Jimmy Chamberlin Reveals If He Hated Smashing Pumpkins Replacement Mike Byrne


Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin discussed his replacement Mike Byrne, who played with the band from 2009 to 2013, in a new NME interview. Billy Corgan fired Chamberlin in March 2009, telling Rolling Stone magazine, “Jimmy is a destructive human being, and people who are destructive break things,” Corgan said in 2010.

“I don’t see me reaching the highest levels of my creativity if I’m unhealthy and if I have unhealthy people around me.[…]” After Corgan told Chamberlin he was out, “I was like, ‘Fuck you,’”, Corgan recalls. “‘Go ride around in a white van for the rest of your life.”

Chamberlin became apoplectic when he heard Corgan’s account in 2010. “In the middle of the last tour, Billy said it was the agent’s fault, then it was the band’s fault, then it was the fans’ fault,” the drummer says. “Yes, in the past, I was a destructive human being. I was a complete drug addict and a complete loose cannon, but I’ve taken responsibility for my life.” “In the grand scheme of things” he adds… it’s a few Gold records and a bunch of money… I have a wife and kids and I am completely happy”

“We’d been talking about it for quite a while,” Chamberlin told NME about their latest reunion. “It had taken on a life of its own and these things don’t really become real until dates are announced. There were never any disagreements with regards to anyone’s willingness or desire to play. It was just a matter of waiting for the market to come around to have something to sink our teeth into. The LiveNation offer came around and everything just seemed to be in alignment.

“It made sense in ever way: with the music, the setlist, the timing, the venues. It wasn’t a matter of thinking about it too much. We were like, ‘Come on, let’s do it’.”

Speaking about recent incarnations of the band existing without him, Chamberlin said: “It was never that big of a deal. We were still friends and mutually agreed that the band was not right for me at that point. I didn’t see myself fitting into that type of workload. I had young kids and just wanted to spend more time with them. That was the biggest part of it.

“I really liked the incarnation with Mike [Byrne, drummer] and Nicole [Fiorentino, bass], and thought Mike was a great drummer who represented the band really well.”