Billy Corgan Paid Hacker Ransom to Prevent Leak of New Smashing Pumpkins Album

Billy Corgan
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Billy Corgan
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Photo Credit: Arturo Pardavila III / CC by 2.0

Billy Corgan revealed that he paid off a hacker to prevent the leak of several songs from the upcoming Smashing Pumpkins album.

During an interview with KROQ’s Klein/Ally Show, Billy Corgan revealed that he paid ransom to a hacker to prevent the leak of several songs from Smashing Pumpkins’ latest album, ATUM. Corgan explained that the hacker somehow got ahold of nine songs from the album roughly six months ago, just as the record was about to be mixed and mastered. 

“They were all probably the most catchy, single-y type songs,” said Corgan. “So it’s like, not only is it six months too early, you’re pretty much giving away the album before you even have a chance to set your feet into the ground.”

“Somehow, some hacker was offering the files for money, and we were able to trace it and pay off and keep it from leaking. The FBI got involved; I don’t know how they got what they got,” Corgan continued, explaining that he paid the ransom out of pocket.

“What we were able to do was stop the leak from happening because it was a mercenary person who had hacked somebody — I don’t want to say who — and they had other stuff from other artists. It wasn’t like some Pumpkins fan that was hellbent on breaking it on Reddit. Somehow, they gave some information that allowed the FBI to track them.”

While Corgan admitted he doesn’t know the final result of that investigation, he said the hacker had some “shocking” leaks in their possession, including “classic stuff from bands of the past probably doing reissues.”

Smashing Pumpkins’ latest album, ATUM (pronounced “autumn”), is a “rock opera” in three acts, each released separately. The final installment debuted on Friday, May 5. The album serves as a follow-up to the band’s 2020 album, CYR.

Along with Interpol and Stone Temple Pilots, Corgan and the band will embark on The World is a Vampire Tour in August.