Last month we brought you the sad news about Madina Lake bassist Matthew Leone. Since then, the music community has come together to show their support and now The Smashing Pumpkins have announced that they will perform a benefit concert next Tuesday, July 27 at Chicago’s Metro to raise money for medical care for Matthew.
If you missed the details about Matthew Leone, he was hospitalized with severe brain trauma after intervening to stop a woman he passed on the street from being beaten by her husband. Matthew had left twin brother Nathan’s Chicago apartment to meet a friend at a bar a few blocks away when he walked past the man beating his wife on the 1300th block of Ohio St. Even though the attacker was twice his size, Matthew immediately intervened and managed to subdue the attacker but as he waited for police to arrive, the attacker suddenly turned on Matthew, beating him severely. He then walked away with his wife, leaving Matthew unconscious on the street. Matthew was taken to UIC Hospital for emergency brain surgery wherein a third of his skull was removed to alleviate swelling. He’s currently in stable condition awaiting an additional brain surgery to reapply the removed portion of his skull. Alleged suspect Justin Pivec is currently charged with Aggravated Battery Causing Serious Bodily Harm and out on bail pending a forthcoming hearing. As a musician, Matthew spends most of his life on tour and unfortunately his medical insurance had lapsed just two months prior to the incident. Friends of the band and the Chicago music community are rallying to help provide for Matthew’s medical needs.
There will be a raffle for tickets for the benefit show. Individuals can enter the raffle as many times as they wish for $10 each entry. A majority of the venue will be sold to raffle winners. Each winner will receive two tickets to the concert. Tickets are not transferable and winners must show ID matching their raffle entry. Raffle tickets will be available for sale through Metro website only beginning Wednesday July 21 at noon at http://www.metrochicago.com. The raffle will end at 2pm on Saturday July 24, 2010, and winners will be notified via email at 5pm on Saturday July 24, 2010. http://www.metrochicago.com.
All proceeds from the raffle and concert will go to the Matthew Leone Fund at Sweet Relief. Sweet Relief Musicians Fund is a non profit 501(c)(3) organization provides financial assistance to all types of career musicians who are struggling to make ends meet while facing illness, disability, or age-related problems. For more information on Sweet Relief, visit http://www.sweetrelief.org.
There will also be a very limited amount of balcony VIP tickets put on sale for those fans who want to make a larger donation and ensure entry into this special event for $100 each. Balcony VIP tickets will go on sale Wednesday July 21 at noon.
Additionally, a limited amount of soundcheck VIP tickets will be available for $500 each. The soundcheck VIP event (approximately 30 minutes), set for the late afternoon, includes a meet and greet/photo with the Pumpkins and merchandise items, plus a seat at a table in the balcony for the show; this package is priced at $500 per person. Soundcheck VIP tickets will be available Wednesday July 21 at noon at
Please help sread the word!
The time is upon us yet again for a Smashing Pumpkins tour. Hard for me to believe as I write this that save for the one show at Amoeba Records a little while back on Record Day, the last Smashing Pumpkins tour ended in December of 2008. Time passes quickly, and perhaps you have noticed like many of my friends that time as an experience is indeed accelerating. Who knows if time is indeed quickening or if we are only experiencing the sensation of time slipping past us much more quickly?
So yes, time, always a big issue with me. Working away on my 9th album to date I have a much greater appreciation for the past where it matters, but also I suppose you could say I have a greater appreciation for the moment I am currently in. I cherish the opportunities to play more now than when I was young because I am conscious that it isn’t always in the stars to make things work the way you want them to.
When I walked off the stage after the last encore of the last show of what was a very contentious and intense SP 20th Anniversary tour in 2008, I wouldn’t have guessed forward the changes in my life that were to follow. But life happens, and shifts occur between relationships and in the culture that you can’t always anticipate. That is the beauty of life; you just never know for sure what will happen. Often you can say what won’t happen, but what will happen is usually a guess. We get older, our priorities change. Or if we are lucky, we are able to re-affirm a commitment to someone or something we love.
Making the choice to continue under the banner of The Smashing Pumpkins name has been an easy and happy decision for me. Making the choice to continue it alone, as the only original member, at least on the surface of it was a difficult decision because it wasn’t ever part of my original intention. If I got my dream the way I had wanted it from the beginning, no one would have left and no one would have died. My Mom would still be giving me guff on the phone, and my Grandma would still be watching the Cubs and the skies would be blue and not ash color gray. And in a dingy industrial space on the northwest side of Chicago 4 miscreants would still be making that massive wall of sound, arguing about stupid things but never about music. That of course is the great secret about the original SP: we never argued about music. But history is for those who write it, not those who actually go out and make it.
When we put together a new band for the release of the Zeitgeist album in 2006/2007, the goal was simple: find good musicians who could faithfully and respectfully help re-create the SP sound, and possibly take the band into the future. But it wasn’t an organic situation, because it was more about making the tour happen. Jeff and Ginger came on board as the album was being finished, and they did the best they could with what we gave them to work with. They didn’t officially join the band because there was no band by which to join. We all looked at it as playing together out of love and a shared purpose. Most people don’t know this but Jeff and Ginger were both big SP fans before we met them so they have a unique perspective and understanding with regards to the band’s legacy and the choices that we’ve made.
The Smashing Pumpkins of 2010 feature Jeff Schroeder on guitar, Nicole Fiorentino on bass, and Mike Byrne on drums. I must say I am really proud of this line-up of the group. It is the first time I have felt totally comfortable in a band situation since 1996, and that surprises me. I have no crystal ball of how long we will last together, but I hope we last for a very long time. We are doing each day what a band is supposed to do, which is make a new kind of music together.
I see this band coming together as it has as a sign that the past has been healed, and it is time to find new roads to travel. When music is played the right way to my heart, I see stars and fireworks. And this band gives me stars and rainbows and a big 4th of July. The time is coming right for us. I really feel that.
Joining us on the tour are Bad City and Kill Hannah, two excellent bands from my hometown of Chicago. Bad City play with the fire of early SP and somehow have managed to gene splice in 80′s hair metal. A superfresh take on the Rock. I really look forward to watching them play. Kill Hannah I have known now going on about 10 years, and this is our first chance to play together. They are certainly one of the pioneering bands of what is now a successful mix of glam, alternative rock, and electronic music. When I first saw them back in the day I didn’t totally understand, but now I see how ahead of their time they really were.
As of today, June 24th, 2010, the next Teargarden by Kaleidyscope song will be released on July 6th. Please spread the word and I encourage you to help by sending friends and family mp3s of the new SP songs, which are of course available to anyone on SP.com. So far I am very pleased with the reception to the music, and the people we have worked in conjunction with to get the music out have been fantastic. So thank you to all of them. While the rest of the world continues to engage in an outmoded and inherently negative way of releasing music, I am proud to release music in a holistic way. Free isn’t really free. But I have great faith in the power of my music, and the power of this band to reach anyone who is open to listen. Please know I am grateful to you for your love and support. See you on the tour!
Hmmm anyone looking for a bass or keys kig? With the news that bassist Ginger Pooley has left the band to raise her new baby with her husband, Billy Corgan has announced that he will look for a new bassist in the same manner as he found new drummer Mike Byrne last year: via an open audition process. Corgan also says that auditions will be held for a new keyboardist who is a fan of–and can play in the prog-rock style of–Jon Lord and Rick Wakeman.
Bassists and keyboardists looking to play with The Pumpkins should send their background info (including age, a resume of any bands/recorded work), photos and performance web links via email only, either to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Note: only musicians with video clips can be considered. Youtube.com type posts are perfect–that’s how Mike was found. Final date for submission is March 31st.
The Smashing Pumpkins will offer up a the third song, “A Stitch In Time,” from their in-progress 44-song project TEARGARDEN BY KALEIDYSCOPE, Tuesday, March 2 via the online audio platform SoundCloud (http://soundcloud.com/smashingpumpkins). “A Stitch In Time” will also be available for free download at www.smashingpumpkins.com and the site also offers a widget enabling fans to host the song anywhere on the web.
Billy Corgan is releasing the 44 songs of TEARGARDEN BY KALEIDYSCOPE one at a time, completely for free. “A Stitch In Time” will be included—along with the recently released tracks “A Song For A Son” and “Widow Make My Mind” plus one more song TBA—on a forthcoming four-song EP as a limited edition collectible.
The Smashing Pumpkins have announced plans for their new album “Teargarden By Kaleidyscope” to be offered online for free. But wait, there’s more. This isn’t your typical album, it’s going to be a collection of 44 songs based on the Tarot’s “The Fool’s Journey”.
Acording to Corgan the collection “harkens back to the original psychedelic roots of The Smashing Pumpkins; atmospheric, melodic, heavy, and pretty” and will be complete by early next year followed by a world tour.
Regarding the release Corgan had this to say:
“My desire is to release a song at a time beginning around Halloween of this year, with each new release coming shortly after until all 44 are out. Each song will be made available absolutely for free, to anyone anywhere. There will be no strings attached. Free will mean free, which means you won’t have to sign up for anything, give an email address, or jump through a hoop. You will be able to go and take the song or songs as you wish, as many times as you wish.”
On the album Corgan stated : ““is based on ‘The Fool’s Journey,’ as signified in the progress of the Tarot, the intention is to approach the work by breaking down the journey of life into four phases as made by different characters depicted in major arcana cards: the Child, the Fool, the Skeptic and the Mystic.”
For more info check out The Smashing Pumpkins Website
Smashing Pumpkins Billy Corgan has announced that Mike Byrne has joined the band as their new drummer. The 19-year-old Portland, OR native will make his debut with the band on the Pumpkins’ next album—about which a major announcement is expected in September–and tour. “I’m super excited to be playing with the band,” says Byrne. “Dream come true, man.”
Byrne–who’s played in such indie Portland bands as Moses, Smell The Roses and the Mercury Tree–heard about the Pumpkins’ open call for a new drummer on the Internet this past April and submitted his materials. Byrne was immediately called to attend an audition in Los Angeles, where Corgan liked what he heard—a lot. “We didn’t actually play songs at the audition,” says Byrne. “We just kind of jammed for about 15 minutes and then talked about Fugazi for the other 15 or so minutes.”
Playing drums since he was 11–“I think if you’re born a drummer, you know you’re going to be a drummer for your entire life”–Byrne formed his first band at 15, Mercury Tree, which played some shows in Portland. His influences include post rock bands like Mogwai, Maserati, and Maps and Atlases as well as the Pumpkins. “It was a really good time in my life to hear the Pumpkins music when I was 13. It just connected with me and it was sort of a window into something really different and eclectic. The band was a little bit more willing to take risks than a lot of the stuff I had been listening to. That was exciting and fresh to me. And then delving into a lot of it just definitely resonated on a creative level with me.” Byrne had the chance to see the Pumpkins two years ago when they performed on tour in the Portland area.
Asked about how he feels his young age plays into the new music the Pumpkins are creating, Byrne says: “I’ve always thought that Billy’s interpretation of music was a real fresh one,” adds Byrne, “and that because the band was so rooted in the idea of kind of being like a musical shape-shifter, I feel that honestly it would work just perfectly. It’s not so much that I have some fresh point of view that he’s not already investigating so much as every time they release something it’s sort of a new direction and so working with him is easy in that we’re not operating on any founded musical principals. We’re starting from scratch and just working our influences up into something totally different.”
Says Billy: ”Through the open audition process, I was astounded by how many great drummers there were that wanted the chance to try out for The Pumpkins. We counted over 1,000 submissions, and what made Mike stand out was he just seemed to have that X-factor that all the great drummers have, a stunning blend of power, speed, and grace. I’m excited to work with him moving forward–he truly deserves this opportunity. I believe in my heart he will push me to be a better musician.”
Byrne will join Billy at six solo Southern California small club dates August 26-31 with special guests Spirits in the Sky–the band Billy assembled to play at a tribute show in Los Angeles at the Echoplex in July for late Seeds frontman Sky Saxon. Spirits in the Sky includes Mark Tulin of The Electric Prunes and Kerry Brown of Catherine and the Ancient Chinese Secrets.
For the latest info visit The Smashing Pumpkins Website