Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan once told Pantera to "shut the f**k up" when they kept moaning about Metallica not being metal

Billy Corgan, Metallica, Pantera
(Image credit: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for Live Nation, Mick Hutson/Redferns, Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

During the mid 90's, Metallica surprised and enraged fans in equal measure with the arrival of their albums Load and Reload marking not only a lighter sound, but a change in aesthetic with shorter haircuts and a (temporary) wave goodbye to their thrashier image.

The change caused some listeners to suggest that the biggest band in metal were "selling out"; and still to this day, the era is scrutinised and pulled apart, with the two albums commonly sitting at the lower end of ranked listings of their catalogue. 

But for every naysayer, there have been staunch defenders too, with one such fan being The Smashing Pumpkins leader Billy Corgan, who actually had some strong albeit encouraging words to say to Pantera, who were similarly taken aback by Metallica's new sound and style.

In fact, as he reveals during a recent conversation with Jose "Metal Ambassador" Mangin on SirusXM, Corgan once told Pantera - who were lamenting over the San Francisco metallers new direction -  to "shut the fuck up". 

Fortunately for Corgan, who made sure to pour in some complimentary words too, the interaction didn't end in an beatdown. Instead, Pantera actually invited him to drink with them.

"Let me tell you a story since we're talking Pantera" he begins. "So, they were having a big moment obviously during [the '90s] and I was backstage with them one day and one of those mid-'90s — might have been Reload or something — Metallica [albums] 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.

"And 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?".

Corgan continues, "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,' and they looked at me like, like, 'Did you just tell us to shut the fuck up?' I said, 'Shut the fuck up.'"

Speaking of what happened next, the frontman adds: "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? And 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."

Listen to the interview below:

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.