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Billy Corgan says he paid off hacker who threatened to leak new Smashing Pumpkins songs

Billy Corgan pays off hacker who threatened to leak Smashing Pumpkins songs
Billy Corgan pays off hacker who threatened to leak Smashing Pumpkins songs 02:18

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (CBS) -- The world is a vampire sent to drain – those opening lines from a Smashing Pumpkins song may ring a little too true for the band right now.

The Smashing Pumpkins just released a new album – but it turned out a hacker tried to release it first.

CBS 2's Tara Molina has learned guitarist and frontman Billy Corgan – a longtime Highland Park resident – paid off a hacker to stole some of the band's songs and threatened to leak them.

Molina talked to Corgan on Wednesday outside Madame Zuzu's, the café he and his wife own in Highland Park. But Corgan did not want to talk on camera about the hack, the investigation, or the out-of-pocket payoff.

He already spoke out about it on a podcast last week.

The Smashing Pumpkins just released ATUM, a three-act rock opera, on Friday, May 5. But if it were up to the hacker who stole music from them, some of the album would've been released months ago.

Corgan talked about the theft last week while promoting the new album on Klein/Ally Show on Audacy's KROQ-FM, Los Angeles. Corgan said on the program it all started with a message from a fan on social media.

"A fan contacted me and said nine of the songs have leaked. This is like six months ago. And they were all probably the most catchy, singley type songs," Corgan said on the radio program. "You're pretty much giving away the album before you even have a chance to even set your feet into the ground."

Corgan paid the hacker off himself.

"Yes, out of my pocket unfortunately," Corgan said on the Klein/Ally Show.

There was no word on how much it cost Corgan. But he went on to say eventually, the FBI got involved - and investigators able to track the hacker down and put a stop to it.

"What we were able to do was stop the leak from happening," Corgan said on the program, "because it was a mercenary person who had hacked somebody - I don't want to say who, excuse me - and they had other stuff from other artists."

Corgan said he is not sure exactly how the investigation wrapped up…what happened to the hacker.

But he said on the Klein/Ally Show, "Whatever happened, it all got shut down."

Again, Corgan declined to comment for this story.

Molina talked to contacts in Chicago's FBI office. They had nothing to do with this investigation.

We are still waiting on a response from the national FBI office.

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