In a somewhat surprising turn of events, original Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin has returned to the group's ranks for its upcoming North American tour with Marilyn Manson.
It's Chamberlin's fourth stint in the band; he previously served from 1988-96, 1999-2000 and 2006-09. Frontman Billy Corgan tells USA Today the reunion was a matter of circumstance; Rage Against The Machine drummer Brad Wilk played shows with the Pumpkins last year but was unavailable for the upcoming tour, and Robin Diaz, who was supposed to fill in, fell through.
"We suddenly found ourselves in the situation of not having anybody lined up," says Corgan, who wraps a Pumpkins acoustic tour tonight (June 25) in Minneapolis. Chamberlin says he views the reunion as a one-off and doesn't plan to continue with the band but notes that, "It's a great opportunity not only to celebrate the music but to celebrate the friendship and the legacy."
Corgan, meanwhile, tells us that Chamberlin's role in the Pumpkins' history is significant:
"I have to give a tremendous amount of credit to Jimmy Chamberlin, the Pumpkins original drummer, because it was that relationship between Jimmy and I where he was able to kind of mine out of this emotional quality of my songs and sort of an orchestral kind of swooping up, and it was really playing with Jimmy Chamberlin that I learned there was this range in the music."
The Pumpkins' tour with Manson begins July 7 in Concord, Calif.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.