Smashing Pumpkins’ Founding Drummer To Rejoin Band On Tour
Written by Tom Williams on 25th June, 2015
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Longtime Smashing Pumpkins fans will know just how much of an impact the group’s founding drummer, Jimmy Chamberlin, had on the band’s sound up until he left in 2009. Now, Chamberlin is returning to play with the Pumpkins during their The End Times co-headline US tour with Marilyn Manson.
As USA Today reports, Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan approached Chamberlin after an arrangement with another drummer didn’t work out. “We suddenly found ourselves in the situation of not having anybody lined up,” Corgan says.
Making the situation more difficult, Corgan says Chamberlin’s intricate drum parts made it hard to find a drummer on short notice, so getting Chamberlin back just made sense.
“You can’t just grab somebody and say, ‘Play drums on this Smashing Pumpkins song,’” Corgan says. “Jimmy’s drum parts are so incredibly technical and nuanced that it’s a very rare class of people that can step in and play.”
Chamberlin says Corgan called him and directly asked if he’d like to reclaim his drum stool. “He asked if there was any way I’d consider coming back for the tour,” Chamberlin says. “It’s a great opportunity not only to celebrate the music, but to celebrate the friendship and the legacy.”
As Stereogum reported, Chamberlin said it was “a positive move forward” when he left The Smashing Pumpkins. “I can no longer commit all of my energy into something that I don’t fully possess,” he said at the time. “There is no drama, bad blood, or anything else but a full commitment to music.”
Currently, there are no plans between Corgan and Chamberlin beyond the 24-date The End Times Tour, which begins in Concord, California on 7th July. Chamberlin, who runs a technology company called LiveOne, says the organisation remains his top priority.
Going forward, Corgan says the Pumpkins will have a fluid lineup. “I want to run a business more like it’s an open door,” he says. “It’s so great, because Jimmy and I are able to engage strictly on the road ahead – what songs are we playing, when do we start rehearsing.”
Since their 2007 album Zeitgeist, The Smashing Pumpkins’ drum stool has been held by Mike Byrne, Motley Crue’s Tommy Lee, Robin Diaz and Rage Against The Machine’s Brad Wilk. The band will conclude their first-ever acoustic tour on Thursday, which has seen them perform without a drummer.
When The End Times Tour wraps up in August, Corgan and the Pumpkins’ other core member, guitarist Jeff Schroeder, will head back to the studio.
“We hope to have this next album out at the beginning of next year and a single out by the end of this year,” Corgan says. “So we’re on a really hectic schedule.”
Watch: The Smashing Pumpkins – Tonight, Tonight