Drummer Jimmy Chamberlin: Smashing Pumpkins Reunion ‘Wore Me Out’
In 2006, Billy Corgan and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin reunited the Smashing Pumpkins and recorded 2007's 'Zeitgeist,' the band's first album in seven years. The drummer recorded with Corgan and toured with additional Pumpkins members Jeff Schroeder (guitar) and Ginger Reyes (bass) until early 2009, when Chamberlin decided to leave the group. In a new interview, Chamberlin confirms that it's not a decision he regrets.
When Chamberlin sat down for an interview with The Drummer’s Journal, he talked more about why he needed to leave Smashing Pumpkins when he did. "I think it wore me out," Chamberlin described. "When Billy [Corgan] and I got back together as the Smashing Pumpkins to do 'Zeitgeist' in 2007, it’d been seven years since our last record. During that time I’d done lots of other things, including my own record as the The Jimmy Chamberlin Complex. When I got back into trying to play Pumpkins music, I found I didn’t make the same choices, musically, that I used to.”
He continued, “I had to go back and listen to a lot of songs and almost relearn how to play like that again, because I felt as a musician I’d moved on. My relationship with music just became really awkward. Every time I’d go into my studio to play, I’d be thinking, ‘What am I doing here? Was that just an intro to the next hit song? Am I writing here?’ There was always an agenda. So I just stopped playing. I had to stop. But there’s stuff I hear on records where I just cringe.”
So, does he think it was all for naught? No. The drummer said he stands behind his years in the band, “I’m really proud of what the Pumpkins did. And that absolutely includes some of the records that got a bit of a hard time by critics and fans, for the most part.”
Jimmy Chamberlin is now the CEO of a tech company called Live One Inc. in Chicago, and yes, he’s still playing drums. Most recently he was featured on the 2014 EP ‘Love Supreme Collective’ by jazz musician Frank Catalano, former Megadeth guitarist Chris Poland and others. Smashing Pumpkins released their ninth studio album, ‘Monuments to an Elegy,’ on Dec. 4.
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