Billy Corgan Explains Why He's Working With Motley Crue's Tommy Lee - Rolling Stone
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Billy Corgan Calls Tommy Lee Collaboration ‘Supersonic Pumpkins’

“I believe this is soul music we’re making, and I’m proud of who I’m stuck in the foxhole with,” he says

Billy Corgan Smashing Pumpkins performsBilly Corgan Smashing Pumpkins performs

Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins performs in Glastonbury.


Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee’s appearance on Smashing Pumpkins‘ upcoming record, Monument to an Elegy, came after Billy Corgan exclaimed, “We really need to get someone like Tommy to play on this song,” he has revealed. Pumpkins guitarist Jeff Schroeder replied, “Well, why don’t we reach out to him?” and now Lee has contributed to all nine of the album’s tracks, as Corgan has confirmed on the “Official Smashing Pumpkins Nexus.”

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“A few weeks ago, I presented Tommy Lee with the idea, played him all the songs that I’d worked hard to finish, and discussed the way we’d be most comfortable finding common ground in the studio,” Corgan wrote. “Which explains the rush to prepare the arrangements for him to drum on, and also our keeping the work under wraps; so that nothing and nobody could influence the process.”

The results were nine songs that Corgan said are “epic in a way that is indescribable,” before settling on the descriptor “Supersonic Pumpkins.” “Tommy hits the drums in a crushing manner, but as many fans know, this is not without nuance or reaction; as he has a fantastic ear for music and plays with the songs in a means that only enhances excitement,” Corgan wrote. “The only other place I’ve heard this phenomena is with John Bonham of Led Zeppelin: where heavy drums can sound soft and expressive. Good company indeed!”

Corgain said he met Lee in 1991, when the drummer attended a Pumpkins concert, and the pair have run into each other several times over the years. “The coupling is not as odd as some might assume,” he wrote. In fact, both musicians enjoy embracing new technologies to create new sounds. “He is a wonderful, warm person to be around, and I wouldn’t have come to him with this proposition if I didn’t trust that this was something we’d both be proud of,” Corgan wrote. “So we expect to finish up the drums in a few weeks, seeing as we’re in a rush to get this stuff out and oh yeah, Tommy’s got this mega-Crüe tour to do.” He ended his communiqué by saying, “I believe this is soul music we’re making, and I’m proud of who I’m stuck in the foxhole with. Attack, attack, attack.”

In March, Corgan revealed that he was working on two Pumpkins records for 2015, Monuments to an Elegy and Day for Night. “For those interested in sound, think: ‘guitars, guitars, guitars, and more guitars,'” Corgan wrote at the time, “but more so on the epic side of things than, say, grossly metallic.”


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