In December, our T. Cole Rachel discussed the current state of the Smashing Pumpkins with none other than Billy Corgan, who gave Cole a few notes on what to expect from that outfit’s new album, Oceania:
STEREOGUM: I was just curious how the record — Oceania — came together and were the songs that are ultimately on that record also songs that were part of Teargarden or are they separate songs?
CORGAN: Almost all new. There were a few songs that were from the original demos that had been sort of overlooked, that I went back and kind of re — the basic story was that we’d gone to Sedona at the beginning of this year to quote unquote “write the record,” and it kind of wasn’t going where we wanted it to go, but we were really confused because everybody in the band is very capable and we get along and we like working together, so we were trying to come up with the record and we could feel it there but we couldn’t locate it, it wasn’t clicking. So I had this moment where I really needed to think about this, so I say let’s take a break. And everybody went home. We’re in Sedona, Arizona, and about a week after that, everybody went home, and I was still there, working on my book. Mark Tulin, our friend and bassist from the Electric Prunes, died suddenly of a heart attack on Catalina –- he was doing a beach cleanup and just collapsed at 62 and just died -– so a week after we had parted as a band we were all back together for Mark’s funeral. It really, really shook me up and I can’t explain why. I mean he was a close friend, but it shook me up in a way I just couldn’t explain and something about it just led to this weird journey of like “OK I’m gonna go back and listen to all the work I did with Mark at the beginning of this process with Teargarden and then reexamine all this stuff that we’ve done recently.” And it took me on this weird journey of “What am I doing?” and “Why am I even bothering anymore?” and I had this kind of weird epiphany where I realized that some part of me was disengaged. And in a weird kind of way to honor Mark I thought, “I’m not gonna run away from that part of myself anymore. I’m actually gonna go there.” And that opened me up and a lot of the songs were figured out in the next six weeks. And we started convening in Chicago in April. And then worked about five and a half months straight, and the band would come and go at various times depending on who needed to do what. And that’s it.
Today, that record got a summer release date and a track listing, which you can check out below.
02 “Stella P And The People Mover”
04 “The Celestials”
05 “Violet Rays”
06 “My Love Is Winter”
07 “One Diamond, One Heart”
10 “Pale Horse”
11 “The Chimera”
Oceania is out 6/18 on EMI.