The Great Pumpkin Returns
(If anyone is wondering, TheFutureEmbrace is not terrible but also not all that memorable — and certainly has almost nothing to do with anything Smashing Pumpkins ever did, save for Adore, which sounded like a Depeche Mode tribute band, and that’s bad news.)
I often have a hard time figuring out if Corgan is really savvy or just out of his damn mind. Lately, he’s been dismissing his old bands left and right, slagging off Zwan and blaming James Iha for the break-up of the Pumpkins. But Billy’s always been obtuse about getting the old band back together, as when A-D interviewed him for the 100 Greatest Albums: 1985-2005 awhile back:
A-D: Am I to assume that you wouldn’t do the cash-in reunion tour?
Corgan: I get asked that question all the time and I’m not sure how to answer it. Whatever anybody thinks we would do, we wouldn’t do. We broke up when you’re not supposed to break up. When we fired Jimmy, we knew internally that Jimmy wasn’t really fired, but we went and told the whole world that he’s fired and he’s never coming back because we thought that was the only way that Jimmy would get better. So basically we lied to the whole world because we thought it would help Jimmy. So if we can go out and tell the whole world a lie, we certainly can lie to anybody about anything and we did. The direction rock’n’roll is dead right now. And the only people out there making money are old people cashing in on their past. Very few are actually providing the level of work that reinforces their legacy. It’s more of just a continued milking. All I can say for myself is whatever you think I’m doing, I’m probably doing the opposite. I’m doing it on purpose, I really am. Cause that’s the rock’n’roll I believe in. If you’re not running some sort of game, what are you doing?
So what will this newly formed Smashing Pumpkins sound like? It sounds like Billy has a great rock’n’roll swindle up his sleeve, where he’ll extort gobs of money and anticipation out of people before putting out Machina III: Metal Machine Music and tour without playing a single Pumpkins song. It’d be intriguing, but why can’t he just go out and play “Cherub Rock” and make everybody happy?
One last nibble of food for thought: Will D’Arcy rejoin the fold, or will Billy recruit latter-day Pumpkins bassist Melissa Auf Der Maur? The fact that D’Arcy “couldn’t be reached for comment” for Jim DeRogatis’ Sun-Times article today is probably a bad sign, right?