In March 2009 drummer Jimmy Chamberlin left the Pumpkins, leaving Corgan as the only original member in the band. After receiving over 1,000 submissions to fill Chamberlin’s shoes, the Pumpkins held auditions in Los Angeles and settled on 19-year-old drummer Mike Byrne.
Yesterday the Pumpkins announced that bassist Ginger Pooley is parting ways with the band to raise her new baby. Pooley toured with the Pumpkins in 2007-2008.
"Although I am heartbroken that Ginger is leaving the group, I really respect her decision to put her family first. I appreciate everything that she has contributed to The Smashing Pumpkins, and I'm proud of her for being such a great musician and friend,” Corgan said.
“We were lucky enough to find drummer Mike Byrne through an open audition process, so why not open the doors again to anyone who might be interested for the bass or keyboard position. As you can see from our past and present, age, race, or a person's background is not an issue. Everyone is truly welcome to audition.”
Corgan is also looking for a keyboardist who “is a fan of – and can play in the prog-rock style of – Jon Lord and Rick Wakeman.”
Bassist and keyboardists interested in joining the lineup are encouraged to send in their background information (including age and a resume with bands/recorded work) as well as photos and performance web links to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
And about those web links – Corgan says that YouTube.com type posts “are perfect – that’s how Mike was found” but warns that only musicians with video clips will be considered. Deadline for submitting applications is March 31.
In the meantime, The Electric Prunes’ Mark Tulin, who performed with Corgan last year as part of Spirits In The Sky, will take over as the Pumpkins’ temporary bassist.
The Pumpkins last toured in December 2008. The band promises it will soon announce a world tour including dates in the U.S.
According to the Pumpkins’ MySpace page, along with Corgan and Byrne, the band currently also includes guitarist Jeff Schroeder.
The group recently posted “A Stitch in Time” as a free download on its site. The tune is the third of 44 new songs the Pumpkins are recording and releasing for free as part of the band’s new project, Teargarden by Kaleidyscope. The band plans on releasing one song at a time culminating in 11 limited edition EPs that each feature four songs. According to Rolling Stone, the first EP, Volume 1/Songs For a Sailor, is set for release April 20.
Click here for the Smashing Pumpkins’ Web site.