkins and others have proved to be timeless. However, in Billy Corgan‘s mind, only two songwriters belong in the decade’s highest echelon.

During an interview with the Independent, the Smashing Pumpkins frontman named Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain as one of the decade’s “top two scribes.” Who’s the other composer who stands side-by-side with Cobain? Billy Corgan, of course.

“Now, he and I didn’t necessarily get along. But I like to sing his praises, because he really was that talented,” says Corgan. “I like to think the world with him would have been a better place, and I like to think a lot of the crap music that followed wouldn’t have existed if he had been around to criticize it. Because he had the moral standing to slay generations with a strike of the pen.” Despite this, Corgan claims he never truly looked up to Cobain, “In the purest sense of the word, we were competitors. He and I were the top two scribes, and everybody else was a distant third.”

Corgan also shares a moment where Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder confessed feeling survivors guilt over Cobain’s suicide. “Somehow he makes it about him even when it’s about somebody else!” Corgan says about Vedder. “I had a much more personal perspective, because I’d been in contact with Courtney through a lot of the setting up of that period, and afterwards.”

The Smashing Pumpkins’ ninth studio album, ‘Monuments to an Elegy,’ will drop on Dec. 9. To pre-order the record, click here. The band is planning to release its 10th album, ‘Day for Night,’ in 2015.

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