Smashing Pumpkins Open For Themselves

Jan. 12, 1996 -- With an extraordinarily adventurous top 10 album on the charts, Smashing Pumpkins brought their new tour to New York City on Thursday -- even after learning that the Apple had been hit with a major blizzard. And in addition to headlining, the band turned out to be its own opening act as well.

The group starts out with an unplugged acoustic set -- not the way one usually thinks of this very electric band -- and then before philistines start nodding off, they return with an all amps blazing romp through the treasure trove of material on their double album "Melon Collie And The Infinite Sadness." "Why take on what amounts to an extra job?", we asked. They answered.

BILLIE CORGAN, Smashing Pumpkins: Well, we basically have broken, you know, the schizophrenic Pumpkins sound into two distinctive sets. One being the more mellow, and one being the cyber-metal. So we kinda start off very mellow. And lull you into boredom...Um, I mean, dreamland. Then we rock. We're

our own opening act. It's a long night, you know? And it's a lot to ask people to see an opening band and then see us play two sets. I mean, ultimately that would hurt us. So we just figured we'd break our own ice and whatever. I mean, you know, it's not the worst thing and people seem to be enjoying it.

D'ARCY, Smashing Pumpkins: It's a lot more intimate. It's a lot more intimate setting and normally, I think it's so much easier for a regular set to just play a bunch of fast songs because you can really see the audience's response. And they respond so much to the faster songs. So on a regular tour we wouldn't be doing most of these songs that are in the first set.