Greg Bates was the co-founding member of Billy Corgan's first noted band, Coat of Eyes. He and Corgan met at a teen night club in 1983 and formed the band, which was originally called Bates Motel, of Bates's namesake. Bates played the keyboards, and according to an interview with SPFreaks, he took over as the lead singer as Corgan was unhappy with his voice. When the band moved to St. Petersburg, Florida, Bates was stayed in Chicago as he was still in high school. With his departure, the band rebranded as The Marked.
Billy was always very unique and had qualities that I had never experienced before meeting him. He had a passion and drive that was far and above the strongest even to this day of any person I had ever met. He was a musician and was fiercely determined that, that he was going to do music. No matter what came of it. This is what he did; ‘I write songs and play guitar’ he would say. He didn’t care how he had to live as long as he was able to write and play music. It was about expressing his deep passion through his words and music and simply that.
— Greg Bates, SPFreaks interview, September 17, 2012