Billy Corgan Plots Road Trip Documentary About America

Smashing Pumpkins singer seeks stories and sights from fans, promises mini-concerts in return

Billy Corgan is hitting the road to make a documentary about America and has asked fans for help, promising mini-concerts in return Credit: Daniel Boczarski/Redferns/Getty

Billy Corgan is embarking on a cross-country road trip to film a documentary about America and potentially dredge up material for a new album.

The Smashing Pumpkins frontman outlined the project in a note on his website, People and Their Cars, which will wind its way from Frank Capra's Mr. Smith Goes to Washington to the "wastefulness and common cruelty" of the contemporary West to his own desire to reclaim the truth by exploring America's past.

To complete the project, Corgan is asking fans for suggestions on where he and his friend Justin should go, what they should see and who they should talk to. Noting his grandfather once worked as a coal miner, Corgan wrote, "We'll be much more taken with documenting the stories of an elderly class that can share impressions of the country as it once was; good, bad, or indifferent." To further elicit the past, Corgan requested invitations to "old-fashioned parlors and the like," and promised to bring a guitar and play a few songs in return.

Always thinking in epic terms — and with the Smashing Pumpkins' In Plainsong tour around the corner — Corgan said he hopes to sketch the beginnings of the documentary during this first excursion. He plans to leave Chicago immediately and head south along the Mississippi River, with Corgan adding, "Hopeful that I might write a new album by using the milk of Delta mud, amongst other things."

For those wishing to assist Corgan, a contact form is available at the bottom of his note.

Corgan also offered a few more details about the Pumpkins' In Plainsong tour, which begins March 22nd in Portland. The acoustic-electro shows will reportedly boast a suite of songs from Siamese Dream, but also selections from across Corgan's catalog including Zwan, the Future Embrace and tracks he helped others write.