Billy Corgan Paid Ransom to Hacker

The third and final part of Billy Corgan’s rock opera Atum came out on Friday, but the story might have been very different if he hadn’t reached into his own pocket to save a number of its tracks.

The Smashing Pumpkins’ frontman let it be known on L.A.’s KROQ that the albums were only able to come out on schedule because he paid a hacker to prevent the early release of what he called “probably the most catchy, single-y type songs” from the trilogy.

Corgan became aware of the situation about six months ago, during the mixing and mastering phase for Atum, when a fan informed him via Instagram that he’d been hacked. Corgan explained they were were able to “trace it and pay off and keep it from leaking,” and that the FBI got involved. He didn’t know how the hackers were able to get the material.

Corgan added that the Pumpkins weren’t the only artist hacked, but that eventually the FBI was able to track the hacker down. He said he doesn’t know what happened to the crook after that, and didn’t say if he’d gotten his money back.

In other Pumpkins news, drummer Jimmy Chamberlin revealed in an interview with Sirius XM that he and Corgan recorded over 80 songs together during the pandemic and that in addition to the 33 song Atum, there is an unreleased “psychedelic” album and an unreleased Christmas album in the can.