When the Smashing Pumpkins revealed in a pair of brief press releases that drummer Jimmy Chamberlin was leaving the group and the band would hold auditions to find his replacement, the band's leader, Billy Corgan, remained silent. Today, Corgan finally took to the band's official Website with a long State of the Smashing Pumpkins Address to discuss the future of his band, their planned reissues and the hunt for a new drummer. The post is sharp and coherent, but of its 2,400 words, not a single one is spent discussing or acknowledging Corgan's former bandmate Chamberlin (or his new pal Tila Tequila: yes, we noticed).
So tell us, Billy, why did you keep the Smashing Pumpkins moniker, even though three-quarters are the band have been jettisoned: "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."
The ever-prolific Corgan is aiming to write and record 44(!) tracks during these current studio sessions. "Right now we are just focused on about 5 or 6 songs, using them to try out some new feels to try to find a consistent foundation upon which to build this large multimedia project I have in mind. 44 seems to be the magic #, so let's say I'm shooting for 44 songs on this one." Those 44 songs will then be distributed over the course of two to three years, first as a steady stream of individual songs, then capping off the whole thing with a complete box set/album. The band is operating without a record contract now, so Billy's rules go.
As for the drummer situation, even though auditions are still ongoing, Corgan has a couple guys behind the skins during the current studio sessions, but he might end up running through drummers like Axl Rose and his revolving door of guitarists. "Lord forbid I would want 44 different drummers on 44 different tracks, but I suppose anything is possible," Corgan writes.
Fans craving older unreleased stuff like that Gish reissue may be waiting a little while longer, however, as Corgan finds himself embroiled in three different legal matters: "The band is suing EMI, 2 of my former band mates are suing EMI, and EMI is suing me because of the ex-bandmember lawsuit." However, the legal hurdles with the record company may be cleared soon. "My hope is to have access to all of the unreleased materials (with the contractual rights clearly worked out) so that I can set a plan in motion to get it all out over the next decade," Corgan says. "I do have all the Gish unreleased rights, but I don't want to kick start that and by the time we get to Siamese have a whole legal mess on our hands and then have to stop our momentum. It's all or nothing with the archives."
Corgan also slightly apologized for the way he was erratic and unhinged during the Smashing Pumpkins' last tour, often lashing out at the same fans that have stuck through with him for the past 20 years. "When a fan comes to an SP show we owe it to you to put on the best show possible, rain or shine. I believe the days of standing on a stage somewhere in the world feeling torn about why I am up there are over," Corgan writes. "SP will be about peace from this day forward as well. The music WILL also reflect this shift in devotion and humble gratitude. You shall see!"