DUTCH TV guide

(Translated and transcribed by an unknown - posted here as is)

Foreman Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins has a nightmare that keeps him awake pretty often, so told he once in a interview. He is standing on a enormous stage in front of an incredible audiance. Nobody is listening to the band, everyone is chatting. Billy want so say something in the mic, but it fals down on the floor.

De band is still tuning their intruments en Billy thinks they're not done yet. Hij turns back to his guitar, but the neck appears to be from rubber. De snares break. De amplifier doesn't give a sound.

Not a headbreaking nightmare, but it is illustrative for the seriousness with which Corgan brings his music. Because the nightmare may be rather tame, but the music the Smashing Pumpkins bring is the reverse.

Whoever listens to the Pumpkins joins a trip through the frightening world which has unceremoniously been turned into music by Corgan. No thoughtfull songs about love or unanswered desires, but breathtaking tirades and sky high dreams.

Now does a rockband just create music and is it dissuadable from interpreting too much hinein, but Corgan makes the temptation rather big. As a little boy he was dumped with a foster family along with his brother and it can be said that this happening has had a great influence on his later music. Frustration, sadness, fear and misery; life is no fun for the young Billy. If he buys a guitar from his anniversary savings one day, he gets so affected by it that he takes the intrument with him wherever he goes.

At the end of the eighties Corgan lives with his dad in Chicago again, and works there in a second-hand plantstore. His friend James Iha visits him pretty often and all kinds of music is being listened to and being discussed. They both share a predilection for old English hardrock bands and they decide to found a band: The Smashing Pumpkins. Corgan playing bass, Iha on the guitar and a drummachine to play the beats. Their first show at a Polish bar with music they called 'gloomy art rock', was received with no apprehension, but Corgan and Iha just kept the rehearsals going.

As Corgan hears a girl recommend a band in the street he personnaly hates, he starts a discussion with her. As she tells him she plays the guitar, Corgan immediately invites her for an audition.

D'arcy becomes a member of the group as a bassist. The trio draws the attention of a club owner who invites them to do the support-act fot the famous Jane's addiction. The only condition is that the drum-machine must make place for a live drummer.

The choice is Jimmy Chamberlin, a drummer who had been into jazz since that time. It is one of the happiest moments in the history of the Pumpkins: Chamberlin supplies the force and rithm Corgan's compositions need.

From the beginning they do well: their first single 'I am the one' draws the attention, they sign a record contract, and in 1991 their first album Gish appears. The critics find it hard to define the Pumpkins-sound. Most typical are the gitarplays tumbling over eachother, the bumbping drum and bass, and Corgans high voice which barely comes out above all sound. But not all is that loud: also the easy songs are clearly recognizable as Pumpkins songs by Chamberlin's rithms, the smooth guitarplays, and Corgans compelling voice.

The 'Gish' year is also the year of Nirvana's Nevermind. And though the Pumpkins aren't grunge, they floot along the alternative-guitar hype that has been started in the States and end in an endless tour. The succes and the shows are tough. D'arcy and Iha end their romance, Chamberlin drinks and uses, and Corgan doubts his artistic skills. Above all the first critics start calling the Pumpkins a bunch of bores. Don't knowing what to do the band enters the studio to work on a new album.

Because the co-operation still isn't what it has to be, and the way the songs are made takes a lot of work, does Corgan most of the work. Not only he writes all song by himself, he also tapes nearly all bass- and guitar plays by himself. But when the soloproject 'Siamese Dream' in the summer of '93 is released, it has an impact like a bomb.

Surprising enough the band becomes one when playing live, in spite of Corgan's egocentrism. As topact of the Lollapalooza tour '94 the relation betweent the band members, becomes better. When coming back home, Corgan immediately wants to start working on a new album. First an album with B-sides and rarities is released, 'Pisces Iscariot', but most effort is being made to make the next album the best of all.

After the sprankling new of 'Gish' and the major success of 'Siamese Dream' must a double-CD prove the musical widthness of the band. In the studio all members take part in the recordings, and 28 numbers are chosen to form 'Mellon Collie & the Inifinite Saddness'. In the summer of '95 the CD is released.

The Pumpkins appear to have stretched their skills 'till the maximum. They play harder and softer songs as they have never done before. They use a piano and percussion of all sorts. In spite of the excess de album sounds light and relaxed. It truly is a masterpiece.

The way the Pumpkins will go on after Mellon Collie is not clear yet. Corgan would like to do studiowork only...

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