Billy Corgan has frequently been doing Periscope videos recently that have been getting rave reviews from fans, and in a video last week he discussed his reunion with Smashing Pumpkins bandmate Jimmy Chamberlin. Corgan called Chamberlin his brother, and said that right now the only confirmed plans for Chamberlin with the Pumpkins is the upcoming ‘End Times’ tour with Marilyn Manson, but that doesn’t mean that he will or won’t be playing with the band in the future.
Corgan revealed (via a transcription by Alternative Nation) that he and Chamberlin first discussed a reunion as Corgan attended a Rush concert, and that their initial musical connection 27 years ago was sparked by Rush.
“When I wrote Jimmy the message saying, ‘Would you consider coming back and jumping on this tour? We’re kind of in a pickle here, we need somebody, and it just feels right to ask you right now. It’s not something I’ve been sitting around ruminating on.’ And Jimmy and I over the last couple of years casually would bring up when might be a good time to get together and play again. It wasn’t even necessarily about playing in the Pumpkins, it was more just, when would it make sense? Does it make sense? Or is it forever done? [It was] conversation with family, basically.”
He added, “So when I wrote that message, I was on my way to see Rush, and when he responded, I’m sitting there watching Rush. To give you a little context, in one of the early Pumpkins rehearsals, maybe the second, third, or fourth rehearsal, I don’t remember, but Jimmy played something, and I just thought he was like every other drummed I worked with, whatever. He played something, and I said, ‘Are you a Rush fan?’ He was like, ‘Oh yeah.’ Typical Jimmy, he goes (mimics Jimmy’s drumming with his voice). He plays five Neil Peart parts in quick succession, perfectly. I was like, ‘You can’t play like that unless you’re pretty good.’ That was the first time where he and I were like, there’s another thing happening here, inter-personally.
So there’s sort of a weird crazy divine justice there that we decided to do this together, to kind of cook back up, at least make the initial contact about it, as I’m sitting there watching Rush, who inspired us, and continues to inspire us. If anybody’s interested, I’d say try to catch this Rush tour, because I don’t care what age you are, it’ll remind anybody of a time where just being a great musician was enough.”