The Smashing Pumpkins‘ personnel has been a revolving door in recent years, but a familiar face will be back behind the drum kit when Billy Corgan’s band embarks on their End Times co-headlining tour with Marilyn Manson this summer. Jimmy Chamberlin, the fan-beloved drummer who appeared on the Pumpkins’ classic LPs, will return for his fourth stint with the band when the tour kicks off July 7th in Concord, California.
“We’re thrilled Jimmy’s back in the saddle this summer to drive a super high-octane set, and it’s nice to see the stars aligning around Smashing Pumpkins anew,” Corgan said in a statement. Reconciliation between Corgan and Chamberlin was first hinted last month when Chamberlin began retweeting some of Corgan’s tweets regarding Impact Wrestling and the Smashing Pumpkins.
“We suddenly found ourselves in the situation of not having anybody lined up,” Corgan told USA Today of the End Times tour and Chamberlin’s sudden return. “You can’t just grab somebody and say, ‘Play drums on this Smashing Pumpkins song.’ 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.”
The return of Chamberlin is surprising given the epic blowup the pair had after – depending on the account – Corgan fired the drummer or Chamberlin quit the Pumpkins in March 2009. “Jimmy is a destructive human being, and people who are destructive break things,” Corgan told Rolling Stone in 2011. “I don’t see me reaching the highest levels of my creativity if I’m unhealthy and if I have unhealthy people around me.”
After splitting with Corgan, Chamberlin explained to fans, “I will say, without going into any unnecessary details, that this represents a positive move forward for me. I can no longer commit all of my energy into something that I don’t fully possess. I won’t pretend I’m into something I’m not. I won’t do it to myself, you the fan, or my former partner. I can’t just, ‘Cash the check’ so to speak.”
Chamberlin was a founding member of Smashing Pumpkins alongside Corgan, guitarist James Iha and bassist D’arcy Wretzky and appeared on Gish, Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. But the band fired the drummer following a drug-related incident in 1996 that resulted in the fatal overdose of keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin and Chamberlin’s arrest. However, after releasing 1998’s Adore without Chamberlin, he was back on drums for 2000’s Machina/The Machines of God and its sequel LP.
When the Pumpkins went on hiatus the following year, Chamberlin joined Corgan in Zwan; four years later, Corgan’s resurrected Smashing Pumpkins released Zeitgeist with Chamberlin on drums. However, by 2009, Chamberlin was out of the band again, triggering a parade of drummers that included Mike Byrne, Tommy Lee and Robin Diaz.