Pando

Jimmy Chamberlin: Music is a constant soundtrack and that makes us value it less

By Sarah Lacy , written on July 8, 2016

From The Music Desk

In the run up to interviewing the Smashing Pumpkins Jimmy Chamberlin at Pandoland, I read up on a ton of past Rolling Stones interviews with him and his bandmates throughout the wild ride of iconic 1990s band the Smashing Pumpkins.

One quote caught my attention:

Music is such a small part of people’s lives now. People don’t sit around like they did in the Nineties and star at album covers and think about Kurt and Billy.

It seemed insane to me to think call music a “small part” of people’s lives. Music is a much bigger part of my life than it’s been in decades thanks to Apple, Spotify, Pandora, Sonos, USB ports in cars, and an ability to have anything I want at my fingertips for about $100 or so a year.

In the interview (full video below) I asked Chamberlin if he still felt that way, and he said yes and explained that while music is omnipresent, it’s been relegated to a soundtrack because the primary device that plays music-- our phones-- has so many other things going on at the same time.

Chamberlin is hardly a technophobe-- he was a tech CEO himself. In this interview he also discusses how he thinks of writing code similarly to writing music. And we discuss all the worn, hackneyed but kinda true parallels between being a “rock star” founder and … an actual rock star.

I’ve seen a lot of musicians trotted out at tech conferences, but this was one of the most insightful conversations I’ve seen about the two industries...