The classic Smashing Pumpkins line up is reforming ... sort of
It’s the worst kept secret in rock’n’roll this year and now it’s out of the bag.
Billy Corgan has reunited with former bandmate James Iha to almost completely reform the classic line up of The Smashing Pumpkins.
Drummer Jimmy Chamberlin has been in and out of the Pumpkins camp for a while now, but this will be the first time Iha has played a permanent part in the band since they parted ways back in 2000, following the Machina… records. Jeff Schroeder, who has played with the band more recently, is also involved.
Notably, and vocally, absent is bassist D’arcy Wretzky.
He's never invited me to anything.D'Arcy Wretzky
A media slinging match between Wretzky and the band has erupted over the past week, with the bassist claiming she’s never been invited to rejoin the group, despite reports to the contrary from the band.
The band issued this statement earlier in the week:
“In reuniting The Smashing Pumpkins, the band's dedication remains to its fans and its music. To that, James Iha, Jimmy Chamberlin, and William Corgan haven't played a show with D'arcy Wretzky for over 18 years. But it's not for a lack of trying. For despite reports, Ms. Wretzky has repeatedly been invited out to play with the group, participate in demo sessions, or at the very least, meet face-to-face, and in each and every instance she always deferred. We wish her all the best, and look forward to reconnecting with you all very soon.”
But Wretzky denies the existence of any such invitation.
“He says that he’s invited me to come out and play for all of these things, which is a complete lie,” Wretzky told Alternative Nation this week. “He’s never invited me to anything.”
Wretzky actually took the unusual step of releasing what she said were screenshots of text messages she and Corgan exchanged, in which the singer said “we understand your enthusiasm [to return to the band] but we have to balance the forces at play”.
The band said the Shiny and Oh So Bright tour, which will kick off in July and run across the US for three months, would be "celebrating songs from their first five albums" – Gish (1991), Siamese Dream (1993), Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995), Adore (1998) and Machina/The Machines of God (2000).
Australia will surely be on the cards for a Pumpkins tour before too long, though they won't be here for Splendour In The Grass. They've got dates that weekened (July 20-22) booked in the US.
The announcement, which had been expected for some time (and came with a very dramatic countdown on the band's website), did not include any information about new music.
But that may well happen, too. In the text messages Wretzky leaked, Corgan talks about recording sessions with producer Rick Rubin.
So, after much rumour and consternation (and mudslinging), there is movement at the station. Expect more info in the coming months.