Alternative Nation published our interview with original Smashing Pumpkins bassist D’arcy Wretzky a couple of weeks ago, but the interview was edited down so we could have a concise piece. Our conversation with D’arcy actually lasted for nearly four hours, and here are some more stories D’arcy told that didn’t fit into the interview article.
She detailed more from the conversation she had with Billy Corgan that ended any chance of a reunion.
“He told me last spring: ‘I was watching some old shows and you really kicked ass.’ I was like, ‘First of all, yes I know, because I watch them too. Second of all, who are you?’ Then the last time I spoke to him when I made him tell me, I said: ‘Do I have a shot at being the bass player?’ Because he still wanted me involved ‘in anyway I wanted to be, as much as little as I wanted to be involved. Right?’
‘Well, I can’t speak for James and Jimmy.’
‘I’m not asking you to speak for James and Jimmy. You, just you, would you let me play bass for the tour, to be the bass player for the whole tour?’
‘Well, we’ve got Jack Bates.’
‘I don’t know who that is.’
‘Well he’s a really great bass player.’
‘That’s besides the point, if I did everything more than perfectly, if I crushed it?’
He’s like, ‘Haha, you think you can play bass better than Jack Bates?’
I’m like, ‘Just for argument’s sake, let’s say I did.’
I ignored that slag. ‘Would you let me play, is there a chance?’
Finally he said, ‘No.’
I got him to say it, and I also got him to say who the bass player was, and I also said: ‘Okay, thank you now for giving me some information, so I can make an informed decision about whether or not I will participate in it, and my answer is no. I will tell you my terms, if you change your mind, I will participate in the tour, but I have to be the bass player for the whole tour. Do you understand?’
He said, ‘Yeah, okay, I understand.’
I said, ‘No, no. I want you to tell me now, in your words, your understanding, because you never understand anything I say, and you tell me how you don’t understand what I say, and I’ve been working really hard, you know I have to make sure that I am communicating with people what I’m trying to communicate. I want to know that you understand.’
So he’s like, ‘You’ll be the bass player if you could play-‘
‘No, no, tell me.’
I made him try three or four times, and he finally said: ‘Okay, so your terms are you’ll do the tour if you can be the bass player for the whole tour, and be involved in what everybody else is going to be involved in.’
I’m like, ‘Yes, that is correct.’ I said, ‘Now, just out of curiosity, if I were to come out and play some of these shows that you want me to play, how much would I be paid?’
He said, ‘I’m not willing to discuss that.’ He thought I should feel grateful, and that it was a privilege to do that. He was holding out this thing was like a carrot, but it was never going to happen. He’s always done that, we work ours asses off, and we don’t get shit. It’s as much Jimmy and James’ fault as it is Billy, because they won’t fight him.”
She also revealed that Jeff Schroeder was always going to be involved in the reunion, even when D’arcy believed she would be the full time bassist.
“Well, initially Billy told me that he did want Jeff on it because Jeff has been loyal to him and playing with him for such a long time, and we were only going to play songs from when I was in the band. I was like fine, we’ve had other musicians tour with us before, so that wasn’t a big deal to me. As for writing or playing in the studio, it was supposed to be the one song with the original band. We’d had other people play on the records, so it wasn’t a big deal.”
“Jeff is no threat to Billy. Jonathan [Melvoin] used to be in videos, well, one video. Zero, I love that video.”
She also said Corgan is always seemingly in a rush, and appeared saddened a full reunion didn’t work out for 2018.
“‘There’s no time, there’s no time.’ He’s always acting like there’s this crazy time limit. What he doesn’t understand is Bruce Lee was amazing, and he told his kids: ‘All you really have is time, and you don’t know how much you have.’ This was it, this was our last chance.”