Billy Corgan revealed that he paid a ransom to a hacker so that they could not leak more songs from it Smashing Pumpkins‘ three act “rock opera” ATUM.
During an interview with KROQ’s Klein/Ally Show, Corgan revealed that the hacker got their hands on nine songs from the album about six months ago – when it was about to be mixed and mastered. Thanks to the FBI, he was able to track down the hacker and prevent the leak.
“They’re all probably the catchiest, single-y type songs,” Corgan says. “So it’s like, not only is six months too early, you’re almost giving away the album before you even have a chance to put your feet on the ground. Somehow, some hackers offered the files for money, and we were able to track them and pay and prevent them from leaking. The FBI got involved… I don’t know how they got what they got.
Specifying that he paid the ransom “out of my pocket,” Corgan continued, “What we did was to stop the leak from happening, because it was a mercenary hacking someone — I don’t want to say who – and they have other stuff from other artists. It’s not like some Pumpkins fan wants to break it up on Reddit. In a way, they provide some information that allows the FBI to track them down.”
Although Corgan did not know the “ultimate outcome” of the investigation, he said the mercenary hacker had other “shocking” leaks in their possession, including “classic stuff from bands the past is likely to repeat itself.” Listen to the full interview below. The hacker story starts around the 8:15 mark.
Every act of ATUM (pronounced “autumn”) was released separately, along with final installment dropped today, May 5. It serves as the follow-up to Smashing Pumpkins’ 2020 album CYR. In August, Corgan and company will begin “The World Is A Vampire Tour” along with Interpol and Stone Temple Pilots. Tickets are available through StubHubwhere orders are 100% guaranteed through Stubhub’s FanProtect Program.