The Smashing Pumpkins is an American alternative rock band from Chicago, Illinois. He was formed in 1987 by the singer and guitarist Billy Corgan, the only member to have participated in all the albums of the group. It is historically composed of Billy Corgan, James Iha, Jimmy Chamberlin and D'Arcy Wretzky. James Iha and D'Arcy Wretzky are replaced by Jeff Schroeder and Ginger Reyes for live performances. The band uses elements from various other musical genres including gothic rock, heavy metal>, dream pop, psychedelic rock>, progressive rock, shoegazing, and electronica in the latest albums>.
The Smashing Pumpkins became popular with the general public with their second album, Siamese Dream, released in 1993. The band became more popular with the tour supporting the album, and the release of the double-album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness in 1995, which reached the top spot of the Billboard 200 and sells nearly 10 million copies in the United States alone >>>>>. The Smashing Pumpkins are one of the most acclaimed bands of the 1990s. However, internal discrepancies, substance abuse issues, and declining sales lead to the group's split in the year 2000.
In 2006, Corgan and Chamberlin meet for a new album from Smashing Pumpkins, Zeitgeist. After shooting in 2007 and 2008 with their new guitarist Jeff Schroeder, Chamberlin left the group in early 2009. In May 2010, Ginger Reyes is replaced by Nicole Fiorentino. In 2018 the group is reforming (with the exception of bassist D'arcy Wretzky).
The group was formed in 1987 in Chicago, Illinois, by Billy Corgan and James Iha. They met at the Beaux-Arts in Chicago and have a passion for the same music, but James does not know how to play guitar and asks Billy to teach him the basics. The band has trouble starting and the presence of a bassist is missing. One night at the Avalon Club (where the band is often), Billy has a violent altercation with a girl named D'arcy Wretzky about a group they do not agree with. At the time she started playing bass, and came back from Europe where her first group was a failure. After exchanging several "bird names" , Billy tells D'Arcy that he is looking for a bass player and gives him his number. They will make him audition a few weeks later that will be catastrophic, D'Arcy arrives trembling and is unable to play a piece properly. Despite this disastrous test, the band finally hires him as a bassist, Billy being impressed by the character of the young woman, provided she learns about fifty pieces written by Billy Corgan. Initially, the band plays with a drum machine and evolves in a new wave register that has little to do with the music they will do later, until the recruitment of Jimmy Chamberlin, a Jazz drummer they have met in a bar.
The name of the band would have been found by Billy Corgan in a dream where he heard Gene Simmons (bassist of the Kiss group) scream this sentence: "Joe Strummer is a drunk and smashing pumpkins". The phrase pleases him and he keeps it >>>. Corgan has a precise idea of the sound he wants to give to his music. For him, "The Smashing Pumpkins guitars are a mixture of heavy metal and alternative rock from the 1980s. I think of Cure and Siouxsie and the Banshees" . The heavy metal of Black Sabbath is one of its main influences, like the group Queen in another genre and in the late 80s, Mudhoney awakens his imagination and marks the sign of a change coming a few years before the arrival of grunge>.