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Old 06-21-2005, 09:28 AM   #1
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Billy Corgan to attempt to reunite the Smashing Pumpkins

Rob Kleckner and Caroline Bermudez report:
Billy Corgan has made it clear, particularly during the hype surrounding his solo debut, The Future Embrace, that the band he's famous for had smashed their last pumpkin. But what supposedly died on stage at Chicago's Metro on December 2, 2000 may not be lost forever.

Placing a full-page ad in today's Chicago Tribune, Corgan has announced that he wants to kiss and make up with the other three former members of alt-rock juggernaut the Smashing Pumpkins. He says, "For a year now I have walked around with a secret, a secret I chose to keep. But now I want you to be among the first to know that I have made plans to renew and revive the Smashing Pumpkins. I want my band back, and my songs, and my dreams."

There is no further word on whether this is a true reunion or simply Corgan reclaiming the band's name. One would hope he spoke to his bandmates before announcing this decision to the world. Also unclear is what this reincarnation of the Smashing Pumpkins will achieve, be it a comeback tour or a new album. It raises the question of whether the band will become the name of Billy Corgan's future projects, or if the original members will all participate. He insists that his new album "pick up the thread of the as-yet-unfinishsed work and charter of the Smashing Pumpkins."

Formed in Chicago in 1988, the quartet released a string of highly successful albums including Gish, Siamese Dream, and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. During their messy 12-year existence, the Smashing Pumpkins saw the break-up of guitarist James Iha and bassist D'Arcy Wretzky, Corgan's nervous breakdown around the time of Siamese Dream, the death of touring keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin from a drug overdose, the firing of drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, the exit of Wretzky after Machina, and the entry of former Hole bassist Melissa auf der Maur, before disbanding in 2000.

Since breaking up, Iha has gone on to perform with A Perfect Circle, Chamberlin formed the Jimmy Chamberlin Complex, and Corgan created the short-lived Zwan, which released their only album, Mary, Star of the Sea in 2003. Corgan has also written a book of poetry, Blinking With Fists, and The Future Embrace hits stores today.

Maybe it's legit, maybe it's marketing for his new album. Who knows.

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Old 06-21-2005, 09:31 AM   #2
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I'd love the original lineup to get back together. They created some amazing tunes. Plus I never got a chance to see them live and that's upsetting.

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Old 06-21-2005, 09:35 AM   #3
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I could have sworn I'd JUST read an interview in a music magazine where he said that there was no way the original line-up would get back together. I can't remember the name of it either...because I read way too many of them. I know it was recent though. Oh, well...who the hell knows? Musicians say a lot of things.
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Old 06-21-2005, 09:44 AM   #4
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Geek, USA rules!!!
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Old 06-21-2005, 09:54 AM   #5
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Well the original bassist (D'arcy I believe) left the band before they broke up so I doubt she'd come back so the original line up would never be again.

The biggest thing is working with Corgan from what I understand. He's a complete ass in the studio and it drove everyone nuts. He seems to have this humility thing going right now that might just make the band work again if he hasn't pissed everyone off so much in the past that they'll never want to work with him again.

And yes Geek USA rules! And I saw them live
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Old 06-21-2005, 10:16 AM   #6
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Um, ok.

I think he just wants the publicity for the album.
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Old 06-21-2005, 11:23 AM   #7
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Corgan wants to "renew and revive" Smashing Pumpkins

Hey folks....I found this at the RollingStone site. It'll be interesting to see what develops here. The Pumpkins were a great band in their day, but time will tell if they can recapture their former glory. That full-page ad was an interesting approach...but I'm not sure what to make of it.

Corgan Carves Up Pumpkins

Singer launches new album and tour with his old band on his mind

Billy Corgan took out a full-page ad in today's Chicago Tribune announcing his plans to "renew and revive" the Smashing Pumpkins. "I want my band back, and my songs, and my dreams," he wrote of his former band, which split in 2000. Corgan -- who releases his debut solo album, TheFutureEmbrace, today -- did not state whether his revival plans include fellow former Pumpkins: drummer Jimmy Chamberlin (who plays on Corgan's album), guitarist James Iha (now a member of A Perfect Circle) and bassist D'Arcy Wretzky, who was replaced for their final tour by Melissa auf der Maur (who now fronts her own band).

Earlier this month, Corgan told Rolling Stone that he had no interest in performing his former band's material on his solo tour, which kicks off Wednesday in Atlanta. "I don't want to play Smashing Pumpkins songs unless it says 'Smashing Pumpkins' above my head," he said. "The only reason I'd be doing it now is to make people feel comfortable. If they wanna come see me play, they're gonna have to come see what I'm doing now."

Corgan invited Chamberlin (whom he calls his best friend) to play drums on TheFutureEmbrace's atmospheric "DIA." He also invited fellow alterna-hero Robert Smith of the Cure to sing on a cover of the Bee Gees' "To Love Somebody."

The new CD has a stripped-down sound that might surprise Pumpkins fans, based more on New Wave synthesizers than on guitar heroics. "The first four months was really just sonic experimentation," Corgan said of the Chicago recording sessions with co-producers Bon Harris (former drummer for Nitzer Ebb) and Bjorn Thorsrud, which began in February 2004. "I know how to make good rock-guitar sounds and big rock choruses -- I've been writing them for years. I had to learn a whole new way of writing and recording."

Meanwhile, Corgan has been revealing the most personal details of his life in his online autobiographical project (at The posts include passages about his poverty-stricken childhood, his mother's time in a mental institution, dating goth chicks as a teenager and the Bad Brains show that changed his life.

"People have this impression that I'm a broken creature," Corgan said. "I'm actually the opposite -- I'm someone who was broken and has put himself back together."

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Old 06-21-2005, 03:16 PM   #8
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I've heard conflicting reports as well.
I agree with Yertle..the timing is quite interesting to say the least. Then again, maybe his experiences with recording the latest album away from them has provided him with food for thought.
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Old 06-21-2005, 05:13 PM   #9
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Originally posted by )(odiaca
Then again, maybe his experiences with recording the latest album away from them has provided him with food for thought.
You mean he might have realised that sometimes you can't make it on your own?
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Old 06-22-2005, 06:52 AM   #10
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Oh, I really hope this is true - they`re one of my favourite bands
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Old 06-22-2005, 06:55 AM   #11
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Originally posted by indra

You mean he might have realised that sometimes you can't make it on your own?
Thats exactly what I was thinking. He's so desperate for the spotlight again.
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Old 06-22-2005, 08:07 AM   #12
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Originally posted by TheRooster

Thats exactly what I was thinking. He's so desperate for the spotlight again.
What, how could you say that?!

For someone who's had the level of success I've had, there's been very little critical review of my work, which is pretty fascinating. Think about it. I mean, there are books on Radiohead, theories. As far as a theoretical point of view for my generation, I'm probably the most successful theoretician. I mean, double albums and concepts and dresses and major disasters and wonderful successes and yet you don't see the critical review of my work. Why? Because it's all focused on the persona. Billy Corgan. But I get to sort of jump in and be Billy Corgan. But then I get to sort of jump back out and be like, sensitive man in the corner.

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Old 06-22-2005, 11:10 PM   #13
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If Pink Floyd can reunite...anything can happen.

Well...unfortunately Alice in Chains and Nirvana will never be back.
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Old 06-25-2005, 07:33 AM   #14
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'I don't operate on the normal bounds of reality'

Promoting his first solo CD, Billy Corgan says now he's into re-forming the Smashing Pumpkins. You wanted logical?

By Richard Cromelin
Times Staff Writer

June 25, 2005

The Smashing Pumpkins were one of the most acclaimed, influential and popular bands of the '90s, selling millions of records as they translated psychic pain, youthful confusion and the search for solace into an aggressive and elegant brand of rock.

Leader Billy Corgan was right up there with Kurt Cobain and Trent Reznor as rock's voice of his generation, but it all crashed down in 2000 when he shut down the band amid drifting musical direction, declining sales and personal tensions with his bandmates.

The Pumpkins were also one of the most soap-operatic bands of the '90s, and Corgan lived up to that legacy when he surprised the rock world this week by announcing his plans to revive the group. He did it with full-page ads in the two major newspapers in his hometown of Chicago, and he did it on the day his first solo album came out. The first album he did after the Pumpkins was with a band called Zwan, which he quickly disbanded and later denounced in scathing terms.

All this makes Corgan seem like rock's version of the Runaway Bride — someone who repeatedly gets things all lined up and then is compelled to move on to something else.

But that's not how it seems to Corgan, 38. To him it all makes sense, if you just think outside the box.

"I don't operate on the normal bounds of reality. I never did," he said in an interview this week. "The way my band operated, the reason we did things, was completely nonconventional.

"So the minute this comes out everybody goes into their conventional thinking. Promoters see money, and this guy sees this, and that's not at all what I'm thinking. It's a spiritual journey of figuring out who one is."

It takes someone with a monumental disregard for the norm to announce a reunion and reject what he calls "reunion culture," to drop a bombshell like this and then clam up. But that's what Corgan did when the conventional questions were put to him. Such as, will all the original members be in the Pumpkins lineup?

"I'm not talking about that," Corgan said, speaking by phone from Atlanta, where he was starting a U.S. tour for the solo album, "TheFutureEmbrace." (He'll play the Henry Fonda Theatre in Hollywood July 12 and 13.)

"I think the statement I made is really complete," he continued. "... I don't really feel it's anybody's business. Because I'm not selling anything, and I'm not asking anything of anybody.... I reject this reunion culture.... There's sort of a rosy sentimentality that goes on — 'Hey, your favorite band, fill in the blank, is now back on tour playing the old songs.' I'm not interested in that. I'm defiantly standing up and saying please don't chuck me in that pile. I'm an artist and this is my way of defining my artistry in a public context."

Whoever is in it (Corgan's original bandmates were guitarist James Iha, drummer Jimmy Chamberlin and bassist D'Arcy Wretzky, who was replaced near the end by Melissa Auf der Maur), and whenever it happens, the renewed Pumpkins figure to be greeted by a passionate community of fans. The band forged a powerful bond with listeners who identified with Corgan's emotional candor and deep reservoir of anguish

In addition, he's opened his troubled heart in a book of poetry and in "The Confessions of Billy Corgan," an Internet blog full of intimate details about both the Pumpkins' inner workings and his own troubled upbringing.

But none of his writing or post-Pumpkins music has the weight and the visibility of the group he formed with Wretzky and Iha in 1988.

"I started my band for all the right reasons, and we did what we did for all the right reasons, and somewhere along the way it got sort of taken away from us," Corgan said in the interview. "We were not sophisticated enough to see what was happening. We were being exploited by the business; we were being given horrible advice by people of course that are long gone.

"So it takes some time to sort all that out.... I kind of came to the realization that killing the band or having the band killed didn't change anything, I was still in essence operating on the charter of the band."

But why make the announcement on the day your own album comes out? Doesn't that create a distraction and take some of the steam out of the solo project?

"No, not at all," Corgan said. "I think it energizes people because they understand now. They see everything that I'm doing in its full context. If one cares enough to look at my musical path objectively, it's kind of got a jagged line to it. It's a little bit all over the place.... And I think putting the Pumpkins star in the heavens there makes a lot of this other stuff seem a lot softer and gentler."

But Corgan was discovering the potential of this Pumpkins news to divert attention from "TheFutureEmbrace." The album hasn't even come up for discussion during the interview.

"I wish I was raising more of a ruckus with my record, you know? And that's exactly why I didn't talk about [the reunion] before, because that's all it would have been about.

"I worked for 13 months on my album, and depending on who you ask it's either this brilliant masterwork or is a car crash," he said. "But most agree that it steps outside that box and at least that's surprising.

"And that's not the focus here. The focus is, 'Hey, by the way, Johnny Junior's back with the Rocket Tones.' I think it's a real miss to go there."


I have mixed feelings about this. For one I think it would be awesome to hear corgan play the old songs live again but even if the pumpkins did reform, new band or old, it's not like their last two albums were any great. I can just see it now live, I would have to wait through alot of lackluster songs just to hear a few hand picked classics. Sounds to me like he has been talking to Robert Smith too much about how to water down the legacy of a once great band. I would almost prefer if corgan just covered his pumpkins songs on his solo tours because that at least would keep the ticket costs low

[/end of rant]

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