February 2, 2006

Corgan, Chamberlin revive Smashing Pumpkins

By Jonathan Cohen

NEW YORK (Billboard) - In the clearest sign yet that Billy
Corgan is reviving seminal alternative rock band Smashing
Pumpkins, sources say he and Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin
are set to begin work on a new studio album.

Original members James Iha (guitar) and D'arcy Wretzky
(bass), recent targets of Corgan's venom, are not participating
in the reunion at this point. But sources say
multi-instrumentalist Billy Mohler will be involved in some
fashion. Mohler formerly played bass in pop/rock act the
Calling and contributed to Chamberlin's 2005 solo album, "Life
Begins Again."

"As long as Billy has Jimmy, he can make the essential
Pumpkins record, I'm sure," former Pumpkins bassist Melissa Auf
Der Maur told Billboard.com, adding that while she is not
involved in any reunion plans, "my services are always there to
play my favorite songs. If D'arcy is not available, I'm always
happy to be second in line."

When asked for comment, a Corgan spokesperson said there
was no information to report at present.

Corgan has also signed a new management deal with rock
impresario Irving Azoff's Front Line Management. He broke up
the band at the end of 2000, the year the band released its
final album, "MACHINA/the machines of god."

The Pumpkins are expected to hit the road at some point
this year, although a rumored appearance at southern
California's Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in late
April will not materialize. The group's name is already being
kicked around as a possible headliner for Lollapalooza, which
is set for August 4-6 in its Chicago hometown.

Corgan stunned fans last June when he took out a full-page
ad in the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times announcing his
intentions to "renew and "revive" the Pumpkins. In 2004, he
broke his silence about why the band dissolved, lashing out at
Iha and Wretzky for walking away from an endeavor he described
as "essentially my entire life... a dream I still believe in."

Corgan's newspaper ads came out the same day as his Reprise
solo debut, "The Future Embrace," which met with a chilly
reception at retail. The album debuted at No. 31 on The
Billboard 200 and has sold just 69,000 copies in the United
States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

In the past few weeks, the URL
http://www.SmashingPumpkins.com has begun redirecting to
Corgan's own home page. In December, he teased fans on his
Myspace.com site with the promise of a surprise, saying that it
"all will be announced soon enough. Hold on to your horses.
After all, good things surely (come) to those who wait. Don't
you just love the suspense?"