A bunch of huge bands in the past few years have reformed without writing any new material.
I've been in contact with those bands, as a fan and in many cases as a peer. I say to them, "Please write new music. We need you." When I got the Pumpkins back I made it very clear — it's this way or no way. If I walked onstage tonight and there were 20 people out there, I [still wouldn't] go back and like ring up anybody that used to be in the band. That's it. It's over. I'll go make some kids or play the fucking ukulele. I will never, ever, be that guy. And I've said a lot of things that I've gone back on, but I can guarantee you I will never be that guy. It's just not in my DNA.
When we broke up in 2000, there was a group of people who thought the Smashing Pumpkins were a very important band, and then there was the rest of the world. We haven't had a Lady Gaga moment. I could put out 40 songs and they'd be saying, "Eh, not as good as Mellon Collie." Half of those fucking jerkos would have us playing all of Siamese Dreams on this tour.
A lot of fans are very focused on the original lineup.
In that lineup you had two people who could play with a high level of musicianship, and two people who couldn't. And somehow that worked. James [Iha] and D'arcy and Jimmy... fascinating people. Jimmy, world class drummer. James, very creative when he wanted to be. D'arcy had a really incredible intuitive sense. But that band was not built to last. Believe me, if that band had anything left in it, not only would I do it because it would be creatively interesting, but it would be incredibly financially lucrative. People say, "Well come on, just shake hands backstage and ride in separate buses." Part of my being and spiritual person is, I'm not gonna be in a band with people who don't like me.
Do you think this new incarnation is built to last?
I really hope it is, and I'm remiss to say that, because I don't know. I've had really weird things happen. People just up and freak out and whatever. Right now, it feels as good to me as the old band felt, in terms of our sorta emotional unity. We all seem sort of on the same page, there's no weird anything. Everybody sort of feels like, OK, I'm in the right place.' And I said to each of them, "We're at the right place in the right time."
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