Pumpkins 'reunion' to have only two of the original band
Wouldn't Corgan and Chamberlin seem more like a reincarnation of Zwan?

April 10, 2007


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 Jimmy Chamberlin.

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 ago.

"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., etc.