Last year, the former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha rejoined his old band onstage in Los Angeles. It was his first time playing with Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan in 16 years, and since the two didn’t exactly have the best split, it was a nice surprise. It also led to all sorts of speculation that we’d be getting a classic-lineup Smashing Pumpkins reunion. While that hasn’t yet happened, Iha and Corgan are, it turns out, working together. Corgan says that Iha plays guitar on two of his new songs. It’s their first time recording together since the Smashing Pumpkins’ 2000 album Machina II/The Friends & Enemies of Modern Music.
Corgan’s new Rick Rubin-produced solo album Ogilala, released under the name William Patrick Corgan, is coming out next month, and we’ve posted first single “Aeronaut.” And in a new Rolling Stone interview, Corgan says that Iha plays guitar on the album track “The Processional,” as well as on another track that didn’t make it onto the album: “I sent him some [songs] and said to him, ‘I feel like this is right up your alley’ as far as the kind of music he likes to work on. He picked out two songs, though one will likely be a B-side.”
And Corgan claims that he’s still on good terms with former bassist D’Arcy Wretzky, with whom he reconciled last year: “I talk to D’arcy all the time. We reconnected, I guess, about a year and half ago. We talk really regularly. I’m really happy to have her back in my life.”
Corgan also says that album opener “Zowie” is a tribute to David Bowie: “It was written around the time that David had passed and I was thinking about him a lot. I was lucky that I got to work with him a little bit. I was really struck by his passing. You almost have to take a step back and be like, ‘OK, that’s the end of a journey. What does it mean? How do we evaluate this artist now that there’s no more?’ It sort of closes the circle.”