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Smashing Pumpkins founder and frontman Billy Corgan has had few kind words for the long-departed original lineup of the band in recent years, going as far as to call ex-guitarist James Iha a "piece of s***" and former drummer Jimmy Chamberlin a liar in the past year or so. But in a new interview with Crestfallen, Corgan seems to mellow out just a little bit and dole out some compliments to his old bandmates.
Regarding Iha, Corgan says that the guitarist made important contributions to early songs like "Mayonnaise" and "Soma," explaining, "To give him credit, in both cases he wrote really beautiful ideas, or structures, that were different than I would write. They inspired me to write great songs on top of them, and maybe in that you could argue that that's a good collaboration."
Corgan makes sure to add, however, that it was primarily his own songs that propelled the Pumpkins to success, although he also says, "I think it's a shame that James and I . . . 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 The Infinite Sadness) and other albums after that better albums."
Moving on to Chamberlin, Corgan says, "In a way . . . if you put Jimmy Chamberlin and me in a room, good things happen," while commenting about ex-bassist D'Arcy Wretzky, "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."
Corgan and the current version of the Pumpkins will release a concert package called Oceania Live In NYC next Tuesday (September 3rd).