Billy Corgan Recalls Telling Pantera to ‘Shut the F–k Up’ About Metallica in Mid-’90s
The '90s were a weird time for Metallica, who saw their commercial breakthrough with their self-titled "Black" album, but an evolution of their sound from their heavy '80s heyday. And with success came some backlash with the arrival of their Load and Re-Load albums. As the band went through this period, their evolution became a talking point with a lot of fans, including the members of Pantera and Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan.
During a recent episode of Jose Mangin's SiriusXM Metal Ambassador podcast, Corgan relayed a story of how he surprised his friends in Pantera by shouting down some of their concern over Metallica's sound.
Corgan sets the stage, explaining, "They were having a big moment obviously during those three albums and I was backstage with them one day and [we're talking] one of those mid-'90s [albums], might have been Reload or something. Metallica had come out and there was a lot of controversy about where Metallica was trying to go and what happened to Metallica and are they still metal and they're wearing makeup now or whatever."
"They were just going on and on about Metallica. Not in a negative way, more like a confused, like, 'I love Metallica, but I don't get it and they're not metal and what's going on?,'" recalled Corgan, then adding, "And I literally said, and this is a true story, I don't think I've ever told this story in public. I raised my hands, and I knew them well enough that they would sort of listen to me. I mean, that's saying something, and I would say, 'You know what? Shut the fuck up,'"
The singer recalls, "They looked at me like, like, 'Did you just tell us to shut the fuck up?' I said, 'Shut the fuck up.' Okay, so the room goes silent, and I go, 'Listen, set aside Metallica for a second. Okay? You guys right now are the best metal band on the fucking planet, okay? Shut the fuck up. Worry about Pantera. Just worry about Pantera. Metallica will work it out.'" And they did, right?"
"I said, 'You just focus on Pantera. You just focus on being the greatest metal band on the fucking planet,' and they all kind of looked at each other like, and they were like, 'Okay, he's complimenting us,' and then it was like, 'Okay, drink this horrible poison you fucking alternative weirdo.'"
READ MORE: Musicians Talking About Metallica
Indeed, Metallica did work it out, and Pantera continued to thrive, dominating the decade with the albums Cowboys From Hell, Vulgar Display of Power, Far Beyond Driven and The Great Southern Trendkill. Metallica didn't exactly hurt despite some critical backlash in the post Black album '90s, as Load and Reload topped the Billboard 200 Album Chart, achieving 5- and 3-times platinum certifications. The decade also yielded a blistering Garage Inc. covers album, and saw the band experimenting with an orchestra on their S&M live release.
You can currently catch live dates saluting the music of both bands. Metallica are currently promoting their 72 Seasons album and you can get tickets here, while Philip Anselmo and Rex Brown are currently leading a tour that salutes Pantera's legacy, with tickets available here. As for Corgan, Smashing Pumpkins are also out touring this year, with tickets available at this location.