Jimmy Chamberlin talks re-joining Smashing Pumpkins

Jimmy Chamberlain and Billy Corgan in 2008
Jimmy Chamberlain and Billy Corgan in 2008 (Image credit: Fred Prouser/Corbis)

Jimmy Chamberlin is back in Smashing Pumpkins and the drum hero spoke to Rhythm earlier today to fill us in on his unexpected return.

Earlier this week Billy Corgan announced that Chamberlin would be re-joining the band with whom he recorded classic records like Siamese Dream for their summer co-headlining tour with Marilyn Manson.

The Pumpkins have been Chamberlin-less since 2009, during which time Mike Byrne, Brad Wilk and Tommy Lee have been among those to fill the gap behind the kit.

On getting the offer from Corgan, the drummer told us: "He found himself in the position of just not having a drummer for the tour and he wanted to play the set that we're going to play so he just reached out on email and said before he goes looking for someone to play those songs, which is obviously a long task, was there any way I could go out for this tour."

Chamberlin, who recently finished up work on a new Jimmy Chamberlin Complex record, is currently the CEO of tech company LiveOne but has managed to create some room in his schedule to enable him to head out on the tour, with rehearsals due to start early next week. The dates will see Chamberlin take his birch Sakae Almighty kit out on the road.

"Sakae had made all of my drum kits for many years while I was with Yamaha," he says of his switch from DW to Sakae. "So for me it felt like coming home. The tones, craftsmanship and the sound are all so familiar to me, they're a huge part of my identity so it makes it much easier for me to play. Those drums have always been the best drums in the world."

And of course we couldn't let him go without asking Jimmy if there's the merest chance that his stay with the Pumpkins will extend beyond this summer.

"My priority remains my company, this is just a way to come and celebrate the music at a time when the stars have come into alignment. Beyond that, who knows."

For much more from Jimmy look out for the Summer issue of Rhythm.

Rich Chamberlain

Rich is a teacher, one time Rhythm staff writer and experienced freelance journalist who has interviewed countless revered musicians, engineers, producers and stars for the our world-leading music making portfolio, including such titles as Rhythm, Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, and MusicRadar. His victims include such luminaries as Ice T, Mark Guilani and Jamie Oliver (the drumming one).