Sunday, August 19, 2007

Smashing Pumpkins

The Smashing Pumpkins (also known as just Smashing Pumpkins) are an influential American band, formed in Chicago, Illinois in 1988. Billy Corgan and James Iha met in a record store, and began performing in local nightclubs with their bassist, D'arcy, before they had a drummer.

Less influenced by than many of their contemporaries, the Pumpkins had a densely layered and guitar-heavy sound, , , , , shoegazer-style production and, in later recordings, electronica. The emotional tone of bandleader Billy Corgan's songs ranged from angry (Bullet With Butterfly Wings) to dour (Disarm) to jubilant (Cherub Rock).

Selling more than 13 million albums in the United States alone, the Smashing Pumpkins were one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands of the 1990s. However, internal fighting, diminishing sales, drug problems, cultural vitality, and what is speculated to be improper treatment from their record company, hampered the band in their later years, leading to a 2000 break-up.

The band's final album, "MACHINA II / The Friends And Enemies of Modern Music" was unofficially released on vinyl in 2000, prior to their break-up, with the record company refusing to back the band with a pressing. Only 25 copies were made, each signed by the band. The album was then released across various fan sites by the group, as a final tribute to the band's supporters.

Problems have been seen since then with Billy Corgan and James Iha (who later joined A Perfect Circle, as Maynard liked his work with the Pumpkins), and D'arcy (the original bassist for the Pumpkins), both of whom started their own record companies after the breakup. (Bickering, etc. There was one report that Corgan has asked Iha to rejoin, in an attempt to get the Pumpkins back together, and he outright refused.)

Billy Corgan would continue from there with his independent work, first as Zwan, and then later simply as Billy Corgan. Jimmy Chamberlin, drummer of the Smashing Pumpkins, formed the Jimmy Chamberlin Complex, and Corgan recorded with them on a song entitled Loki Cat.

In mid-april 2006 The Smashing Pumpkins reunited with original members Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin. They performed live for the first time in 6 and a half years on May 22, 2007 in Paris, France. There, the band unveiled new members Jeff Schroeder and Ginger Reyes, who took over second guitarist and bassist duties, respectively.

The band's 6th album, called 'Zeitgeist', has been released in 2007.

No comments: