Smashing Pumpkins’ James Iha Reveals How He Ended Feud With Billy Corgan


In a new New York Times article, it was revealed that James Iha emailing Smashing Pumpkins co-founder Billy Corgan helped initiate their reconciliation and reunion.

After some tentative emails initiated by Mr. Iha — their first real contact since 2001 — and then a few air-clearing dinners, Mr. Corgan began the process of slowly piecing back together his core creative unit. With enough time past, and having each toiled with enough subpar substitutes, they made it work this time — and Mr. Corgan finally got his band back.

Iha later implied in the interview that Corgan was less of a taskmaster now — the guitarist was delighted that, recently, he could miss some band responsibilities to drop off his kids at school without any pushback.

Iha added that he had tried not to pay much attention to Corgan and the Pumpkins in the years they were apart. “I didn’t allow myself to think about it that much,” he said. “But there would be reminders — a song on the radio or in the grocery store.” Corgan frequently trashed Iha in the press for years as a ‘piece of shit’ and ‘the worst human being I’ve ever met in my life.’

Iha seemed excited about new Smashing Pumpkins material. “He still has angst,” Mr. Iha said proudly of Mr. Corgan, who began reciting new, still-dour lyrics — the Pumpkins also realized that by playing only their most loved songs on this tour, they could be, for once, crowd pleasers.

“It’s a concession to a bigger goal,” Mr. Corgan said, promising to play the music, for the first time, as faithfully as possible to its recorded version. “We collectively need to rebuild the public trust in our brand.”

D’arcy discussed her reunion negotiations, which sadly never came to fruition, in an Alternative Nation interview last month.

“Everybody was doing completely different stuff. James was doing different stuff, Jimmy was doing different stuff. Jimmy didn’t even say yes until not that long ago, Billy was having a lot of trouble getting Jimmy to agree to do it from what I’m told, I never spoke with Jimmy and I never spoke with James. I tried to speak with James one time after Billy called me moping. The whole conversation was him saying, ‘The fans just want you [D’arcy], they don’t want me [Billy]. They don’t want the whole band, it’s just about you [D’arcy].’

He had not planned to do a solo album. He did that crazy tour where he said he was going to do every era of the band, I was like here we go again, Billy going out and trying to get validation from everyone that it’s all about him, because we talked for an hour about how people want the whole band back, it’s not about me, and me trying to build his stupid ego back up again. Then I called James and I said, ‘We have a problem.’

All of us wanted to do the tour, Billy and I wanted to do the band again.”

  • DanSwon

    “having each toiled with enough subpar substitutes” – lol, are you kidding? Iha is the definition of a sub-par substitute. He’s *so* lucky to have been involved with APC and Smashing Pumpkins, because he barely contributed anything to either one. He only gets employed because he’s a total pushover, and megalomaniacs like that.

  • Gary Reilly

    I’m surprised that SP lasted as long as they did. The more I read about them, the more it’s obvious that Corgan ran the band in a similar way to how a dictator runs a small country. Contrast that with the likes of Soundgarden where all 4 guys pitched in equally and all had a mutual respect for each other, with no single person in charge so to speak.

    • Shark Alchemy

      Billy didn’t fully appreciate the balance SP had and should of backed off for a time because the others burned out way before he did. Soundgarden, etc. had more conventional band dynamics, but make no mistake, the likes of Cornell, Vedder and Cobain were in charge because their positions in the band required it to large degree.

  • Chris

    I cant wait for the tour. Every family has drama

  • Raj

    Billy: Uh hey James, I’m reforming the Pumpkins and I kinda fired the other guys so you wanna rejoin the Pupmkins? Heh.
    James: What, after all the mean things you said about me in the public and that you played all the instruments and re did all of my guitar parts, no way!
    Billy: Yeah, um that was just to stuff to stir the pot, heh
    James: Yeah right
    Billy: Listen man, I’m in the hole with this wrestling venture and I need to pay the lease on the tea house, c’mon we’ll have a big tour and a new album. I will give you lots of money
    James: Money eh? Lot of money, ok I’m in but first you got to buy some dinners and apologize a lot to my face and you have to mean it
    Billy: Yes okay yeah sure
    James: Billlly??
    Billy: Ok I will apologize to your face and buy you lots of dinners
    James: Sweeet

    • NahNood

      Or… “Hey, we’re grown men with a wild past and said a lot of shit, but we can overcome that pettiness and have a cool time reliving our glory… for the fans.” ha

    • Jack Bauer

      Iha did join them around 2016 on his birth day

  • I like Iha, but the guy seems to have “cockroach blood”, as we say in portuguese (no blood in veins). Only way to endure Billy, I guess.

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