Original Smashing Pumpkins Billy Corgan and James Iha are back together on the road playing their class ic so ngs plus new material. Ahead of their UK comeback gig, Co rgan and Iha — plus more recent addition Jeff Sc hroeder — talk reuniting, recording and deploying their new three-guitar attack…
Although the concept of a Smashing Pumpkins ‘reunion’ still feels new for the rest of us right now, for Billy Corgan, the idea of putting the altrock titans back together originates in 2005, when, following the breakup of his postPumpkins band Zwan, he took out full-page ads in chicago newspapers and made his case:“i have made plans to renew and revive the Smashing Pumpkins,” he wrote. “I want my band back and my songs and my dreams.” It didn’t exactly pan out as he’d hoped, as only longtime drummer Jimmy Chamberlin signed on – and then he left and returned again. Over the years, several other members came and went, although c organ did find a trusty collaborator and axe cohort in Jeff Schroeder, who has been a constant in the group since 2007. In the back of his mind, however, there always seemed to be unfinished business with Iha, whom he hadn’t spoken with in years.
As it turned out, Iha felt the same way. Since leaving the Pumpkins, he’d kept busy with various projects (producing, a solo album, film scores), and he’d found a second home as a semiregular member of A Perfect Circle. But one day in 2015 he decided to call Corgan to see if they could hash things out over dinner and make sense of their past.