In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan highlighted Radiohead as “the last band that really did anything new with the guitar.”
His comment came during a discussion of modern music.
Corgan’s comments reflect the current landscape of alt rock. “If you look at most alternative rock music in 2015, it hasn’t really evolved for 20 years,” he says.
“We get our asses kicked by EDM or some of these artists that are more keyboard and drum machine and reverb. They’re engaging in new technology. Guitar isn’t new technology—there are only so many ways you can warp it around. Radiohead was probably the last band that really did anything new with the guitar.”
However, rock music still has promising acts such as Queens of the Stone Age and Royal Blood that Corgan highlights later in the interview.
“If all you hear is pop and all you see are perfect performances and everybody smiling, to actually see a band invoke a darker spirit on stage and conjure it right in front of you in a mass of power you can’t explain, that is quite rare to that audience. No band in the past 15 years has come along and figured out how to do that. Most of the bands you can point to that have been successful that still do that, like Queens of the Stone Age, they’re coming from an earlier generation of power and an earlier language, even though they’re having contemporary success. There are some flashes, like a Royal Blood or something, where they’re trying to figure that power out, but they’re dealing with an audience that is so predisposed to pop.”
Check out the full interview with Entertainment Weekly.