Just over two years after Billy Corgan sang the Smashing Pumpkins to sleep,
his new band, Zwan, will release its debut album on Reprise Records. The
still-untitled LP is slated for release in late January/early February, with
its first single, "Honestly," set to hit radio in late November, according to
a label spokesperson.
Following the Pumpkins' final show in December of 2000, Corgan hardly took
the long, lazy vacation he promised to give himself at the time. "I can sleep
in for the first time in my life," he said the night before his 22
million-selling band folded up its tent at the Metro, the hometown Chicago
club where it all began.
Instead, Corgan began writing new songs, quickly amassing a fresh batch of
nearly 50 tunes. Featuring guitarist Matt Sweeney (Chavez), bassist David
Pajo (Tortoise) and former Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, the new band
made its debut less than a year later, performing at the Glass House in
Pomona, California, on November 16, 2001 (see "Billy Corgan Ready To Debut
His New Band, Zwan"). Zwan
recently recruited Paz Lenchantin (A Perfect Circle), who replaced Pajo on
bass. Pajo switched to guitar, giving the band a formidable three-guitar
Zwan's live sound bears a distinct resemblance to the dynamic of the
Pumpkins, down to Chamberlin's muscular, jazzy drumming and Corgan's
unmistakable buzzsaw whine vocal, but often without the flowing, psychedelic
sweep of the Pumpkins' more experimental tracks. Generous amounts of live
material available on more than half a dozen Zwan fan sites, in addition to
officially-released audio and video on the Zwan site, offers a glimpse of a
band that mixes the fluid power of the Pumpkins with a sometimes more
straightforward rock sound.
Among the songs the group has performed live, according to set lists from the
Zwan Web site are "Jesus, I," "God's Gonna Set This World on Fire,"
"Glorious," "A New Poetry," "The World Goes Round," "Love Lies in Ruin,"
"Baby Let's Rock," "Signal This Strong," "Girl With the Cruel Face," "And So
I Died of a Broken Heart," "Freedom Ain't What It Used to Be," "Candy Came
Calling," "El-A-Noy," "Chicks Just Get in the Way," "Solace and Serenity,"
"Careless Love," "Roma Girl," "Silly Sally," "Chrysanthemum," "The Shining
Path" and "What Have They Done to Me?"
The hushed acoustic ballad "Jesus, I" can be heard in the trailer for "Spun,"
the upcoming feature from transgressive music video director Jonas Akerlund
(Prodigy, Smashing Pumpkins) (see "Members Of Korn, Pumpkins, Wilco Scoring
With Movie Music"), starring Jason Schwartzman,
Brittany Murphy, John Leguizamo, Mena Suvari and "Almost Famous" star Patrick
Zwan are hitting a number of holiday radio shows including KROQ's Almost
Acoustic Christmas (Los Angeles, December 8), WBCN's X-Mas Rave (Boston,
December 11), WXRK's Claus-Fest (New York, December 12) WHFS' HFSmas
Nutcracker (Washington, D.C., December 13), WPLY's FEASTival (Philadelphia,
December 15) and CIMX's The Night 89X Stole Christmas (Detroit, December 17),
with more dates to be announced soon.
The band's spokesperson said it was not yet known which songs will make it
onto the album, but just moments after the Pumpkins' final show (see
"Pumpkins Circus Folds Up With Epic Show"), Corgan promised
he would not tread the same ground again. "It won't be a variation of the
Pumpkins theme," Corgan said of his next project. "It will be a completely
different deal and a completely different part of my person."