2014.08.25 | Matt Walker – The Man of1000faces
Interview by Arthur van Pelt
Questions compiled by The SPfreaks Team
What Smashing Pumpkins song is the most challenging for you to play live? Were you able to follow the never-ending jams like “Silverfuck”?
The challenge to “Silverfuck” was not so much technical, not that it wasn’t technically demanding, but more being able to ride the improvisational wave night after night. There was a loose blue print, but it was never the same arrangement two nights in a row. So getting into a head space where I’d be able to ebb and flow in tandem with the other band members was the challenge. Reaching the peaks at the same time, knowing when to break it down, etc. These are the mechanics of a language that a band learns over years, and I had to learn their language in a matter of weeks. I think all my experience playing with different bands in the club scene helped immensely, as it gave me the confidence to take risks at such a high level of performance. Truth be told, it takes guts to go out and wing a 25-plus minute epic improvisational jam in front of 20,000 people. From a technical point of view, “Jellybelly” was definitely the hardest song to play live. I think I only had to attempt it twice, and it did make me feel better when Jimmy told me later he only nailed it one time, and that is the take that is on the record!
This is just one of many quotes that Matt Walker was willing to share. So please read the rest of this interview on our WordPress page
2014.06.24 | Mark Ignoffo Talks Smashing Pumpkins
Interview by geo folkers
In late 1988, early ’89, Mark Ignoffo had an opportunity to work with a young Smashing Pumpkins. Here are a few questions that Mark was kind enough to recently answer:
You had an opportunity to work with one of the greatest bands ever. How did you come to meet the Smashing Pumpkins?
Well, as with most things it was merely by chance. My family was having a garage sale and I was selling an old Farfisa organ. A young guy stopped by and saw the organ and asked if I played keys and the conversation morphed into my recording studio which was located in the basement of the house at the time. He said, “man there is an incredible guitar player you have to hear. He works down the street at this used record store.” So somewhere in the next few weeks I stopped in at the “Record Hunt” and met Billy.
What was the Smashing Pumpkins like in the early years?
At first, it was just another band that I was going to record. Most everyone that does a demo has the grand dream of being discovered. It was immediately obvious that Billy was a phenomenal guitar player, but in the music industry, talent doesn’t mean success as you can tell by listening to the radio. I wasn’t familiar with some of the bands he liked, such as Dinosaur Jr. which I think was good because I approached the recording with the perspective of not trying to “match” a sound. I remember him telling me he really liked some of the Beatles production techniques and I believe he was reading a book about it at the time. James was always a pretty quiet guy in the studio. Nice but never said too much. Jimmy was mostly there just to do the drums and didn’t usually come in for the overdubbing. D’arcy was easygoing but one Saturday morning session she made it known she was not a “morning person”. Not in a mean way, but she would have preferred to start later. It got a little tense sometimes between them but never tension towards me.
Please read the rest of this very interesting interview on our WordPress page