Jimmy Chamberlin Back On The Road With The Pumpkins

Longtime Smashing Pumpkins fans will notice a familiar face on stage when the band launches its tour with Marilyn Manson next month. Frontman Billy Corgan says original drummer Jimmy Chamberlin is on board for the 24-date outing.

Corgan told USA Today that he contacted Chamberlin after a previous arrangement with another drummer didn’t work out.

“You can’t just grab somebody and say, ‘Play drums on this Smashing Pumpkins song,’” he says. “Jimmy’s drum parts are so incredibly technical and nuanced that it’s a very rare class of people that can step in and play.”

Photo: AP Photo
Spike TV Scream Awards, Greek Theatre, Los Angeles.

Chamberlin agreed to help out but notes that he hasn’t made any plans with the band beyond the co-bill tour.

“He asked if there was any way I’d consider coming back for the tour,” Chamberlin told USA Today. “It’s a great opportunity not only to celebrate the music, but to celebrate the friendship and the legacy.”

The drummer adds that his priority right now is LiveOne, the tech company he runs in Chicago.

Chamberlin left the Pumpkins in 2009. He released a statement at the time saying, “I can no longer commit all of my energy into something that I don’t fully possess. I won’t pretend I’m into something I’m not. I won’t do it to myself, you the fan, or my former partner. I can’t just, ‘Cash the check’ so to speak. Music is my life. It is sacred. It deserves the highest commitment at every level and the Pumpkins are certainly no different.”

The drummer’s departure left Corgan as the only original member in the band’s lineup. Chamberlin had been fired in 1996 after he was arrested for heroin possession, but rejoined the group in 1999. Following the band’s breakup in 2000, Corgan and Chamberlin reunited as the Smashing Pumpkins with a handful of new musicians in 2007.

The co-bill tour with Marilyn Manson kicks off July 7 in Concord, Calif., and runs through Aug. 9 in Nashville.