Billy Corgan Details Firing Smashing Pumpkins Drummer


Billy Corgan reacted to a fan claiming that former Smashing Pumpkins drummer Mike Byrne quit the band in 2014 prior to the recording of Monuments to an Elegy, which saw Motley Crue’s Tommy Lee play drums. Rage Against The Machine drummer Brad Wilk played on the first half of the tour, while Jimmy Chamberlin returned for the summer 2015 ‘End Times’ tour with Marilyn Manson.

Alternative Nation transcribed Corgan’s comments from a fan Q&A. A fan asked, “Do you still talk with Samurai Mike? Why did he quit the band before Monuments?” Corgan responded, “He didn’t quit. He was asked to depart.” Byrne joined in 2009 at 19 years old after Corgan fired Jimmy Chamberlin. System of a Down drummer John Dolmayan auditioned but did not get the job. Byrne played on the Teargarden by Kaleidyscope EP’s and singles followed up Oceania in 2012. Byrne and bassist Nicole Fiorentino were both dismissed following the Oceania tour.

Corgan infamously announced Byrne’s departure by saying ‘Mike, like Elvis, has left the building.’ He later wrote, “Mike Byrne has taught me a lot about his generation. And watching the twitch up close, the ADD of it all, I’m starting to understand what he found boring about The Mighty SP. He wasn’t wrong. But he also wasn’t right, too.

Because the way to replace something is to best it, not join it’s shallow-pool ranks. And great musicians like MB are capable; if they are willing to stop looking into the shiny sun and wonder, quite rightly, what lies on the dark side of the moon.” Byrne has been mostly quiet since his firing, having not tweeted since 2017. Jimmy Chamberlin discussed Mike Byrne a couple of years ago.