If you're 20 years old and you aspire to be like Kurt Cobain or Trent Reznor, you're not going to make it that way. You won't succeed. You will be appropriated on your first album by the Pitchfork community. Your record company will rally round that idea because that's your marketing platform. But the minute you're in that world you're frozen. Those people are very much about social codes, about whether you're wearing the right t-shirt. That orthodoxy is no different than the rigidity of the football team at school.
You've got to want to subvert the social order of the high school. [Nirvana] had jocks listening to them. Kurt Cobain used to talk about how weird it was to be performing and look out into the crowd to see the people who used to beat him up cheering along. That's where the critical mass of subversion comes in. Now you have a big enough indie culture to support itself.
Is Corgan right? Has indie (and thus punk) become an echo chamber for fans or will there be a real breakthrough from the independent world to the mainstream again?