Band are expected to announce a reunion album and tour this week
Smashing Pumpkins have responded to claims made by former bassist D’Arcy WretZky, accusing frontman Billy Corgan of manipulation and rescinding an offer to be part of the band’s upcoming classic-era reunion.
WretZky has since shared text messages that she allegedly received from Corgan as “proof” of her side of the story.
Last month, Billy Corgan was pictured in the studio with original guitarist and drummer James Iha and Jimmy Chamberlin, and are expected to announce a reunion album and tour this week.
Wretzky, bassist from 1988–1999, has now claimed in a new interview that Corgan originally sent her a contract offer to be part of the expected reunion, before allegedly later saying that it “wasn’t a real offer”.
She also claimed that Corgan told her via text message that “there was never any decision to shut you out, or make you not welcome” and that he thought “we can find the right way to have you involved”.
However, according to Wretzky, Corgan also said that fellow original members Jimmy Chamberlin and James Iha were “with him” on the decision to reunite without her. “I am totally disgusted with James,” Wretzky said about this. “He should be ashamed of himself.”
Asked why Corgan might not want her as part of the upcoming reunion, Wretzky said: “that is a whole other can of worms and a big, ugly one”.
On Facebook, Wretzky also reportedly told fans that “people might be getting sick and tired of being manipulated by Billy.”
She added: “Billy’s ship … which keeps sinking every time he tries pulls this ship. I abandoned it in 1999 cause I knew it was sinking. He was beyond helping. His ego & insecurities spun out of control and I could no longer reel him in, which had been a very large part of my role for many years, but it was hopeless.”
Smashing Pumpkins respond
The reunited band have since issued a statement, claiming that Wretsky was invited to be involved in the band’s return, but turned down the offer at every turn.
“In reuniting The Smashing Pumpkins, the band’s dedication remains to its fans and its music,” the statement reads. “To that, James Iha, Jimmy Chamberlin and William Corgan haven’t played a show with D’arcy Wretzky for over 18 years. But it’s not for a lack of trying. For despite reports, Ms. Wretzky has repeatedly been invited out to play with the group, participate in demo sessions, or at the very least, meet face-to-face, and in each and every instance, she always deferred. We wish her all the best, and look forward to reconnecting with you all very soon.”
Wretzky shares text messages
After the responding statement, Wretzy shared a series of text messages she said were from Corgan, arguing that they are “proof to the many people who said that I was lying about ever being offered the job. (In fact, Billy is saying that now as well).”
“If one takes the time to read it carefully, one will notice that as the conversation continues, the roll i’m offered becomes ever smaller,” she added on Facebook. “Finally Billy says that what I deserve is a T-shirt w/my face on it. I spoke with him and asked him if there was any possible way that i’d be able to play bass on the tour and he said no.”
Reunion announcement this week?
At the weekend, the Smashing Pumpkins launched an online countdown, with an announcement of their reunion expected later this week.
The band have also taken to Instagram, sharing more teaser videos, lyrics and images – including one of an ice cream truck in Chicago that harkens back to that in the video for ‘Today’.
Having recorded around 26 tracks together, their comeback album was supposedly completed last week. Studio photos showed that Iha, Corgan and longtime collaborator Jeff Schroeder were all playing guitar on the record, adding to the mystery of who’ll be filling in on bass duties.
It is hoped that release details and tour dates will be revealed on Thursday.