Member changes are hardly unique in Smashing Pumpkins over the years, so we almost yawn as we reveal the latest shift in the group's lineup for its upcoming summer tour with Marilyn Manson.
Gone are Rage Against The Machine drummer Brad Wilk and Killers bassist Mark Stoermer, who helped Billy Corgan and guitarist Jeff Schroeder launch the Pumpkins' Monuments To An Elegy album last fall and earlier this year. In their place are drummer Robin Diaz, whose track record includes working with Chris Cornell and Courtney Love as well as One Direction and Britney Spears, while new bassist Katie Cole is an Australian singer-songwriter who opened some shows for the Pumpkins last year.
She's the latest female bass player to grace the Pumpkins lineup, following original member D'Arcy Wrtezky, Melissa Auf Der Maur and Nicole Fiorentino.
Corgan tells us that over the years since the original Pumpkins disbanded he's enjoyed having a loose roster to work with:
"It's closer to the hear of what the Smashing Pumpkins was formed for -- to be current, to be aggressive, to not sort of live in sentimentality than it is to give the public what they want. That's actually counterintuitive to why the band was formed. We're actually closer to our original form in this guise than we were in 2000 when the band was falling apart and people weren't talking and we weren't communicating and we weren't having those musical conversations anymore, and that's the part that really, I would say, why would someone ask me to betray my values to continue on an idea that has give me so much, and consequently in giving me so much I've been able to share that."
The Pumpkins hit the road with Manson on July 7 in Concord, Calif. Another Smashing Pumpkins album, Day For Night, is due out this year.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.