The Pumpkins announced drummer Jimmy Chamberlin had left the band in a late afternoon press release Friday, March 20. The statement simply said Chamberlin was leaving and noted he had joined the band in 1988 and played on all of their albums except for 1998’s Adore. The press release also announced that Corgan would continue to write and record as the Smashing Pumpkins, with plans to head into the studio this spring.
Four days later, Chamberlin wrote about his departure on his personal blog. The Smashing Pumpkins then announced the band was taking submissions for recording and touring drummers.
Since Chamberlin’s split with the Pumpkins, Corgan hasn’t made any type of a personal statement about his former bandmate’s departure. If you’re expecting him to write about how much he misses his pal Jimmy or to dish some dirt, it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. The blog post doesn’t even mention the drummer’s name. Corgan also doesn’t explain what’s up with him being all buddy-buddy with reality star Tila Tequila. So weird! But that’s another story.
Here’s what he had to say about continuing on as the Smashing Pumpkins:
“The simple answer is that when I decided to write and record again under the name The Smashing Pumpkins in 2005, I committed myself 100 pct. 100pct of my mind-body-soul to come back and make the band really be great again, and I feel in tune to SP in a way I haven't felt in tune probably since 1995 or 1996. As they say in No Limit Poker, I'm 'all in'. I'm not going to back out of the challenge in front of me now. I'm absolutely exhilarated by what I see and feel the future to be for SP. There is a difference in how I think and approach a body of work for the Pumpkins then say I would as a solo artist or under any other name. Being the near lone songwriter for the Pumpkins has always made me want to put all the diverse harmonic fragments in my mind together, and it has been an incredible musical journey so far to keep trying to match up to the size of that idea.”
Corgan then admits that the “Smashing Pumpkins” is a dumb name.
“I am at peace now with the idea that SP is worth bringing to life again and again, because the challenge of the band's shadow has inspired some great work. It's also just a name, THE Smashing Pumpkins (it just rolls off the tongue, don't it??). It's a dumb name, but I choose it cause I thought it was funny (yes, funny in 1987 ha ha). All that aside, what the band represents to me and obviously to so many fans SYMBOLICALLY is what is really important in my opinion moving forward. I think the energy in the Pumpkins community is fantastic right now. I love the diversity of opinion and perspective. There is nothing to argue about there. But at least there is something to argue over! Meaning SP is substantive once again; there are new songs, questionable decisions, abject failures, and unique triumphs to dissect over and over. Enjoy!”
Corgan said the band is focusing on five or six songs but that he has 44 songs in mind for a large multimedia project. He clarifies a statement he made during an interview with the Chicago Tribune in December in which he said that 2007's Zeitgeist is the Pumpkins’ last album.
“I meant I don't think I'm going to make albums in the old-fashioned way, meaning 12-15 songs, etc in one small package. My desire at this point would be to release one song at a time, over a period of 2-3 years, with it all adding up to a box set/album of sorts that would also include an art movie of the album.”
He adds that he’s planning on the first song release coming out in September.
Oh, and if you’re wondering how the drummer applications are coming along, Corgan notes that the band has received over 1,000 applications so far. Auditions in Los Angeles have been rescheduled for April 14.
Here’s my favorite line of the blog post: "I am a sensitive soul and I make no apologies for that. As Popeye said, ‘I yam who I yam.’ Or in my case maybe it's ‘I am who I ain't.’” Who knew Billy had so much in common with Popeye the Sailor?
Read Corgan’s entire blog post here.
Check out Corgan and Tila Tequila on the red carpet here.