Billy Corgan reveals why Melissa Auf Der Maur isn’t part of the Smashing Pumpkins reunion

"She never considered herself to be part of the unit"

Billy Corgan has discussed why Melissa Auf Der Maur is not part of the current Smashing Pumpkins reunion.

Last week saw the alt-rock veterans return to release new album ‘Shiny And Oh So Bright Vol. 1‘ – the first album to feature founding Pumpkins members Billy Corgan, James Iha, and Jimmy Chamberlin since 2000. While the line-up also features longtime collaborator and guitarist Jeff Schroeder and touring bassist Jack Bates (son of Joy Division and New Order legend Peter Hook.), original bassist D’Arcy Wretzky is not included as relations remain fraught between her and the band.

Former Hole bassist and solo artist Auf Der Maur was also not invited to be part of the new line-up, despite being bassist from 1999-2000 during the ‘Machina’ tour after Wretzky’s departure. She also played at their original ‘final show’ in Chicago in 2000. Now, Corgan has revealed why in an interview with NME.

“It’s not even worth getting into that history,” Corgan told NME. “I don’t have any ill will towards Melissa, but she never considered herself to be part of the unit and made it very clear that she didn’t ever want to be considered part of the unit posthumously.

“It was kind of like, ‘I’ll do this for this window’.”

Smashing Pumpkins

Drummer Jimmy Chamberlin also explained their reasons for choosing Bates as their current bassist.

“It was always going to be Jack,” he told NME. “He’s a great musician and that was the deciding factor. Jack played with Billy and Jeff on the Manson tour. He’s entrenched in the band and knows the songs.

“The way that Jack plays is very reminiscent of the way that Billy played bass on a lot of the early Pumpkins stuff because he and James were really big Joy Division and New Order fans. A lot of those bass parts were mimicking Peter’s playing.”

Melissa Auf Der Maur and Courtney Love in Hole, 1999

Earlier this year, Auf Der Maur spoke out about her feelings on the band reuniting to celebrate their 30th anniversary.

“I didn’t realise it was their 30th, I just all the sudden saw they were playing Madison Square Garden,” she said. “I was like, ‘Oh, whoa, how did that happen? And James is part of it!?’ Especially because I don’t read news online. I read local newspapers. I didn’t know it was happening until recently. I mean, yeah, full-circle in terms of that band. That’s a band that changed my life. It was in 1991. So their 30 years, what’re they saying is their 30 years?”

She continued: “I am not in touch with them. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s just … maybe he doesn’t use the internet, either, I don’t know. I’m happy they’re playing the hits for the diehard fans. They were playing in Montreal, but I was on an island of 200 people in the Baltic Sea playing a silent film festival score. [Laughs] It was the same week, otherwise I would’ve gone to the show in Montreal. I would’ve liked to have seen it.”

Read more of our interview with the ‘rebooted’ Smashing Pumpkins here.

‘Shiny and Oh So Bright Vol. 1 / LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun.’ is out now.