The Smashing Pumpkins leader Billy Corgan is working on collating a box set dedicated to the complete works of his millennium era alt. rock supergroup Zwan.
Featuring Corgan, David Pajo (Slint), Matt Sweeney (Chavez), Paz Lenchatin (A Perfect Circle, now Pixies) and Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, Zwan recorded just one album, Mary Star of the Sea, before splitting up acrimoniously. Speaking to the Chicago Tribune in 2005, Corgan said, "The music wasn't the big problem, it was more their attitude... Sex acts between band members in public. People carrying drugs across borders. Pajo sleeping with the producer's girlfriend while we were making the record."
But in a new interview with Rolling Stone, Corgan reveals that we'll be hearing a lot more from the posthumous supergroup, including 65 unreleased songs.
"I’m working on the box as we speak," says Corgan. "I’m very excited because honestly, I personally think the best Zwan music didn’t get released — the acoustic side of the band, which is really what we should have done, and not tried to do an alternative pop record. That would’ve been the stronger effort, I think, and a more timeless thing."
Told that Zwan's sole record has received some positive critical reappraisal, Corgan replies "That's nice to hear" and says, "I’m glad to see that people have reappraised some of the music, because it is strong. In many ways, it’s like the great lost Pumpkins record. The quick backstory on it was when things started to go south in the band when we were making the record, Jimmy and I just took the record over and basically turned it into a Pumpkins record, because I felt the shadow of the record company over me."
"I thought it was a good record at the time," Corgan adds. "We really didn’t have good record company support, and that’s the true story of the business side of that band. The personal stuff, I put that on me. I tried to recreate the family dynamic of the Pumpkins with different people, and when it didn’t work, no one was more shocked than me. When you get out of a long-term relationship and you have the rebound relationship, that one doesn’t last long because you basically invited in the same problem."
Last month Smashing Pumpkins released the single Spellbinding as a taster for the third part of their epic Atum album, which is due for release on May 5. They also announced their The World Is A Vampire US tour.
The 26-date run will see the alt rockers travel across North America, with the first show taking place on July 28 in Las Vegas. They'll also make stops in Salt Lake City, Mountain View, Charlotte, Toronto and more before finishing up on September 9 in Noblesville, Indiana.
Joining the Smashing Pumpkins on the road on various dates will be special guests Interpol, Stone Temple Pilots and Rival Sons.