In a new Stereogum interview, Melissa auf der Maur reacted to the reunion of original Smashing Pumpkins members Billy Corgan, James Iha, and Jimmy Chamberlin for the first time. Former bassists D’arcy Wretzky and Melissa auf der Maur are the only members from the band’s 1988-2000 run to have no involvement in the reunion, and they were cut out from classic music video clips shown during the show. Melissa played with the Pumpkins from 1999 to 2000.
“I didn’t realize it was their 30th, I just all the sudden saw they were playing Madison Square Garden. I was like, “Oh, whoa, how did that happen? And James is part of it!?” Especially because I don’t read news online. I read local newspapers. I didn’t know it was happening until recently. I mean, yeah, full-circle in terms of that band. That’s a band that changed my life. It was in 1991. So their 30 years, what’re they saying is their 30 years?”
The Stereogum interviewer responded, “They’re going back to a gig in 1988.”
Melissa said, “Right. So I met them in ’91, and then my band in Montreal opened up for them on the Siamese Dream tour in 1994. That band and Billy Corgan are single-handedly some of the most influential turning points in my life as a musician. Their legacy isn’t in the gutters of YouTube. He hasn’t stopped. He just keeps going in these strange, new versions. I am not in touch with them. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s just … maybe he doesn’t use the internet, either, I don’t know. I’m happy they’re playing the hits for the diehard fans. They were playing in Montreal, but I was on an island of 200 people in the Baltic Sea playing a silent film festival score. [Laughs] It was the same week, otherwise I would’ve gone to the show in Montreal. I would’ve liked to have seen it.”
She also added, “Truly that band, that album Gish, changed my life. Seeing them live, and then when I met Billy Corgan and he really believed in me and had my band open up for him and recommended me to Hole. He’s a major mentor in my life. And that will never go away, even if we never speak again. The things that I love, I don’t necessarily have to have in my day-to-day life. I can just love it and remember it. And sometimes it’s better that way, like ex-boyfriends. [Laughs] I love my ex-boyfriends but I don’t necessarily hang out with them and their wives. So yes, very very fond memories, and I do wish I could’ve gone to the Montreal show and heard ‘I Am One’ all these years later. That would’ve been incredible.”
Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan was recently asked on Instagram about Melissa auf der Maur not inviting him to the Courtney Love tribute show that will be held in New York on October 27th.
A fan asked, “Were you invited to Courtney Love’s tribute held by Melissa and Michael Stipe?”
Corgan responded, “Was not. But did not take offense. Not my crowd.”
In another recent Instagram Q&A, Corgan revealed that Melissa was never considered for the Shiny and Oh So Bright tour after it became clear that D’arcy Wretzky was out. Corgan criticized Melissa’s playing in a 2012 Consequence of Sound interview, though he never got personal with his criticism. Melissa auf der Maur played in the Pumpkins from 1999 to 2000 for the MACHINA tour.
“I play guitar pretty much on top, and so the bass is better laconic. If the bass is too on top, like for example, Melissa Auf der Maur. When she played with us, she played very on top, and it was constantly tripping all over the fucking guitars.
It’s hard to get… the Pumpkins’ sound. If you can bottle it, it’s sort of predicated on the idea the guitars are clearly on top and ahead of the drums; the drums sit in the middle, and the bass is a little back, so it has an impact and wide-scope sound. That’s the sound that I like to hear. Maybe it was developed through playing with D’Arcy and the way she played. I got used to that feeling, and so I’ve looked for that feeling ever since.”
A fan asked Corgan in the recent Instagram Q&A, “Was MAdM ever considered for this tour?”
Corgan responded, “Not for a second.”