James Iha Reveals If Smashing Pumpkins Will Break Up Again


Smashing Pumpkins members Billy Corgan and James Iha were recently interviewed at KROQ Absolut Almost Acoustic Christmas. They were asked about Corgan infamously announced the band’s 2000 split on KROQ in May 2000.

James joked, “The band is breaking up again.”

He added, “I am joking, I don’t think we have anything mind-blowing to say.”

Corgan said, “Actually, I remember the day quite clearly, it was May 23, 2000 on Tammy’s show on KROQ. We’re live on the air, and I jokingly said, not realizing it would become a meme someday, that we were tired of fighting the Britney Spears of the world. I took it as a joke, of course everyone said the band is breaking up because of Britney Spears. So we’re excited to announce that Britney is joining The Smashing Pumpkins. We’ve come full circle.”

“Just think, when we put those two catalogs together.”

Iha quipped, “We’ll have a Las Vegas residency coming up as well. It should be really fun.”

Corgan said, “You’ve got your dancing shoes there James.”

James added, “I’ve been practicing with a couple choreographers.”

Asked why Rick Rubin was the right person to produce Smashing Pumpkins’ new album, Shiny And Oh So Bright, Vol. 1 / LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun., Billy said: “I think Rick’s shown a great ability to get to the heart of what an artist with a certain length of career, sort of what the heart of the matter is. And he’s done it for everyone from Neil Diamond to Neil Young to… there’s just so many people. Johnny Cash, obviously, is a great example where Johnny Cash, in his 70s, was having hits with Rick Rubin.

Rick just has a way of getting to the heart of the matter. And the thing about Rick is he says things where if somebody else said it, I don’t think I would listen, but I’ll listen from Rick. And he has such a warm heart about the thing; he really does want the best. And so I think we were willing to trust Rick to kind of guide us back into a place where… Me particularly, I’m a big second and third guesser, and with Rick, we just didn’t second-guess; it was, like, ‘Okay. It’s good. Let’s just do it.’ And we did it really quickly. We did eight songs in four weeks, which, for us, is, like, light speed. And I think the music is not just about being evocative of a time, whether it’s this time or another time.

I think it got us back to a place in the early days when we actually made music really quickly. Some of the songs that KROQ still plays we made really quickly — we didn’t sit there and ponder and think, ‘Well, what about this?’ and, ‘Maybe somebody’s not gonna like it.’ And I think it kind of brought us back to, ‘Maybe that’s a good approach for us.’ Instead of overthinking, you just do what you do, and it works or it doesn’t.”