When The Smashing Pumpkins hit the road on their Shiny And Oh So Bright Tour this July, it will mark 30 years since the band formed in Chicago. They plan to include music from their beginning through 2000, when the original group broke up due to a slew of drug issues, record sale declines, and band member squabbles. The original Pumpkins included band founder Billy Corgan, James Iha on guitar, bass guitarist D’arcy Wretzky, and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin. Over the years, The Pumpkins have experienced numerous changes in personnel, and that hasn’t always bode well with fans of their heavily-layered guitar-rich sound. But The Pumpkins sound also was dominated by Billy Corgan, and he has remained throughout the many iterations of sound and style which The Pumpkins have experienced.
Their recorded music explored studio overdubbing. Their classic Siamese Dream album was a glorious fusion of heavy metal, progressive rock, dream pop, and shoeglazing influences, as heard in the classic album track Cherub Rock. Released in July 1993, the album sold more than six million copies worldwide, and established The Pumpkins as a significant force in the alternative rock genre. The album was ranged as 362 in Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Siamese Dream’s 4x multi-platinum status brought The Smashing Pumpkins success.
Corgan was its chief architect, focusing creating sonic depth using tonalities. He has cited “Soma” as using overdubbing with as many as 40 guitar parts. Album producer Butch Vig noted that a single song could include up to 100 compressed parts, layering guitar tonalities with the goal of creating embellished arrangements. It is said that Corgin and Vig worked for many weeks of 16-hour days crafting the musically perfect sounds Corgin envisioned for the album.
The Shiny and Oh So Bright Tour is scheduled to kick-off at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona on July 12, 2018 and wind up at the Ford Idaho Center in Boise, Idaho on September 7, 2018. Along the way, 36 concerts will bring The Pumpkins’ classic music alive again at diverse venues throughout the United States and Canada. Featuring music from their amazing debut album Gish, and including material from Adore, Infinite Sadness, Machina, Mellon Collie, and Siamese Dream, original members Corgan, James Iha, and Jimmy Chamberlin will offer highlights of what Billy Corgin called the band’s “musical journey”.
Not scheduled to return is original bassist D’arcy Wretzky, who has been arguing with Corgan to discover why she’s not been included. The three founding members, Corgan, Iha and Chamberlain have issued a statement explaining that Wretzky has been invited to play with the group many times since 2000, but she’s declined. On Wretzky’s side of the argument, she released a statement saying that she just recently discovered that the group had decided to invite someone else to take over the bassist position. It’s also not secret that Corgan and Wretzky haven’t gotten along. Corgan added to his own February 2004 blog that Wretzky was a “drug addict with a mean spirit”. Such has been the volatile nature of the personalities in The Pumpkins throughout the years.
Since The Smashing Pumpkins debut, the group has sold more than 30 million albums and racked up MTV VMA, American Music, and GRAMMY® awards for their influential alternative rock music. If all goes as Corgan plans, the tour will feature a set, staging and show which will be completely different from anything the band has done before. The members are hoping to open up their new beginning with “a real bang”. They view this tour as their opportunity to start fresh. Tickets will be available starting this Friday morning, February 23, and it should be one amazing North American tour.