Smashing Pumpkins’ Jeff Schroeder on whether he feels any rivalry with James Iha

"The whole thing is funny to me"

Smashing Pumpkins‘ post-00s guitarist Jeff Schroeder has denied that original member James Iha is “his enemy”, especially in light of their recent reunion.

Longtime collaborator Schroeder is among the line-up of the current Pumpkins line-up with touring bassist Jack Bates joining the ‘classic’ original members Iha, frontman Billy Corgan and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin. Schroeder has been part of the band since Corgan first returned with the Pumpkins for their 2007 comeback album ‘Zeitgeist’.

In a new interview with Guitar World, Schroeder has denied any rivalry with the returning Iha.

“The whole thing is rather funny to me,” he said. “People seem to think that James and I should be enemies—you know, like, ‘He’s taking your job’. But we’re totally cool, and there’s been no weirdness at all. In the short time that we’ve been together, it’s been extremely pleasant.

“And musically, it sounds great—we’re not fighting for space or anything like that. This is going to be amazing.”

Asked if he felt that his position in the band was at risk upon Iha’s return, Schroeder replied: “No, not at all. Billy was extremely transparent about things from the beginning, and he always said I would be part of it. There was never a time in which I wasn’t.

“I knew that the whole time.”

Smashing Pumpkins live on Fallon

Speaking of his contribution to the band, Corgan told the magazine :“Look, Jeff has put 12 years into the band, and that’s a very serious commitment. He’s dedicated his life to the band, and I feel he’s earned this.

“Not only is he a great musician, but he’s also very responsible for a lot that goes on behind the scenes. I really didn’t see any way this could work without him.”

Meanwhile, Iha added: “Jeff’s a nice guy, and he’s a great musician. I don’t have any kind of drama with him at all. After practice, I was like, ‘Do you want to play that, or do you want me to play that? I don’t really care which of us plays what.’ It’s very ego-less between us. He’s a nice guy.”

This comes after Iha also spoke out in defence of Corgan with regards to the band’s ongoing feud with former bassist D’Arcy Wretzky.

“Billy tried his best,” said Iha. “In the big picture, I think everybody is at different points in their lives and whoever can work it out and get it together with the band can do it. It’s just one of those things.”

After recently returning with comeback single ‘Solara‘, it has also been announced that  Smashing Pumpkins will be playing 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.

More news on the release of new Smashing Pumpkins material is expected in the weeks ahead.