Smashing Pumpkins have responded to claims made by former bassist D’Arcy Wretsky, accusing frontman Billy Corgan of manipulation and rescinding an offer to be part of the band’s upcoming rumored reunion. Last month, Corgan was pictured in the studio with original guitarist and drummer James Iha and Jimmy Chamberlin, and the word on the street is that the band is expected to announce a reunion album and tour this week.
Last month, Wretsky revealed that she would play no part in the reunion. "My apologies to all of Smashing Pumpkins fans out there who are excited about this oncoming reunion tour of the original members of the band. I know this is a huge disappointment for me, as well, but it’s not going to happen [with me],” she said in a text interview with Blast Echo, following which Corgan downplayed Wretsky’s past role and musical contributions to the band.
Wretzky, who was the regular bassist of Smashing Pumpkins from 1988–1999, has now claimed in a new interview that Corgan originally sent her a contract offer to be part of the expected reunion, before allegedly later saying that it “wasn’t a real offer”.
She also claimed that Corgan told her via text message that “there was never any decision to shut you out, or make you not welcome” and that he thought “we can find the right way to have you involved”.
However, according to Wretzky, Corgan also said that fellow original members Jimmy Chamberlin and James Iha were “with him” on the decision to reunite without her. “I am totally disgusted with James,” Wretzky said about this.
“He should be ashamed of himself.” When asked why Corgan might not want her as part of the upcoming reunion, Wretzky said: “that is a whole other can of worms and a big, ugly one”.
On Facebook, while sharing her interview with Blast Echo, Wretzky also reportedly told fans that “people might be getting sick and tired of being manipulated by Billy.” She added: “Billy’s ship … which keeps sinking every time he tries pulls this ship. I abandoned it in 1999 cause I knew it was sinking. He was beyond helping. His ego & insecurities spun out of control and I could no longer reel him in, which had been a very large part of my role for many years, but it was hopeless.”
The rest of the reunited band have since issued a statement, claiming that Wretsky was invited to be involved in the band’s return, but turned down the offer at every turn.
“In reuniting Smashing Pumpkins, the band’s dedication remains to its fans and its music,” the statement reads. “To that, James Iha, Jimmy Chamberlin and William Corgan haven’t played a show with D’arcy Wretzky for over 18 years. But it’s not for a lack of trying. For despite reports, 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. We wish her all the best, and look forward to reconnecting with you all very soon.”
Over the weekend, Smashing Pumpkins launched an online countdown on their website, teasing their upcoming re-union act. The band have also taken to Instagram, sharing more teaser videos, lyrics and images – including one of an ice cream truck in Chicago, reminescent of the one used in the video for ‘Today’.
The band's comeback album was supposedly completed last week. Studio photos showed that Iha, Corgan and longtime collaborator Jeff Schroeder were all playing guitar on the record. So all this leads to one inevitable question. Who in the world is on bass guitar for the new Smashing Pumpkins album? We don’t know yet but stay tuned to find out soon enough. According to NME, It is hoped that release details and tour dates will be revealed on Thursday.
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