Melissa Auf Der Maur speaks out on the current Smashing Pumpkins ‘reunion’ line-up

"Their legacy isn’t in the gutters of YouTube. He hasn’t stopped"

Melissa Auf Der Maur has spoken out to lend her support to the current incarnation of Smashing Pumpkins, having not been invited to be part of their reunion.

This week saw the Pumpkins announce ‘Shiny and Oh So Bright, Vol. 1 / LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun’ – 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.

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.

Asked by Stereogum about their recent ‘all star’ 30th anniversary show, Auf Der Maur said that she was not aware of it and hasn’t been in touch with Corgan – but that she was glad of their return.

“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?”

Smashing Pumpkins, 2018

Speaking of the early days with the band, Auf Der Maur said: “I met them in ’91, and then my band in Montreal opened up for them on the Siamese Dream tour in 1994. That band and Billy Corgan are single-handedly some of the most influential turning points in my life as a musician. Their legacy isn’t in the gutters of YouTube. He hasn’t stopped. He just keeps going in these strange, new versions.”

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.”

Melissa Auf Der Maur and Courtney Love in Hole, 1999

Auf Der Maur added that she was grateful to Corgan and the Pumpkins for helping her get an early break in her career.

“Truly that band, that album ‘Gish’, changed my life,” she said. “Seeing them live, and then when I met Billy Corgan and he really believed in me and had my band open up for him and recommended me to Hole. He’s a major mentor in my life. And that will never go away, even if we never speak again.

“The things that I love, I don’t necessarily have to have in my day-to-day life. I can just love it and remember it. And sometimes it’s better that way, like ex-boyfriends. [Laughs] I love my ex-boyfriends but I don’t necessarily hang out with them and their wives.”

She added: “So yes, very very fond memories, and I do wish I could’ve gone to the Montreal show and heard ‘I Am One’ all these years later. That would’ve been incredible.”

The interview also saw Auf Der Maur defend Courtney Love as a ‘misunderstood, wild card’ and slam any notion of a murder conspiracy theory involving her late husband Kurt Cobain.

Meanwhile, Smashing Pumpkins recently teased that they’d love to perform ‘Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness’ as well as ‘Machina‘ on the road in full.

Smashing Pumpkins will return to the UK to play London’s SSE Wembley Arena on October 16. They’ll also be playing a show in Bologna, Italy on October 18. Tickets are available here.