You may have heard that the Smashing Pumpkins are launching a three-quarters reunion tour this summer by bringing James Iha back into the layered-guitar fold. What you’re now finally able to hear is the first new music from singer/songwriter/guitarist/guru Billy Corgan, Iha, and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin in 18 years.
Back in February, Corgan revealed that the band was in the studio recording eight new songs, with producer Rick Rubin at the helm and longtime guitarist Jeff Schroeder also in the mix. On Friday at midnight, the Pumpkins released the first of those songs, “Solara,” a determined rocker with a Zeitgeist-feel to it. As Corgan sings in the chorus, “Tear down the sun/break down the sun/I’m not everyone.”
The Shiny and Oh So Bright Tour will offer up a set list culled from the alt-rockers’ seminal ’90s albums (including Gish, Siamese Dream, and Mellon Collie and The Infinite Sadness), running up through 2000’s Machina albums. Iha reunited onstage with Corgan and Chamberlin for the first time in 16 years at a few concerts in 2016, but hopes of a full reunion of the original lineup were dashed earlier this year when D’Arcy Wretzky claimed that Corgan had shut her out of the recording process and much of the reunion. The band responded in a statement, noting that “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.”
The Pumpkins’ tour begins July 12 in Glendale, Arizona and wraps up Sept. 7 in Boise, Idaho.