How do you go about replacing one of the most distinctive drummers in alt rock? With an open audition, of course. Just a week after original
"The Smashing Pumpkins are continuing to make music after the departure of original member Jimmy Chamberlin, " read the announcement on the official Pumpkins site. "When Jimmy originally auditioned for the Smashing Pumpkins, he was playing in a locally touring jazz band that was playing weddings and street fairs. It just goes to show that you never know where the next big talent will come from." Before Chamberlin joined the band in 1988, Corgan and former guitarist James Iha performed with a drum machine.
Throwing the door open to all interested parties with "exceptional drumming ability and a desire to be part of a massive creative and progressive musical project with a rich 20-year history," the post also explained that the auditions are for recording and touring drummers, noting that there may be "multiple positions" open.
Applicants are asked to send a headshot, music, video links and a résumé listing their bands, live-performance experience, awards and any music education in their background to a Gmail address.
Not waiting to fill the drummer's seat, Corgan announced last week that he's been working on demos for new Pumpkins songs, which could end up on the band's next album, only their second to not feature Chamberlin. The drummer explained somewhat cryptically last week that he was leaving the band with no bad blood, but that he simply could no longer "pretend I'm into something I'm not. ... I can't just, 'Cash the check.' "
Though the two had a longtime friendship and Corgan excitedly invited Chamberlin back into the fold after the drummer was sent into a three-year exile due to his drug issues, Corgan said he's psyched about moving forward. "It's going well and I'm very happy and in a great mood. I'm not sad (about what has happened), actually excited to be working on new SP!" Corgan said on Thursday of the five tunes he's working on, with an eye toward hitting the studio in May.
"The songs sound like spring!" he added. In one of the strangest bits of news to come out of the sessions, the official Pumpkins site recently reported that among those joining Corgan in the studio is friend Mark Tulin, bassist for the late-1960s psychedelic band the Electric Prunes, best known for their tune "I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night."