The Smashing Pumpkins are taking their multiplatinum arena rock act
back to the clubs where their career first caught fire nearly a decade ago.
The rare mini-tour will find the band in intimate nightclub settings beginning with an April 10 show at Detroit's 1,000-capacity St. Andrews Hall, a Pumpkins spokesperson said Friday (March 26).
The set of gigs by the superstar Chicago rock act is currently slated to feature eight other dates in similar-sized venues.
"We do a lot of these bands when they start out and no one knows who the hell they are," said Nancy Mohlman, St. Andrews Hall general manager. "Luckily for us, a lot of them want to come back."
Tickets for the Detroit show will go on sale April 3. The hard rock band Queens of the Stone Age, featuring ex-Kyuss leader Josh Homme, will be the opening act for the tour.
A spokesperson for the Pumpkins' label, Virgin Records, could not be reached for comment at press time.
The Detroit kick-off was confirmed by the spokesperson for the band,
as well as shows in the following cities: April 12 at Bogart's in Cincinnati, April 14 at Tramps in New York, April 15 at
the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., April 17 at the Metropol in Pittsburgh,
April 19 at the Ogden Theater in Denver, April 21 at the Celebrity Theater
in Phoenix, April 23 at the Soma in San Diego, and April 24 at the Roxy
in Los Angeles.
The clubs' sizes on the tour include the 2,600-seat Celebrity Theater and the
"We think it's fantastic," Metropol owner Robin Fernandez said of the Pumpkins' plans to play the 1,400 capacity venue. "It's as big as it gets for a club like this." Fernandez was told by the group's representatives that the Pumpkins were "looking for intimacy" on the tour, he said.
Although he said his club had previously hosted such high-profile rockers as Jane's Addiction, Everclear, Barenaked Ladies and Blues Traveler while those bands were ascending, Fernandez said "Obviously, they're not as huge as the Smashing Pumpkins, that's a biggie."
The Pumpkins have kept a low profile since wrapping a 15-city tour of small arenas last summer, during which they raised nearly $2.7 million for several children's charities.
The Smashing Pumpkins have been recording new material in their Chicago studio on and off for much of this year, according to a spokesperson for the band, who requested anonymity.
The band -- which on its last tour included singer/frontman Billy Corgan, bassist D'Arcy Wretzky and guitarist James Iha -- has been recording a batch of new songs penned by Corgan, said the source. The songs are not earmarked for a specific release, although the music could end up on either a new studio album or an unspecified soundtrack, the source said.
"Billy is just constantly writing [songs]," the source said of the wealth of new material the band has had to choose from while in the studio last month. "They've been in there a couple of weeks." Although the band took a more electronic, baroque turn on such Adore tracks as
"Ava Adore" (RealAudio excerpt) and
"To Sheila" (RealAudio excerpt), the source said it is not yet clear what direction the new material will follow.
Guitarist Iha confirmed earlier this month that the band is working on new material. "We're doing a new Pumpkins record right now," Iha said during an interview at the New York recording studio he recently opened with Fountains of Wayne/Ivy leader Adam Schlesinger.
"We're actually just recording in our practice space right now ... it's going okay. It's actually going really well and I don't really know what else to say other than it's good and we're getting along and it rocks."
Iha would not comment on the sound of the new album.
Earlier this year, Corgan spent a week in a Chicago studio scoring music for the upcoming film "Stigmata," which stars Patricia Arquette. Studio engineer Chris Steinmetz described the work as "very atmospheric, but it has a lot of energy and power. It had a lot of cool drum loops and aggressive, original sounds." Corgan recorded about 40 minutes of music, at least some of which likely will be issued on the film's soundtrack, Steinmetz said.
The Los Angeles Times and Rolling Stone magazine have reported that ex-Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin has re-joined the group, although the spokesperson denied such reports last month.
When contacted Friday (March 26), the Pumpkins source would not comment on Chamberlin's status.
When asked about Chamberlin, Iha offered no comment but to say, "It's going good, whatever we got going."
Chamberlin, an original member of the group, was kicked out of the Pumpkins
two-and-a-half years ago following the fatal drug overdose of touring keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin in July of 1996. The drummer was arrested for heroin possession in connection with Melvoin's death and shortly thereafter was fired from the Pumpkins. After entering a guilty plea on the possession charge, he was ordered to attend a
The Pumpkins used a number of drummers for their post-Chamberlin recordings and touring, including ex-Filter drummer Matt Walker, ex-Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron, Beck drummer Joey Waronker and, on last year's Adore tour, ex-John Mellencamp skinsman Kenny Aronoff.
(SonicNet's Chris Nelson, Christopher O'Connor and Brian Hiatt contributed to this report.)