The Smashing Pumpkins

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The Smashing Pumpkins

Country United States
Style Alternative Rock
Year 1988

The Smashing Pumpkins is an American rock band formed in Chicago in 1988 and are one of the most critically acclaimed and influential alternative rock bands of the 1990s. The original lineup of Billy Corgan, James Iha, D'arcy Wretzky and Jimmy Chamberlin persisted until 1996, when Chamberlin was fired having been involved in the drug-related death of touring keyboardist Johnathon Melvoin. He re-joined in 1999, but soon after D'arcy Wretzky left (replaced by Melissa Auf der Maur) and the band broke up in 2000 with irreconcilable differences. In 2005, Corgan took out full-page advertisements stating his desire to be a Smashing Pumpkins once more and he and Chamberlin re-formed the band with Jeff Schroeder taking James Iha's place, and Ginger Reyes on bass. Chamberlin retired from the band in 2009, replaced by 19 year old Mike Byrne (who is notably younger than the band itself). This makes Billy Corgan the sole remaining original member, although he has always been the driving force of the band, writing and recording virtually all of the band's material himself.

Bill Corgan explained his political views to CNN's Piers Morgan, "When you grow up around drug addicts and freaks, you know, you tend to lean left, you know."[1]


The Smashing Pumpkins were formed as the result of a series of collaborations between guitarists Billy Corgan and James Iha. Corgan had Florida with his band the Marked, but moved back to the Chicago area after success proved elusive.[2] Iha was a graphic design student at Loyola University. After Corgan met D'Arcy Wretzky at a concert, she joined the band as a bassist. The group began playing shows with a drum machine. They soon were booked to play at the Cabaret Metro under the condition that they recruit a live drummer. Jimmy Chamberlin was hired on the recommendation of a mutual friend.[2] Chamberlain largely focused on jazz previously. Local label Limited Potential released the band's first single "I Am One" in 1990. The band's next single "Tristessa" was released by Sub Pop later that year. Major labels began to show interest in the Smashing Pumpkins. The band decided to sign with Virgin.[2]

Current lineup

  • Billy Corgan (guitars and vocals)
  • Jeff Schroeder (guitars)
  • Jimmy Chamberlin (drums)

Former members

  • James Iha (guitars)
  • D'arcy Wretzky (bass)
  • Melissa Auf der Maur (bass)
  • Ginger Reyes (bass)
  • Mike Byrne (drums)
  • Nicole Fiorentino (bass)


  • Gish (1991)
  • Siamese Dream (1993)
  • Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1996)
  • Adore (1998)
  • Machina/The Machines of God (2000)
  • Machina II/The Friends and Enemies of Modern Music (2000)
  • Zeitgeist (2007)
  • Teargarden by Kaleidyscope (2009, ongoing)
  • Oceania (2012, part of Teargarden by Kaleidyscope)
  • Monuments to an Elegy (2014)


  • Pisces Iscariot (1994)
  • The Aeroplane Flies High (1996)
  • Judas O (2001)