Smashing Pumpkins Member Reveals Why He’s ‘Still A Stranger In That Band’


Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin discussed the chemistry of the band in a new Art 19 interview. Alternative Nation transcribed his comments.

“I still very much am a stranger in that band. Aside from my musical contribution, culturally I never really fit in with those guys. I was a blue collar kid from Joliete, who had no understanding of fashion, or what it meant to be cool.

I joined a band where we had a bass player who was a fashionista, a guitar player who was an artist, and Billy [Corgan] was obviously this kind of hippie child wearing a black turtleneck and a medallion with purple hair. When I showed up the audition I think I was wearing a pink t-shirt and rolled up jeans, and some work boots.

I remember D’arcy [Wretzky] and James [Iha] were like, ‘Look, I don’t care how good this guy is, he can’t be in the band.’ (Laughs) But nevertheless, when Billy and I started talking about what we wanted to do, we realized that we could combine that understanding of music and our technical ability to become this juggernaut of poly rhythmic psychedelic rock.”

He also discussed stopping playing drums after his past firing from The Smashing Pumpkins.

“There came a point in my life after I was dismissed from the band where I thought music could take me down. I even quit playing for a while, and now I’ve gotten back to the point where I do have an accountable relationship with my instrument.”

“I have a session from 8-9 every morning where I practice, it’s an amazing thing to have.”

The only update he offered regarding the many rumors surrounding The Smashing Pumpkins’ future, and a possible original lineup reunion, was that there were talks a few months ago about maybe doing a Pumpkins tour later in 2017. Original Smashing Pumpkins members Billy Corgan, James Iha, and Jimmy Chamberlin reunited for three performances in Los Angeles and Chicago last year.