Smashing Pumpkins’ proposed reunion is set to go ahead, according to former bassist Melissa Auf Der Maur.
A spokesperson for Azoff Management also said yesterday (February 2) that singer Billy Corgan and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin have signed on with the firm as Smashing Pumpkins and are writing new music.
Following original bass player D’Arcy Wretzky’s departure from the band in 1999, Auf Der Maur joined the line-up, and has now said that Corgan is working on material that will make up a new album from the group.
“From what I understand, Billy (will be) making a Pumpkins record over the next little while,” she told MTV News. “Everyone knows Billy doesn’t need too many people to make a Pumpkins record, other than Jimmy (Chamberlin) — who he has on board.”
Auf Der Maur has revealed that she is uncertain as to whether Corgan has approached guitarist James Iha or Wretzky to complete the band’s original line-up.
However, she has told the frontman that she would be happy to stand in if he needs her.
“My services are there for him whenever he needs them,” Auf Der Maur said. “Assuming I’m not on tour — but even then, we can cross paths. I love the Pumpkins, and to play those songs again would be nothing but fun for me. It was a big part of my life.”
She added: “The coolest thing would be if D’Arcy was around, but I don’t know where she’s at and I don’t think (Corgan or Chamberlin) do either. But I feel very comfortable being second best.”
Corgan and Auf Der Maur recently worked on a track, ‘Took Me Apart’, which is set to feature on her second solo album.
Smashing Pumpkins were rumoured to be playing at this year’s Coachella Festival, which takes place between April 29-30 in California though this was proved untrue when the line-up was revealed.
The group were also rumoured to be headlining Lollapalooza this summer, though a source has said that if the festival does return, the band would not be on the bill.
As previously reported on NME.COM, the first rumours of the band reforming came when Corgan took out an advert in the local Chicago Tribune newspaper where he said “his heart” remains with his old band.
He wrote: “When I played the final Smashing Pumpkins show on the night of December 2, 2000, I walked off the stage believing that I was forever leaving a piece of my life behind. I naively tried to start a new band, but found that my heart wasn’t in it. I moved away to pursue a love that I once had but got lost. So I moved back home to heal what was broken in me, and to my surprise I found what I was looking or. I found that my heart is in Chicago, and that my heart is in the Smashing Pumpkins.
“For a year now I have walked around with a secret, a secret I chose to keep. But now I want you to be among the first to know that I have made plans to renew and revive the Smashing Pumpkins. I want my band back, and my songs, and my dreams. In this desire I feel I have come home again.”
Auf Der Maur has said that, whether she is involved or not, she wants the reunion to be done right.
“I hope they don’t rush it, because the record should be the absolute best it can be,” the bassist said. “(And they should) then strategise, because as we know, grunge is about to come back: The ’80s trend is almost done and we’re about to hit 1990 again. It’s scary to think, but very true.”