Billy Corgan: ‘AI Will Change Music Forever’


Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan has taken a positive look at the development of AI technology in rock — and has ultimately decided the positive outweighs any of the negatives.

During a chat on The Sach Sang Show, Corgan declared, "AI will change music forever. Because once young artists figure out that they can use AI to game the system and write them a better song, they're not going to spend 10,000 hours in a basement like I did."

He went on to explain, "Somebody was telling me the other day how a famous rap artist would work, they would bring in all these different people and they would pick the beat they were most attracted to. Now, let's change it to AI. 'Hey, AI. Give me 50 beats from the 50 best rap songs of all time. Mmm, I like number 37. That inspires me.' Are they ripping it off? Not really. Because I did the same thing. I just did it analog. I listened to 10,000 songs — so what's the difference? So it will really be about those who can discern, even if it's AI presenting them with choices.

Corgan ultimately is facing the prospect of an AI-dominated music world with some caution and cynicism: "The problem with it is, if you're an organic artist like I am, it’s going to be really hard to compete with a whole bunch of people who don't know how to write songs but have good discernment, can't sing but have Auto-Tune. You think there's a lot of bad music coming out now, just wait."

Smashing Pumpkins perform tonight (May 25th) in Napa, California at JaM Cellars Ballroom.