Billy Corgan Discusses Adore Lineup Changes (part two of a three-part interview)

(This story picks up where Thursday [June 25]'s left off.) The Smashing Pumpkins have deserved a few laughs over the last year or two, after the heartbreaking departure of friend and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin and, bleaker still, the overdose death of touring keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin. Chamberlin's departure could have meant Billy Corgan had to rethink the band's chemistry and internal balance. After all, the creative interaction within the outfit and between the individual Pumpkins was firmly rooted in the fact they were four very separate individuals. "The way it's worked out is it's just like he's not there," reflects Corgan. "It hasn't really shifted the politics or the energy at all. It's like we're missing something, and for a while I think the missing feeling fucked with our heads. It's like waiting around for someone to show up. Then after a while -- I think about halfway through the album -- we just said it's not going to happen. There is going to be no glorious return and we're not going to find anybody, so this is what we have." But once the band focused on recording, says Corgan, the mood improved. "It seemed like the moment we hooked up the drum machine everything got better," he continues. "We just accepted that that's the situation, and we literally went back to where we started, which was just the three of us and a drum machine. It was kind of poignant in a way, because when you find you've gone full circle and you accept it, you're no longer resisting the idea of it or the feeling of it. And everything's been fine since." For some, the entire episode may have marred the band's somewhat pristine -- even virginal -- image. Perhaps that's why there's something warm and comforting about Adore, although Corgan isn't sure whether the album is about the sound of love or the seeking of it. "That's a good question," he laughs. "To me, it's the first record we've made that's, in a weird way, unsentimental. It has a kind of picture feeling, like you're peering into the past, you're peering into the future, but for the first time it's with a plain sight. I don't feel like it's sentimentalized, and it's not as idealized. There's factures in the music, there's an ugliness to it as much as there is a beauty. It's strange. It just worked out that way." For the rest of the interview, check out the Monday (June 29) edition of allstar.

-- Murray Engleheart

Source: Allstar Magazine