Tastemaker: Corgan announces breakup of Zwan

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Kou Thao

Since 2001, Billy Corgan has tamed his post-Smashing Pumpkins musical appetite via a series of collaborations and through his new band, Zwan.

While this has been rather fulfilling to Pumpkins fans, many of us still are getting over the heartbreak of losing one of the greatest rock bands ever.

Much to our chagrin, Corgan has broken our hearts once again.

On Monday, Corgan announced on Chicago’s WGN-TV the dissolution of Zwan.

There has always been some suspicion that something was wrong in the Zwan camp when the news was released that the band had canceled its world tour this summer.

Things got worse when Paz Lenchantin, the bassist, quit to join Zwan guitarist David Pajo’s primary band, Papa M. This led folks to further believe that Pajo had decided to evacuate.

And yet, it was not universally agreed upon that Zwan was done. The three core members remained, and quite frankly, one can always find a new third guitarist and a new bassist.

After a few months of relatively no news about the band, Billy went on WGN to push his upcoming poetry reading, then he casually referenced that Zwan disbanded some time ago.

Thanks for telling us, Billy.

He went on to say his heart belonged to the Smashing Pumpkins and he questioned the loyalty of those in Zwan.

When asked if he’d start another band, he answered that he is 36 years old and ready for a solo career.

He has always, in theory, been ready for a solo career. His aging person has little to do with it.

Even back when the Pumpkins were in the studio recording “Siamese Dream,” Corgan recorded all of the instruments, except for the drum part, which was covered by Jimmy Chamberlin, who was also Zwan’s drummer.

On subsequent albums Corgan commonly played the bass parts because of bassist D’arcy Wretzky-Brown’s inability to do so with any dexterity.

It’s no doubt that when Corgan proclaims he likes the security of a band, he means he likes the comfort and security of a group of subservient individuals who happen to be able to play instruments.

I am sure the prolific members of Zwan, who all have their own plaques on the indie music hall of fame, were quite autonomous musically and were not in any mood to mess around with catering to Corgan’s every desire.

It’s fascinating, then, that Corgan has finally realized that in order for him to make a successful album, all he needs is the drumming of Chamberlin.

No longer will he have to endure the whining of band members demanding equal say in the composition of songs; he can focus on pumping out more spectacular music.

Now that’s something in which I find comfort.

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