Billy Corgan works on new material with Taproot...

BILLY CORGAN is using his new-found status as a solo artist to help out US rock outfit TAPROOT.

The band are working on the follow-up to their 2002 debut 'Welcome' and the former Smashing Pumpkin - who last year split his subsequent band [a][/a] - has been acting as mentor.

Taproot drummer Jared Montague told Billbard: "We went to meet Billy hoping to learn how to approach songwriting in a new way. We ended up getting about a year's worth of music and life education in a week's time. Billy works amazingly fast. We would show him some ideas we had for a song and immediately he would suggets a couple of different things for us to try."

Produced by Michael Beinhom, the new album also features collaboration work with Deftones guitarist Stephen Carpenter. Montague said: "It was a bit intimidating, as we have jammed, coming up with a really cool riff which we then built a song around.

Corgan, meanwhile, is working on his solo debut.

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