“Now felt like the right time to create some space and do something different”: Jeff Schroeder on his departure from Smashing Pumpkins
Former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist Jeff Schroeder has opened up about his recent departure from the band in an interview with Guitar World.
Schroeder, who left last month after 16 years with the alternative rock behemoths, explained at the time that he wanted to explore “a slightly different plan”, something that he’s expanded on in the interview.
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Schroeder says, “I joined the band during a major transition stage within the music industry. I don’t think that any of us realised what it would really be like out there. When I joined, the idea was the band was going to pick up and carry on what it started, or from where it left off. That would be making new music, doing tours focused on the new music and some of the stuff from the defining era.”
However, it wasn’t that easy, with drummer Jimmy Chamberlin – who rejoined again in 2015 – and bassist Ginger Pooley leaving in 2009 and 2010 respectively. Until Mike Byrne and Nicole Fiorentino replaced them, it was just Schroeder and frontman Billy Corgan left.
Come 2018, and Chamberlin and guitarist James Iha would both rejoin, giving the band a three-guitar lineup (Corgan, Schroeder, Iha) and stability for half a decade. As Schroeder says himself, “I got to play with top-level musicians like Billy Corgan, Jimmy Chamberlin, and James Iha. Situations like that are a gift.”
As for his departure from the band, he says that he thought about it for a long time, and that it wasn’t an easy decision to make. But after over 15 years, “Now felt like the right time to create some space and do something different.”
“And I don’t want to say that I wasn’t being challenged in the Smashing Pumpkins anymore,” he continues. “It’s more that I feel like it’s time for me to do something different artistically that is a bit different from what I’ve been doing.”
Before Schroeder joined the band, he was working on a doctorate in literature from UCLA, and he said he might go back to that. “I’d like to do some things that bridge the gap between literature and music,” he explains.
“But I’ve also been producing other bands, and I’ll continue to do that, along with some writing. That aside, for the most part, what I’m most interested in is beginning to do more solo guitar work. And what I mean by ‘solo’ is performing actually by myself and things like that.”
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