In a new interview with Guitar Center magazine, Smashing Pumpkins members Billy Corgan and Jeff Schroeder discuss the band’s current recording/writing process:

Corgan said, “There was this constant critique that hung in the air from 2007 to 2010, which was, ‘Billy’s lost his mind. Billy won’t let other people play in the sandbox. He’s a control freak.’ And then when Oceania came out, it all stopped- because they heard these three people on the record.”

Schroeder added, “I think people have the wrong impression of how the band works. They think that we go in, and [Corgan] goes, ‘Play this, play this, play this.’ We spend hours and hours just exploring and playing and looking for excitement. It’s a total dialog.”

  • Shoegazer

    ..and this is why the band is better now than in the 90s.

  • hazmatized

    plus, schroeder can play guitar and probably has tons to add to the band musically, as opposed to Iha. nothing against Iha, but for all those of you who think he’s this great guitar player, invaluable for the band, you’ve probably never touched a guitar your self.

  • JT

    Guys, you’re crazy if you think the band is better now than its ever been. This makes me think you’ve never heard anything prior to Zeitgeist. Schroeder is a better guitarist, yes…but Mike Byrnes plays drums like a monkey without a brain for dynamics. The quality of the music has gone so far south it’s unbearable. Not to mention their live shows emit zero energy. This is coming from someone who’s seen them 21 times since 1996. It’s obvious why this band isn’t relevant today. Their musicianship and chemistry (mainly corgan/Schroeder) is above where its been, sure, but their music is overall sub-par.

  • Scrappy-Doo

    Couldn’t have said it better, JT. I have huge respect for Billy Corgan and agree with his opinions on the music industry, but his music these days sucks. Your’re crazy if you think Oceania is better than Mellon Collie, Siamese Dream, Gish, or Adore.

  • Justin

    People complain about how it’s not the “Old Pumpkins” anymore. It’s what makes Billy happy and no one considers that

  • Alternadude

    The band Now is awesome. Jt your critics of Byrne are ridiculous. The Guy’s a beast. Clearly you know nothing. Who gives a fuck how many times you’ve seen SP live. Fine you do not like the band as much Now but be fair. Byrne is incredibly good.

  • Alternadude

    And oh yeah Oceania stands without shame besides Mellon Collie and SD. At least arguably.

  • Ef

    Sad to say this, Smashing Pumpkins died on 2000. Since 2007, it’s basically Bill Co. I remember when Zeitgerst came out how disappointed I was with the album after a couple of listen, I would never listen or like this New Smashing Pumpkins. I liked Song a of Son but the drums which sound so bad, ruined the song. Smashing Pumpkins could be still popular and respected as Pearl Jam but their breakup damaged so much their image is never going to be the same. Now Smashing Pumpkins is like Guns N’ Roses, sadly is no longer a relevant band but a 90’s nostalgia band

  • Wam Meesly

    There has always been a two person dynamic to SP. Formerly, BC and Jimmy, now its BC and Jeff.

    There is no comparison of original SP to current, the music of each incarnation speaks for itself.

    I couldn’t agree more that their live shows have tanked. And I credit this to the lack of connection between members.

    I am trying to think if any of the new SP members have received a credit for any new song and I don’t think any have, SP is and remains the Billco show. Not that its bad, but why say it is not?

  • Shoegazer

    I think the band is more exciting live now than 20 years ago, and a big part of that is Byrne. I dismiss Ef’s comments that they’re a “nostalgia band.” If this were true, wouldn’t they not play new material, and play all their old hits every show? Let’s just ignore the facts, jackass.

  • Ef

    Shoegazer you are a fool and in denial. Tell me the pumpkins are headlining festivals as Pearl Jam today? How many people talk about Smashing Pumpkins in these days, very few.

  • Alternadude

    Still the truest, best rock band out there. Who cares if they sell less nowadays. Moot point.

  • Alternadude

    Oh and Btw Ef SP does headline festivals still. Get your facts straight. Haters gonna hate.

  • NiceNcleaN

    All songs written and composed by Billy Corgan.

    When all of the band contributes then we can talk until then it’s the Billy show and friends.

    He has to trust the other members to write some songs all by themselves or how are they going to improve. The day Billy calls it quits and ends the Smashing solo show there going to be lost and just join other bands.

  • Curmudgeon

    “All songs written and composed by Billy Corgan”

    So true

    Yeah not a control freak at all……..

  • Abe Froman

    “Billy and Jeff says that Billy isn’t calling all of the shots any more.”

    I know 7-year-olds who write better than this.


    i think Zeitgeist was shit it had nothing that stood out on it but oceania was easily the best album by SP since mellon collie

  • Alternadude

    Of course Billy writes all the songs. I hope so. It has to be so. If another member writes a sing it is and has always been an exception. Not an argument. The other member may be and actually are Very important anyway. They write and play their own terrific parts.

  • Raj

    Not a control freak, why is the only original member of the Smashing Pumpkins? Why does he hate James Iha? He might have allowed more collaboration this time around but is this guy really different than Axl Rose? I’d best Billy would freak if he knew James Iha was in the same building as him or maybe ban him from attending a Pumpkins show.

  • Big M

    I don’t care if Billy is a control freak or not. I just think he’s a lunatic who can’t write a good song anymore.

  • Alternadude

    @Big M
    &%###&??/#@!%& fucking untrue biaaaaaaatch!

  • Brett Buchanan

    SEATTLESOUND, wrote this story sick as a dog last night. Mistakes happen when you’re sick as shit trying to write.

  • Shoegazer

    @Ef: I think it’s ridiculous & foolish to measure a band based on the size of their audience. Billy has said he’ll give up playing larger venues for doing things his own way, and I don’t see how anyone can’t respect that. He could choose to play the “greatest hits” to larger crowds at any point, yet he refuses to play that game.

  • mattias

    As an avid drummer; I just can’t take this current line up seriously…

    Chamberlin was so fantastic…

    SP without Chamberlin is like Rush without Peart.

    If you’re gonna replace Chamberlin atleast do it with a guy at somewhat similar level…

    The drumming on Oceania is so sterile… Feels like its all copy and pasted… It depresses me… Solid effort otherwise. I just can’t get over the drumming. Probably could have been a relevant release otherwise.

  • Shoegazer

    Jimmy’s one of the best rock drummers on the planet, but sometimes his playing was a little too “over-the-top” for me on studio recordings. I think that’s why Adore and Oceania are two of my favorite SP albums. To me, the songwriting shines on these albums instead of being drowned out by drums & guitars. I understand why some would disagree with me, as it’s just personal taste.

  • Scrappy-Doo

    I agree with everyone here. Nobody can replace Jimmy.

  • NiceNcleaN

    A 23 year old drummer who started at 12 is not going to sound like or even come close to the experience and technique of Jimmy. Still Mike gives 100% of what he has and will get better with his work effort.

    So time will tell since Jimmy is never going to be with the SP again unless something like the earth tilting enough degrees on its axis to make billy’s Brain shift in to it’s proper alignment.

  • Is he one?

    Mike isn’t Jimmy. Big news everybody!!!

    This is not the point. The point is the band works well, Mike definitely can play(I actually think he is a beast), and the songs are amazing. I don’t know why people still talk about Mike not being as amazing as the best rock drummer of all-time. Obviously he isn’t. But he is one of the best out there.

  • Shoegazer

    I agree w/ Is he one?. Mike’s a great drummer with a high ceiling. Who would be a better choice as a drummer? He’s a lot more impressive than Matt Walker or Kenny Aronoff was with the band. I don’t even think this is an issue. People like to mention that the drums aren’t there on Oceania, but I don’t think the songs needed it. Just as the songs didn’t need more loud guitars or solos.


    Nice Candy Apple Red Fender Jaguar guitar 🙂 show that Billy Corgan that Jaguars can rock just as hard and loud as Stratocasters

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