Smashing Pumpkins: New 19-Year-Old Drummer

The Smashing Pumpkins Welcome New Drummer, 19-Year-Old Mike Byrne

Mike Byrne by Kristin Burns
Billy Corgan has announced that Mike Byrne has replaced Jimmy Chamberlin as the Smashing Pumpkins official drummer. The 19-year-old Portland, OR native will make his debut with the band on the Pumpkins' next album and tour. Corgan is the only founding member still with the Pumpkins

Byrne heard about the Pumpkins' open call for a new drummer on the internet this past April and submitted his materials. Byrne was immediately called to attend an audition in Los Angeles, where Corgan liked what he heard. "We didn't actually play songs at the audition," Byrne said. "We just kind of jammed for about 15 minutes and then talked about Fugazi for the other 15 or so minutes."

Byrne cites post rock bands like Mogwai, Maserati and Maps and Atlases as influences on his drumming in addition to the Pumpkins.

Asked about how he feels his young age plays into the new music the Pumpkins are creating, Byrne said, "I've always thought that Billy's interpretation of music was a real fresh one and that because the band was so rooted in the idea of kind of being like a musical shape-shifter, I feel that honestly it would work just perfectly."

Byrne will join Corgan at six solo Southern California small club dates August 26-31 with special guests Spirits in the Sky - the band Corgan assembled to play at a tribute show in Los Angeles in July for late Seeds frontman Sky Saxon. Spirits in the Sky includes Mark Tulin of The Electric Prunes and Kerry Brown of Catherine and the Ancient Chinese Secrets.

Corgan's shows with Spirits In The Sky are as follows:
08/26/09 Wed Tazzaria Visalia, CA
08/27/09 Thu Muddy Waters Santa Barbara, CA
08/29/09 Sat Pappy and Harriets Pioneertown, CA
08/30/09 Sun Che Cafe La Jolla, CA
08/31/09 Mon The Hotel Cafe Los Angeles, CA

[Published on: 8/18/09]

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