I'm happy to report that the Oceania album is less than a week away from being fully completed. This has been a very long journey, arduous yet pleasant, and I'm very pleased with where we ended up on all fronts; musically, spiritually, personally. Making this record has been a real team effort, with not just the band putting in heavy contributions but also participation and advice from Kerry Brown, Kevin Dippold, Bjorn Thorsrud and many other people here that keep the old machines up and running. Some of these song ideas date back to those first demos from 2009 in California with Mark Tulin, but the bulk of this album was written in Sedona in the first few months of 2011. Sedona is a special place, particularly for self-reflection and healing, and is recommended for anyone who might be seeking a little bit more perspective on what matters most in life.
Rock and roll, despite my many protestations, is very important to me. Music has given me a wonderful opportunity in life, and I've tried to repay that debt in gratitude by working hard to honor what I see as a magical vocation. I'm blessed to be in this band right now with Nicole, Mike, and Jeff. When you hear the finished record you'll hear the love we put into this. Carrying on the legacy of The Smashing Pumpkins is not always an enviable task for all involved, but it is a grand, monstrous idea- a crazy 'why?' that I helped to foster and still battle with when I get lost. The current band members have helped me, through their patience and love of what The Smashing Pumpkins mean to them personally, and their friendship and loyalty to me, to find a deeper appreciation for what is still possibly under the old moniker. We are determined to have a future, or have nothing at all. As it should be.
Glad to see the launch of the Smashing Pumpkins Record Club (SPRC) finally come to fruition. It is a labor of love to try to organize all of these tapes, digging to find lost performances. There is mostly good news; for example we were finally able to locate the master mixes of Drown after months of seeking, being told repeatedly they could not be found. Thankfully, a person from the old label at EMI took it upon themselves to look one more time in their archives and found it, on a single DAT tape. 6 mixes of all, the 6th being an alternative ending to the song with a completely different guitar solo.
On the confusing side, it appears that the original tape that had a vocal demo version of both 'today' and 'tulips' might be lost forever. These versions are floating around, so it's frustrating to think either the tape is falsely labeled, lost, or misplaced. Thankfully we have other sources.
This is an exciting time for the world of SP: a new album, preparations for an American tour and a European tour, and the release this year of a newly mastered Gish and Siamese Dream from the original tapes with a disc of extras for each, as well as a dvd of live concert footage. I think over the next 3 years there will be approximately 17-20 albums worth of music released and re-issued, and that is if you don't count additional side releases we want to do of say a board tape of the band from 1992. Those types of items would be more limited edition offerings I'm guessing, which is why you want to be a member of the SPRC, because all members will be given an opportunity to say they want a limited edition piece before we decide the final number.
There is a lot more free music to come as well. We are happy to share stuff with you that provides little windows into the work process, so that like us you can catch those little moments of sunshine that added up to some pretty good music.
Lastly, I'm about 2/3rds of the way through my first draft of my spiritual memoir, 'God is Everywhere From Here to There'. I hope to finish the book by the spring of 2012, and it should come out by the end of next year. It is a lot more in depth than I would have originally guessed when I started, particularly about my musical life. Who knew their was so much drama to be rediscovered and uncovered?