Former band members

Matt Walker – The Man of1000faces


 We all know Matt Walker as the drummer for Smashing Pumpkins in 1996 and 1997. Recently, his name popped up several times again in Smashing Pumpkins-related news; for example, “considered as new Smashing Pumpkins drummer” here, and “‘joining Billy Corgan at Ravinia Festival August 30th” here. We also learned that Matt’s name appears on several tracks of the highly anticipated Adore reissue which is scheduled for release on September 23rd. To cut a long story short, SPfreaks thought it was a great time to sit down and talk with the man himself. We are honored that Matt Walker, who is […]

Pumpkins of the Past – James Iha


Article by Shaharaine P. Abdullah The last former band member of Smashing Pumpkins in this series: James Iha (birthdate: March 26, 1968) James Yoshinobu Iha is an American musician best known as the original guitarist and co-founder of The Smashing Pumpkins. Pre-Pumpkins James was born in Chicago, Illinois in a second-generation Japanese-American family. He and his brothers were raised in a middle-class suburb in Elk Grove Village; James attended Elk Grove High School. “I was born in a suburb of Chicago. You know those John Hughes movies like ‘Sixteen Candles’ and ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ and stuff like that? My […]

Pumpkins of the Past – Lisa Harriton


Article by Shaharaine P. Abdullah Next former Smashing Pumpkins band member in this series is Lisa Harriton (birthdate: November 18, 1980) Lisa Rae Harriton is an English musician who is best known for her brief stint as the touring keyboardist and back-up vocalist for The Smashing Pumpkins in 2007. Pre-Pumpkins Lisa was born and raised in a musical family – her mother Terry Harriton is a Los Angeles studio singer, while her father Michael Harriton is a composer and musician; her older brother Steven is a guitarist. At the age of 8, Lisa was already working as a studio singer […]

Pumpkins of the Past – D’arcy Wretzky


Article by Shaharaine P. Abdullah (with additional input by Arthur van Pelt)   Pumpkins of the Past continues with D’arcy Wretzky (birthdate: May 1, 1968) D’arcy Elizabeth Wretzky is the original bassist for The Smashing Pumpkins. Known for her trademark platinumblonde hair and rather laconic persona, D’arcy’s tenure with the Pumpkins lasted through 6 albums, before abruptly leaving in the midst of recording for “Machina/The Machines of God” to reportedly pursue an acting career. Pre-Pumpkins Born and raised in Michigan, D’arcy grew up in a brood of 3 girls (the older sister is Kelly, while the younger sister is Molly). Their […]

Pumpkins of the Past – Ginger Pooley


Article by Shaharaine P. Abdullah Let’s move this series forward with Ginger Pooley (birthdate: April 22, 1977) Ginger A. Pooley (formerly known as Ginger Reyes or by her stage name Ginger Sling) is the bassist for California pop punk band Halo Friendlies and more widely-known for her brief stint as the touring bassist who replaced Melissa Auf der Maur in The Smashing Pumpkins. Pre-Pumpkins Ginger was born in Chicago, Illinois and hails from Peruvian ancestry. She has been writing and playing songs since freshman high school and was in a Christian ska band in La Crescenta, California called the Israelites. […]

Pumpkins of the Past – Matt Walker


Article by Shaharaine P. Abdullah We continue the former Smashing Pumpkins band members series with Matt Walker (birthdate: May 21*, birth name Matt Snyder*)  Matt Walker is an American musician, composer and producer, best known for his stints as a drummer for The Smashing Pumpkins, Filter and Morrissey. * The year of birth of Matt Walker, and the reason for changing his last name from Snyder to Walker, is unknown at the moment. As far as we know this information has not been made public until now. Pre-Pumpkins In the mid-1980s, Matt began his career by playing drums for a range of Chicago bands […]

Pumpkins of the Past – Jimmy Chamberlin


Article by Shaharaine P. Abdullah (D’arcy Wretzky, James Iha, Billy Corgan & Jimmy Chamberlin) In a culture that rewards sentimentalism, most bands with The Smashing Pumpkins’ illustrious history would be content to churn out old hits, but the choice to remain relevant in the music industry without sacrificing artistry is a noble undertaking continually pursued by the Pumpkins with Billy Corgan at the helm. (Melissa Auf der Maur, James Iha, Billy Corgan & Jimmy Chamberlin) While The Smashing Pumpkins’ intermittent line-ups over the years have divided fans and critics alike (which is the better album, the better guitarist/bassist/drummer, etc.), no one […]

Coat of Eyes – An Interview with Greg Bates


Article by Geo Folkers Before The Marked or Smashing Pumpkins were conceived, Greg Bates co-founded Coat of Eyes with Billy Corgan. Not much is known of this band, but at least one full cassette tape of music was recorded (see pictures below). Last week, Greg and Billy reunited forces at the opening of Billy’s new Tea House in Highland Park, IL, called Madame ZuZu’s. They played Smashing Pumpkins’, Today. I had a chance to sit down with Greg and ask him a few questions about the band that very few people know about. Here’s what he had to say. 1. How […]

Billy Corgan contributes to OOOM project of Auf Der Maur


Update by Arthur van Pelt Melissa Auf Der Maur, who just released her multimedia project OOOM (Out Of Our Minds) a few days ago, reveals in an interview today with the Toronto Sun that Billy Corgan also contributed to her project. “Left off the record is a collaboration with Billy Corgan, with whom Auf der Maur played bass in the ’90s band Smashing Pumpkins.”

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