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Ayers Effect: Nothing Mellon Collie This Time Around

October 12, 2011

A Column by Kelson Ayers

Let me start off by saying that The Smashing Pumpkins will without a doubt go down as one of my favorite bands from the 1990s. They are the sole reason I started listening to alternative music.

That being said, I am nervous.

The band has just started their first leg of a U.S. tour consisting of 12 shows, before shooting overseas to Europe for another dozen, all leading up to the new album, Oceania, set to be released next month. The band is preparing for a long year of touring in 2012.

The band now consists of four of the original seven members from the original lineup, created in 1988 . Billy Corgan as we all know, is still the front man and the drive behind the sound. The Smashing Pumpkins produced a fresh goth rock/psychedelic sound that quickly pushed them into recognition after their 1993 album Siamese Dream pushed them to the top of the Billboard charts. The group would follow up in 1995 with my personal favorite, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, including their most popular tracks, “1979” and “Bullet with Butterfly Wings.”

The band from the start, no matter how talented, always had issues. Whether it be Corgan’s portrayal as a tyrant of music, because of his suicide vibrations, or to not being the next Nirvana or Pearl Jam. The bands members continued to struggle with their differences and drug problems until Corgan finally announced the band’s break up in 2000. Their last album, Manchia II, was released later that year and has since been certified Gold. After the break up, Corgan dabbled in several music projects, Zwan being the most popular of the groups. The truth would unfold years later, as Corgan entailed, “I think my heart was in Smashing Pumpkins […] I think it was naive of me to think that I could find something that would mean as much to me.”

The band reformed for performances in 2007 reassuring that it was not a ‘reunion’ and that they would be pushing forward. In May 2007, the newly formed Pumpkins released their first studio album since 2000 entitled Zeitgeist, which received mixed reviews. Corgan would later say “I know a lot of our fans are puzzled by Zeitgeist. I think they wanted this massive, grandiose work, but you don’t just roll out of bed after seven years without a functioning band and go back to doing that.”

As we approach the coming month I await the new album which will be anticipated by countless fans worldwide. We must remember, as Pumpkin Heads, that we have always (not always willingly) put our faith in Billy Corgan’s decisions in which way the band’s sound would evolve. I believe that we are headed to a new neighborhood and with new beginnings come anxiety.

The 90s are over, but I for one am excited what the new decade has done for this band. October is only around a bit longer and what better time to get excited for the Smashing Pumpkins. Look out for tour dates and the new album soon!!!

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