Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan Praises James Iha, Jimmy Chamberlin + D’arcy Wretzky
Billy Corgan has not exactly been kind to his fellow founding Smashing Pumpkins bandmates in recent interviews. However, in a new conversation, Corgan took the opportunity to actually praise guitarist James Iha, drummer Jimmy Chamberlin and bassist D’arcy Wretzky, all of whom are no longer in the band.
Surprised? We can’t really blame you. After all, Corgan did call James Iha a “piece of s–t” last year, along with labeling Jimmy Chamberlin as a liar. While Corgan still points out the fact that he was the mastermind behind the Pumpkins’ success, he does give Iha some props while discussing the tracks ‘Mayonnaise’ and ‘Soma’ during an interview with Crestfallen. He also talks about the value that Chamberlin and Wretzky brought to the band, as well.
“To give him [Iha] credit, in both cases he wrote really beautiful ideas, or structures, that were different than I would write,” begins Corgan. “They inspired me to write great songs on top of them, and maybe in that you could argue that that’s a good collaboration. He gave me something valuable that inspired something different in me. I could understand why people could get stuck on those things, but if you took the best 30 songs that I’ve written on my own against those 2 songs, I think I pretty much trump the argument. Particularly in regards to singles, in both cases neither song was a single, although back in the day ‘Mayonnaise’ did get played by KROQ for a brief second. But it was never an official single, it was never pushed by the label as a single, although it probably should have been in hindsight.”
Corgan continues, “With that said, I wrote the songs that propelled the band to that other level, that those songs didn’t. At some point it gets into a weird nuances argument of who did what where when and why. I think it’s a shame that James and I, by the time we got to ‘Mellon Collie,’ our relationship had deteriorated to the point where we weren’t working that way any more because I think that contribution with us together would have made ‘Mellon Collie’ and other albums after that better albums. In a way that if you put Jimmy Chamberlin and me in a room, good things happen. To this day I miss D’arcy’s sense of integrity, but it’s not like the integrity of the indie world, she had a certain kind of musical taste, I think is the best way to put it, that I still respect. A real good keen sense of bullshit, and was very principled in that regard.”
Visit Crestfallen to check out the full interview with Billy Corgan.