Popper Talks Pumpkins And The H.O.R.D.E. Connection

It's a safe bet that one of the more pleasant surprises of the summer concert pre- season came when the Smashing Pumpkins were announced as part of this year's H.O.R.D.E festival.

The success of the Pumpkins, who headlined Lollapalooza four years ago, could easily warrant a tour of its own, and the band's decision to play H.O.R.D.E. is being viewed as an acknowledgment of the stylistic departure of their new album, "Adore," from past records.

When John Popper dropped by MTV recently, he explained how the Smashing Pumpkins came to be added to this year's H.O.R.D.E. line-up.

"I met Billy Corgan a few times," Popper said, "and we had a lot of fun at Neil Young's Bridge School Benefit last year. And, I bumped into him at a club in New York and he said, 'You know, I'm really into this H.O.R.D.E. thing and I'd like to get into it.' And I was like, 'Sure.'" [450k Quicktime]

"I've seen them play

live," Popper added, "and that's basically our deal -- if you play good live, then we'd like to have you, and the Pumpkins are a great band."

The Smashing Pumpkins will appear at H.O.R.D.E. on July 9, 14, 15, 21 and 22, after which Paula Cole is slated to join from July 24 to August 9. Fastball will then close out the final stretch from August 14 to September 5.

As we previously announced, Blues Traveler will headline all the dates of the H.O.R.D.E. tour.