Although the Smashing Pumpkins still haven't made an official
announcement -- making this the longest period ever without
guitarist-vocalist Billy Corgan shooting his mouth off -- it seems as if
the lineup for the much-vaunted reunion of Chicago's alternative-rock
superstars will involve only one of the other original members, drummer
Second guitarist James Iha finally broke his own
long silence last week when he told RollingStone.com that he
isn't involved in recording the new album "Zeitgeist," which is set for
release on Reprise Records on July 7, and he won't be playing as part of
the reunion tour, which starts in Paris on May 22.
"I haven't spoken to Billy in years," Iha said, indicating that the
full-page newspaper ad that Corgan placed two years ago to solicit a
reunion didn't prompt the wayward guitarist to phone his old bandmate.
"I'm writing for a solo record, which I'm going to record this year, and
working on my indie label, Scratchie Records."
Original bassist D'Arcy Wretzky doesn't seem to be involved, either.
Although the band's publicist did not respond to requests for comment
Monday, several Internet music news sites are reporting that the
Pumpkins are now completed by bassist Ginger Reyes, formerly of the
California all-girl pop-punk band Halo Friendlies, and guitarist Jeff
Schroeder, formerly of a little-known Southern California noise-pop band
called the Lassie Foundation.
The move doesn't really surprise longtime Corgan-watchers, given his
notoriously difficult relationships with Wretzky and Iha, though some
fans may wonder what makes this more of a Pumpkins reunion than a
reincarnation of Zwan, since Chamberlin also played with Corgan in that
short-lived post-Pumpkins group. The most revealing comment came from
Pumpkins manager Paul Geary, who spoke to MTV.com several weeks
"I've been involved with bands whose members can't stand each other,
and over time they run out of dough and that's why they [reunite],"
Geary said. "But Billy's making a great record, and for the sake of a
younger generation that he wants to turn on to the band's music, he is
doing it with a band that will more faithfully re-create the old songs
than ever before."
In other words: Meet the new "Smashing Pumpkins," same as the other
reunited nostalgia acts such as the Police, Genesis, the Stooges, etc.,