The Pumpkins opened for the Lemonheads for three dates in November. They closed out the year by playing a New Year's Eve show at the Cabaret Metro opening for My Life With Thrill Kill Kult.
Billy Corgan's side project "Starchildren" gave their first show on August 18th. Their motto: be repetitious for nuisance's sake.
The Pumpkins did a show on August 25th for the Midwest Music Conference, a series of gigs around town geared to showcase the area's premier bands for industry folk.
By September, Billy categorized the Pumpkin sound as "We've been called everything from neo-glam to hypnotic drone grunge." Billy cites '60s mega-rock bands like Cream, Black Sabbath, the Stooges, Blue Cheer, Led Zeppelin "your monsters of rock" as the band's influences.
The Pumpkins had covered numerous songs up to this point. They include: Steppenwolf's "Sookie Sookie" and a "pretty nasty" version of Blue Oyster Cult's "Godzilla." The band also covered Ozark Mountain Daredevils' "Jackie Blue" for an upcoming tribute album.
Tristessa 7" and 12" vinyl was released in December on Seattle's Sub Pop and Sub Pop UK respectively. B-sides included "La Dolly Vita" and "Honeyspider." The 7" was a part of the Sub Pop Singles Club series. The 12" was a Sub Pop UK release from Germany.
The band signed with Caroline, the New York based label in December. They plan to release their debut album in late March or April and booked dates to record with producer Butch Vig at Smart Studios in Madison, WI.
During the recording sessions, Billy and James received their first exposure to the Frogs. They saw a show in Madison, and thought, "This is going to be the worst show ever," after they saw the Frogs enter the stage with their silver wings and pink sailor suit. However, then they "were just standing there in shock. But then they rocked." It thus began a very long friendship with the Milwaukee band who have guest appeared on some releases and Jimmy the Frog was an essential on the MCIS tour later in '96-'97.
Also in December, Billy said that the album will be entitled Gish named in honor of American motion picture actress Lillian Gish, best known for her work in silent epics such as "The Wind." Billy once said, "When I was little, my grandmother used to tell me that one of the biggest things that ever happened was when Lillian Gish rode through town on a train. My grandmother lived in the middle of nowhere, so that was a big deal."
With Caroline, the Pumpkins hoped that it would be a springboard to a major-label deal next time around. Mark Williams later signed the band to Virgin Records.
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