Zwan Gone: Billy Corgan Opts For Solo Career

Former Smashing Pumpkins singer plans poetry book, acoustic disc.

Billy Corgan has pulled the plug on Zwan, his first band since Smashing Pumpkins, a label rep confirmed on Tuesday. The singer plans a solo career.

Corgan first spoke of the breakup on Monday, when he appeared on Chicago’s WGN-TV morning news program. “A couple of people asked me, ’Why didn’t you tell anybody?’ ” he said on the show. “I’m sort of out of the period of my life when I run around trying to generate news.

“I think my heart was in Smashing Pumpkins,” Corgan continued. “I think it was naive of me to think that I could find something that would mean as much to me. I really enjoyed my experience with Zwan, but at the end of the day, without that sense of deeper family loyalty, it becomes like anything else.”

Zwan seemed to be in trouble this summer, when the band abruptly canceled its international tour. Bassist Paz Lenchantin departed soon after, joining another Zwan member, guitarist David Pajo, in his group Papa M.

“The band wasn’t going to reach its full capacity spiritually and musically,” Corgan told the Chicago Tribune on Monday. “I didn’t see the commitment necessary. I was reliving ’Behind the Music,’ and I’m not getting on that train to hell again.”

Corgan started Zwan after the Pumpkins broke up in December 2000. With ex-Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, guitarist Matt Sweeney, Pajo and Lenchantin aboard, the band released Mary Star of the Sea in January 2003. What turned out to be their lone studio album debuted at #3 but soon sank on the Billboard albums chart, ultimately selling 267,000 copies.

The band had planned to return to the studio this fall to record some of Corgan’s acoustic folk songs under the moniker Djali Zwan. Instead, the 36-year-old Corgan will focus on a solo career of music and writing. He hopes to publish a book of poetry, which he’ll preview Wednesday at Chicago’s Poetry Center (see “Billy Corgan To Preview Poetry Collection In Chicago” ), and he plans to release a CD of six acoustic songs next year.

A spokesperson for Warner Bros. said the label will continue to have a relationship with Corgan.