Pumpkins Reunite In Studio
Smashing Pumpkins fans, get ready to be infinitely happy.
Fourteen long months after founder and frontman Billy Corgan announced, in a full-page Chicago newspaper ad, that he was planning to reform the band he loved so dearly, the Pumpkins are back in the studio, recording their first album since calling it quits with their swan song, 2000’s hard-charging Machina: The Machines of God.
The Grammy-winning alt-rockers confirmed the news in a brief message posted on their official Website. Slated to join them for the recording sessions is Roy Thomas Baker, the famed English producer who oversaw such classic records as Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” The Cars’ s Shake It Up and, most recently, The Darkness’ One Way Ticket to Hell and Back.
There’s still no word, however, as to whether all four original Pumpkins are taking part in the reunion.
So far, the lineup consists of Corgan, the Windy City quartet’s whiny-voiced singer, guitarist and principle songwriter, and drummer Jimmy Charmberlain. Still MIA are lead guitarist James Iha and bassist D’arcy Wretzky, who left the band after recording Machina, and was replaced by former Hole bassist Melissa Auf der Maur.
However, in a statement posted in May, on the Website for his currently defunct rock outfit, Polar Bears, former Jane’s Addiction bassist Eric Avery revealed that he’s been collaborating with Corgan and company.
“It looks like I will be working with the Smashing Pumpkins,” Avery said.
Responding to speculation about him joining the group full-time, a rep for the Pumpkins recently told MTV News that Avery “has been rehearsing with [the band] in their pre-production of the new record, but nothing has been confirmed in regards to [him becoming a full-fledged member].”
Avery’s participation would be a natural fit, given Corgan’s admiration for Jane’s Addiction, which he’s acknowledged as an influence on the Pumpkins’ sound. He’s also good pals with its members. (The Pumpkins pleased hometown fans, when they served as the surprise opening act for the Chicago stop of Jane’s Addiction’s 1997 Relapse tour.)
Formed in 1988, the Smashing Pumpkins first made noise with the 1991 college-rock fave, Gish. But it was their breakout major-label debut, 1993’s Siamese Dream (which arrived at the peak of Seattle’s grunge wave) that made them alt-rock superstars–thanks to such hits as “Today” and “Disarm.”
The band followed up with 1994’s Pisces Iscariot, before reaching their peak with 1996’s double album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, which spawned the hits “Bullet With Butterfly Wings,” “Tonight, Tonight” and “1979.”
At the height of their success, however, the Pumpkins were hit with the drug-overdose death of touring keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin, which led Corgan to fire Chambelain, who battled his own drug problems.
Corgan opted for a drum machine for the group’s next release, 1998’s Adore, which was adored by critics, but failed to match the sales of previous releases.
Chamberlain later returned to the fold, but Wretzky’s desire to try her hand at an acting career led to her departure, as well as more discord within the group. The band played its final show at the legendary Chicago Northside nightclub, Metro, in 2000.
After the demise of the Pumpkins, Corgan went on to form Zwan, which issued one album before calling it quits. He then took to writing his own music, putting out his first solo effort, The Future Embrace, last year.
Pumpkins Reunite In Studio