Billy Corgan: I wanted to die over success of Nirvana and Pearl Jam

Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan has admitted he wanted to jump out of a window and die when the success of rival bands Nirvana and Pearl Jam overshadowed his debut record 'Gish'

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Billy Corgan

Billy Corgan

Billy Corgan became suicidal when Nirvana's 'Nevermind' and Pearl Jam's 'Ten' albums were released because they overshadowed the Smashing Pumpkins' LP 'Gish'.

The 49-year-old rocker's band - also comprised of D'arcy Wretzky and Jimmy Chamberlin - found huge success with their debut album, but when Kurt Cobain and Eddie Vedder's groups stormed the music scene just a year later, he fell into a spiral of depression and felt totally "inadequate" among his peers.

He said: "The Smashing Pumkins had put out one album ('Gish') which was very successful but as we were promoting our album, 'Nevermind' came out and as everyone knows, it was a massive album, and then Pearl Jam came out too in that time and they were massive.

"So within a short span of time, I went from thinking I was very successful within my given field, to all the rules had changed.

"I went into a very strange depression because I felt like something had been, not taken, but the change made me feel kind of inadequate in a way I wasn't prepared for.

"I couldn't write songs and struggled for a breakthrough. It really came off the heels of a suicidal depression."

Corgan says he showed signs of following through on his desire to kill himself when he started to give away his possessions and was obsessed with his eulogy.

Speaking on Amy Jo Martin's podcast 'Why Not Now?', he added: "I was either going to jump out a window or I was going to change my life. I know that sounds very dramatic but that's literally what happened. I couldn't meditate on death anymore. And I had even gotten to the point where, they say it's very troubling in suicide land, if you start giving away your possessions. And I had already been through those stages. I was giving away stuff and planning my eulogy. And all sorts of weird self absorbed things. "

The '1979' hitmaker admitted he was saved by a sudden realisation that he needed to concentrate on living in the moment, which led him to writing the Smashing Pumpkins' familiar 1993 hit 'Today'.

He added: "I woke up one morning, and I kind of stared out the window and thought, 'Okay, well, if you're not going to jump out the window, you better do whatever it is you need to do. That morning I wrote, I think it was the song 'Today,' which people would probably be fairly familiar with. It's the ice cream truck video song. It's sort of a wry observation on suicide, but in essence the meditation behind the lyric is that every day is the best day, if you let it be."

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