Billy Corgan Solo Shows
The shows are very intimate, kicking off Aug. 26 with a performance at the 75-capacity Tazzaria Coffee and Tea in Visalia.
Additional shows include Muddy Waters in Santa Barbara (Aug. 27), Open in Long Beach (Aug. 28), Pappy & Harriet’s Palace in Pioneertown (Aug. 29), Che Café in San Diego (Aug. 30) and Hotel Café in Los Angeles (Aug. 31).
The solo gigs also include special guests Spirits in the Sky, which Corgan performed with July 24 at the Echoplex in Los Angeles at a tribute show for late Seeds frontman Sky Saxon. Spirits in the Sky features Mark Tulin of The Electric Prunes and Kerry Brown of Catherine and the Ancient Chinese Secrets, in addition to Smashing Pumpkins’ new drummer Mike Byrne.
Kevin Dippold of The Seeds and Mark Weitz of Strawberry Alarm Clock also joined in as part of Spirits in the Sky at the tribute show.
Back in June, the Pumpkins’ Web site linked to YouTube videos showing with Byrne drumming up a storm and wrote that, “SP.com can finally announce that Billy has been working with young (19) Mike Byrne on demos. Word from the studio is that Mike is an exceptionally talented and gifted drummer and things are going very well. And that is that.”
Yesterday the band’s site officially announced that Byrne had joined the Pumpkins and would be making his debut on the group’s new album and tour, in addition to Corgan’s solo shows.
Here’s what Corgan had to say about his new bandmate:
“Through the open audition process, I was astounded by how many great drummers there were that wanted the chance to try out for The Pumpkins. We counted over 1,000 submissions, and what made Mike stand out was he just seemed to have that X-factor that all the great drummers have, a stunning blend of power, speed, and grace. I’m excited to work with him moving forward–he truly deserves this opportunity. I believe in my heart he will push me to be a better musician.”
The open auditions were held in Los Angeles in April, following Chamberlin’s departure from the band in March.
Byrne said he’s “super excited to be playing with the band. Dream come true, man.”
The young musician has played drums since he was 11 and played in indie Portland, Ore., bands such as Moses, Smell The Roses and the Mercury Tree.
Although Byrne was only one year old when the Pumpkins’ debut album, Gish, was released, he doesn’t think his age is an issue.
“I’ve always thought that Billy’s interpretation of music was a real fresh one, and that because the band was so rooted in the idea of kind of being like a musical shape-shifter, I feel that honestly it would work just perfectly. It’s not so much that I have some fresh point of view that he’s not already investigating so much as every time they release something it’s sort of a new direction and so working with him is easy in that we’re not operating on any founded musical principals. We’re starting from scratch and just working our influences up into something totally different.”
The Pumpkins promise a major announcement about the band’s new album this September.
Click here for the Smashing Pumpkins’ Web site.