With a major Smashing Pumpkins announcement due at 12 noon ET on Thursday (February 15), there’s still all kinds of speculation about who will play bass for this reunion/album/whatever.
The current speculation is that Billy Corgan will move over to bass and let touring guitarist Jeff Shroeder take over his bits. But there are longtime fans (me included) that are disappointed that a woman is not included in the lineup.
Original bassist D’Arcy Wretzky now claims that she WAS asked to participate but that Billy rescinded the invitation. She’s sharing text messages that she says she exchanged with Billy.
Initially, Billy said that only he and Jimmy Chamberlin were working together and that James Iah “isn’t here, either.” But as later Instagram pictures showed, Iha was in the studio, perhaps for as long as a week.
D’Arcy had this to say in a new interview with Blast Echo:
D’arcy said she told that the plan had been to record only one new song with Rick Rubin with all of the original members in January, but unbeknownst to her, the plan changed. She only found out about the recording sessions the same way the rest of the world did: Instagram.
According to D’arcy, Corgan reached out to her through texts trying to explain her exclusion and assuage any worries she might have had after having seen the photo of all her bandmates in an L.A. studio together.
Once Corgan went public, he texted her “as far as you not being involved, there was never any decision to shut you out, or make you not welcome. It’s more about getting on the same page with [the] tour first and then the necessity of the song came up.” He further added, “so focus on [the] tour and I think we can find the right way to have you involved. I know speaking with Jimmy, he wants you involved so that the tour is the best thing we can all give the fans and build for the future.”
According to D’arcy, they both spoke many times about their shared desire to “be a band again and to do it right this time and have fun with it in a relaxed environment.” Neither wanted to do a typical “reunion tour.” D’arcy says Corgan told her that Iha and Chamberlin had no desire to record a full album, so they would instead record one new song and then tour the following summer.
Expanding on a previous statement D’arcy made to BlastEcho, D’arcy said that Corgan initially made a contract offer to her, Iha and Chamberlin, which was agreed upon by all parties. However, a month later D’arcy says Billy told her “well, that wasn’t a real offer.” It’s unclear whether or not the initial offer remains for Iha and Chamberlin, although D’arcy is under the impression it is.
An explanation as to why the offer was rescinded, too, remains unclear. Cryptically, she said she has an inkling but “that is a whole other can of worms and a big, ugly one! Another time.”
Oh, dear. This isn’t very good PR, is it? You might want to trawl through the rest of D’Arcy’s Facebook page for more clues about what’s actually going on.
The Smashing Pumpkins have issued a statement saying that this just isn’t the case. Variety quotes the press release.
In reuniting The Smashing Pumpkins, the band’s dedication remains to its fans and its music,” read the statement issued by BB Gun Press. “To that, James Iha, Jimmy Chamberlin, and William Corgan haven’t played a show with D’arcy Wretzky for over 18 years. But it’s not for a lack of trying. For despite reports, Ms. Wretzky has repeatedly been invited out to play with the group, participate in demo sessions, or at the very least, meet face-to-face, and in each and every instance she always deferred. We wish her all the best, and look forward to reconnecting with you all very soon.
Huh. Who to believe?