In the space of a few months, Smashing Pumpkins have lost their touring keyboardist player to a fatal drug overdose, fired their drummer and returned to the road with a pair of hired-gun replacements. And in the midst of it all, they've also found the time to grab a sack-full of MTV Video Music Awards. No wonder guitarist and band co-founder James Iha groans,"I need a vacation."
So, apparently, does the Pumpkins' sound. Since the release of their smash double CD Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (Virgin), Iha and bandmates Billy Corgan and bassist D'Arcy have expressed a desire to shake their music up a little.
According to Iha, it's not idle chatter.
"Seeing the way rock music has changed over the last couple of years, it seems kind of dull to be playing guitars," he says. "There are way too many lame alternative rock bands these days. Why be a part of it?"
So what will the next Pumpkins album sound like? That's anybody's guess, but Iha says the group is taking a lead from Europe, where "rock music is passe" and the cutting edge can be heard in dance clubs and at ecstasy-fueled raves.
"The kids over there want to dance or have rave music-something more progressive. You can really see it," he says. "The future is in electronic music. It really seems boring just to play rock music."
Iha's ravings notwithstanding, don't expect the Pumpkins to completely abandon rock and roll or the supergroup status they've attained. "I'm not saying we're gonna do dance music," says Iha. "There's no point in us making an instrumental rave record; there are people who do that a lot better.
"The trick is incorporating a lot of these electronic things into a coherent song. We're always into songs, whether they're rap or techno or country."
"Maybe," he adds with a straight face, "we'll do an all-acoustic album."
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