Thursday, 17 December 2009

Jimmy Chamberlin Pictures

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From the drum clinic at S.E.E Music available here

Also a couple of new vids have popped up here... this one here

Has soundboard audio... fingers crossed they'll release a full version.

Sunday, 6 December 2009


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So, to date we know Mike Reina, Anthony Pirog and Roy Thomas Baker are involved thus far. Sounds promising to me judging by their respective works. I wonder if there'll be more to come?

I've added a couple of audio rips of the new This demo from the Big Beat and Clinic events in the download section if anyone wants them.

Until there's some more news, here's Jimmy demonstrating the drums to 'PSA' (Psycho Sonic Anomaly) by The Jimmy Chamberlin Complex at the SEE Drum Clinic.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Jimmy Chamberlin's New Band - This

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Former Pumpkin beats out a smashing clinic

He's played stadiums, won a Grammy, sold millions of CDs and toured the world.

And yet Jimmy Chamberlin, former drummer for the 1990s alternative rock band Smashing Pumpkins, was anxious before giving a free drum clinic for 200 fans Thursday at SSE Music.

"I'm used to three other people up there with me," Chamberlin said. "It's different on my own."

The evening was a mix of music and motivation. Chamberlin talked about drumming and played songs from his solo project, the Jimmy Chamberlin Complex, and his newest band, This.

But Chamberlin went beyond the music, encouraging people to follow their passion.

"Anything you do, make sure you can be happy doing it," Chamberlin said.

Drumming always has made Chamberlin happy, something he's done for 37 years. His idea of success, he said, isn't selling millions of records.

"I've seen people walk off the stage of stadiums miserable, and I've seen people playing smoky clubs who are lighting up the room with joy," Chamberlin said. "Fame and fortune doesn't equal happiness."

Chamberlin has followed his own advice - he left the latest incarnation of the Smashing Pumpkins last March.

"For me, I felt like I needed to be more than a drummer," Chamberlin said. "I didn't feel like I had enough ownership. It's better sometimes to say ‘It's time to do my own thing.'"

That's where This, his latest band comes in. He describes the music as "progressive, symphonic pop," and said the band plans to hit the studio in January. It has challenged him musically and given him more freedom - things he finds essential for happiness.

"You need to find your own idea of what success looks like to you," Chamberlin said. "It all has to do with formulating a clear vision."

SSE Music usually has a drum clinic once a year, said owner Steve Earp.

"It's become a tradition," Earp said. "This is probably our largest one. It's our way of giving people an opportunity to see and hear a national artist."

Drummers Chris Paquette, 18, and Aaron Frost, 20, liked that Chamberlin talked about more than music.
"You usually just hear about technique," Paquette said. "I liked what he had to say about finding what you love, even if it isn't music."

"He took it beyond that level," Frost said. "He seems to really have a passion for it."

Jimmy Chamberlin Drum Clinic - 03 December 2009

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From the afore mentioned clinic at SSE Music.

I'm not sure if these are in the right order:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6 - includes playing around with ideas on a new demo! :) Which turns out is the same song played at the Big Beat Clinic

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9


Big Beat 2009 - Jimmy Chamberlin Videos

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Owed to Darryl > JCC



Friday, 13 November 2009

Buy A Jimmy Chamberlin Signature Snare - Played by Jimmy!

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(more to follow, but i got to get to work)

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Jimmy Chamberlin Drum Set Up and a Zildjian on Tour round up.

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As I was doing some research for Jimmy Chamberlin's drum set up over the years, I stumbled across this report, which goes way back to our first post and the report on the 'Zildjian on Tour' events;

Unlike the Zildjian merchandise, which was marked down 60 percent from list price for the event, Chamberlin’s advice was 100 percent free for visitors.
You've got to wake up every morning with a pen in hand and take the time to write” Chamberlin said. “The essence of writing is to be a core human being; whether it's Emily Dickenson or Kirk Cobain, there's something that resonates in all of it.
not sure what being 'a core human being' is exactly,  but it doesn't include blogging...

Also has updated their blog with a couple of photos and the like. 
Cascio Music, New Berlin, WI, Sept 12

Marshall Music, Lansing, MI, Sept 10

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Another Drum Clinic With Jimmy Chamberlin - 3rd December!

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Date: Thursday, 03 December 2009
Time: 18:30 - 22:00
Location: SSE Music - doors open at 6:30; clinic starts at 7:00!
Street: 2609 George Street
Town/City: La Crosse, WI
Famed rock drummer Jimmy Chamberlin (of Smashing Pumpkins, Zwan, and solo projects) will be holding a FREE drum clinic at our store on Thursday, December 3rd! Come in to be entertained and educated, meet Jimmy, enter drawings for door prizes, get the chance to buy one-of-a-kind prototype Zildjian cymbals, and much more!

There will be limited seating, so be sure to get here early!

Sponsored by Yamaha Drums, Zildjian, Vic Firth, and Remo.

(Sorry i didn't see this before.)

Monday, 2 November 2009

The Big Beat 2009

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Looks like fun...
No footage or info from Jimmy's appearance at the event has surfaced yet.
But I'll post it here if / when it does.

Update 04/11/09 > Still nothing on YOUTUBE

Friday, 30 October 2009

Jimmy Chamberlin Hints at New Band in Radio Interview

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For those of you who missed the afore mentioned JC radio interview on WPGU 107.1 - 'True Alternative' - you can download and listen to it here, thanks for the recording Redbull, over on Netohria. 

OK. So Jimmy was in the main promoting the Big Beat charity event. But with regards to new music; No mention of Jon Brion or the Starlight Orchestra. However, he said that he's been working on a new, as yet untitled, band with Mike Rayner (sic?) ED. Reina (cheers HU) and they have around 12-15 songs. Hopefully they'll be recording in January and releasing something in March. However, don't expect him to be blogging, creating a website or promoting anything before the music is complete... "Trying to sustain something that doesn't really have a foothold yet gets really tedious... i'm not into talking about how great something will be when it comes out...".

He also says as a huge music fan (paraphrasing) he 'doesn't have enough time to listen to ten songs from an [album], let alone sit around and listen to people bitch about people not listening to albums any more... it seems kind of silly'.

Check out a couple of Mike's other bands here: Phaser and The Jackfields. This makes me excited.

Listen to the interview:

Wednesday, 28 October 2009


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The Largest Multi-City Drumming Benefit Event... featuring

A DRUM CLINIC from Jimmy Chamberlin of Smashing Pumpkins!!!

A day of drums, drumming, and drummers' drum kits. Register early as space is limited! Bring your drum kit as we try to beat last year’s drum-along record! Over $16,000 in donated prizes and raffles. Entry Fee: $25.00 VIP, general admission $10.00. Drum clinic ONLY entry fee $10.00. Goody bag worth $50.00 to all participants in The Big Beat.

Clinic with Jimmy Chamberlin @ 2:00pm
Worldwide multi-city drum-along @ 4:45pm

All money raised will go towards Mr Holland’s Opus fund, and will stay locally in the Champaign-Urbana community to benefit the local schools. For more info or questions please call Skins-N-Tins Drum Shop @ 217-352-3786

About the BIG BEAT:
Billed as the world’s largest multi-city drum set event, last year’s Big Beat drew 1286 drummers and about 4000 spectators in nine cities, raised more than $45,000 for music and other charities and collected 7000 pounds of food.

More info about the Big Beat can be found here.

Thanks to Redbull over at Netphoria for the find @

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Reposting Another Interview

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This one from
Jimmy Chamberlin has seen it all. As drummer for both Smashing Pumpkins and Zwan, there were few places he hadn’t traveled, magazines he hadn’t been in, and stadiums he hadn’t filled. After being part of not one, but two great bands, Jimmy Chamberlin was ready to do something all for himself. Throughout his decade with the Pumpkins, thoughts of a solo career drifted in and out of Jimmy’s daydreams. Although he may have occasionally mentioned the idea to his band mates, part of him never actually believed that those dreams would turn to reality—at least not as quickly as his solo bow has evolved from casual conversation to finished product. Through 10 long days in the summer of 2004, he morphed his dream into 11 cinematic, sometimes dark and jagged-edged songs composing Life Begins Again, the debut effort from Jimmy Chamberlin Complex.

With the floodgates open, Chamberlin’s life, at least professionally and creatively, quite literally began anew. His new label gave him the one thing that Life Begins Again is all about—freedom, the freedom to harness musical inspiration as it hits, and preventing it from being diluted by bottom-line concerns. With that freedom, Chamberlin and a cast of trusted friends and peers, bounded into an L.A. studio and cranked out his first solo statement in record pace.

I’m amazed that we did it. There was a lot of internal laughing going on while we were making it, just because we were thrilled at the progress we were making and we were actually pulling it off,” Chamberlin says.

Ranging from the sweet and lush (the ethereal “Loki Cat”) to the moody and mean (“Cranes of Prey”), Life Begins Again is the brainchild of both Chamberlin and friend, colleague and multi-instrumentalist Billy Mohler, an L.A.-based songwriter who has worked with everyone from Macy Gray to Fred Durst. The two first met when Mohler, who sings lead on “Newerwaves,” auditioned for Zwan. While he wasn’t hired for the gig, Mohler and Chamberlin became quick friends. It was him who Chamberlin called first after securing a record deal.

The two proved perfect collaborators: “It was kind of like, ‘Oh, I got this riff,’ or ‘Oh, I got this idea,’ and we would kind of talk through the parts and write the songs together,” Chamberlin notes. “His strength melodically kind of tied into my strength as far as “tunesmithery.” He’s a good part writer, and I’m a good song assembler. So I think in that respect our relationship really complements each other.

The two built the disc’s rhythm tracks first. “Once the bass and drums were done, you could kind of hear the songs finished,” Chamberlin notes. “It was just a matter of waiting for God to drop the guitar player or piano player in your lap.” That heaven-sent duo wound up being Sean Woolstenhulme and Adam Benjamin, respectively. The latter came in at the 11th hour, lathering the trademark Rhodes organ sound over several Chamberlin and Mohler creations. Woolstenhulme’s participation, meanwhile, was sort of a last-minute addition, as well: “Originally, I didn’t want any guitar on the record,” Chamberlin says. “I just sort of wanted all this distorted Fender Rhodes all over it. And when Sean came in, he immediately started playing me stuff that sounded exactly like distorted Fender Rhodes. I thought, “This is exactly what I want—it sounds nothing like guitar.’”

The varying influences drifting in and out of Life Begins Again are rooted in a childhood spent being virtually bombarded by music. Growing up in Joliet, Illinois, an old steel town on Chicago’s Southside, Chamberlin was weaned on both the Duke Ellington and Count Basie swing records favored by his father (a clarinet player), as well as the classic rock beloved by his siblings (one of which was a drummer): Steely Dan, Rickie Lee Jones, Hendrix, John Mayall, Alvin Lee, Led Zeppelin.

With a musical style landing somewhere between Gene Krupa and Mitch Mitchell, Chamberlin would alter the alt-rock landscape as a member of the massively successful Smashing Pumpkins, who he linked up with through mutual friends/acquaintances. While the last to join the band, his musical relationship with Billy Corgan would outlast the band itself, as the two would go on to co-found Zwan, their first post-Pumpkins project in 2001.

For me, everything is cyclical,” Chamberlin says. “If you look at nature, the universe, everything is in circles. In any person’s life, they can kind of point to where it starts again. I think Life Begins Again is just the start of another cycle for me musically.

All of the lyrics on Life Begins Again were written by Chamberlin (with the exception of “Lullabye” written by Mohler and Becca Popkin), who makes his debut as a lyricist. While Mohler sings "Newerwaves," ex-Catherine Wheel front man Rob Dickinson is the voice behind the title track and "Love Is Real," while Rock n’ Roll Hall of Famer Bill Medley (one-half of the Righteous Brothers) takes the mic on "Lullabye.” Corgan teams up with Chamberlin for "Loki Cat.” Chamberlin says, "I played the CD for Billy and when he heard that song, he immediately asked if I had lyrics. I told him, ‘No, the song is an instrumental.’ He said," I would love to sing on that song! Write me some lyrics and a melody.” So after a couple of attempts at lyrics, I hit on something we both liked." The chemistry and love between these two friends makes for one of the strongest tracks on the record.

The album’s lyrical concept, Chamberlin says, is freedom of the spirit: “I think that love and spirituality - and this cosmic vibration that runs through everybody - is a real thing. For me, music is a testament that if you acknowledge the vibrations going on around you, it’s possible to reproduce that in to an art form. To me, this CD is an acknowledgement of the natural vibrations running through me. It was just a period of my life where I was able to channel those into music because I was given the freedom to do so.

The song “Love Is Real” has a lyric that goes, ‘I walked outside tonight with the stars as my guide, knowing where to go/ it’s my heart that tells me so.’ To me, that line sums up the whole record right there. It was more of a heartfelt musical adventure than it was a thought-out process. This whole project was based on intuition and not over thinking anything, just knowing that when something comes to you, it’s in its most natural form, and that’s how it needs to be translated musically…. When something comes to you, use that power to make it great.”
A section of this interview is also reprinted over at the JCComplex Myspace

Jimmy to Produce the War Tapes...?

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19/10/09 - SKIR asks;
Who are some of your favourite musicians/producers who you’ve worked or toured with? Either that or what musicians inspire you?

Meeting Jimmy Chamberlin of The Smashing Pumpkins was a huge turning point in my life. He has been a great supporter of War Tapes and has become a close friend and mentor. He is the most inspiring musician I’ve ever met and one of the world’s greatest rock drummers. His passion and drive have been the catalyst in inspiring us to write, record, perform and become as great as we possibly can become. We have been talking recently and he has shown interest in co-producing our next record with us. I can’t wait to work with him.

Seems like Billy Mohler talking to me. Anyway, could be cool.
Not that I've really listened to the War Tapes until now...

Sunday, 25 October 2009


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Jimmy will be appearing over at WPGU 107.1 - 'True Alternative', on the Flashback Cafe program between noon & 1PM - CST.

Thanks to Redbull over at Netphoria for the information and confirmation.

Listen to the stream here, when it's on.

While you're waiting for that, why not check out JC's 'Hit List', over at Rhapsody (if you're in the US).

Saturday, 24 October 2009


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My aim here was to stay away from reporting on Billy Corgan as "The Smashing Pumpkins", but this is so unbelievably embarrassing I couldn't ignore it. Go here to Stickam to watch a replay of last nights broadcast of Billy playing wrestling with dolls, including an effigy of James Iha.  In a strange twist, a key player in the idiocy, (Linda) Stawberry, described it as "retarded".  I couldn't agree more.

If you're an SP masochist, you may also want to log on to live SP chat right here, where you may be lucky enough to catch Billy joining in to; misquote and bitch about fans, directly to fans. 

If any of this was committing 100% to the Smashing Pumpkins, i'm not in the least surprised that JC didn't want any part of it...

Thursday, 22 October 2009

SPecial Guest

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Black Cloak Society + Special guest

Could it be Mr Jimmy Chamberlin? Fingers crossed huh.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Buy Jimmy Chamberlin's Drum Kit

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So reports spinner:
Billy Corgan Headlining Benefit for Former Smashing Pumpkins Fan Club Leader - Spinner

...Corgan will take the stage [at Los Angeles' Echoplex on Nov. 8] as part of the Backwards Clock Society in order to help raise money for Laura Masura, the former head of the Smashing Pumpkins fan club. Masura shattered her leg on Sept. 9 in a motorcycle crash on the Pacific Coast Highway, stalling her ability to make a living producing jams... Corgan has also donated two special autographed items for auction: Jimmy Chamberlin's drum kit from the band's 1991 'Gish' sessions and tour, and Corgan's original bass guitar, which he played at the band's very first show and used on early demos. The items will be available via eBay soon.

Ed. Billy didn't donate the kit, Laura did. Jimmy signed it.
And the touted SP E-Bay store has an eBay profile

Update 21/10/2009:
Here's the Kit:
Cheers to for the images. Obviously Copyright and what-not.


Sunday, 18 October 2009

Influences / Recommendations

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I pieced together from various interviews and articles and what-not... I'm sure it's far from all encompassing - maybe if anyone ever visits here, you could add others that you know in the comments. Anyway to the list >

Cream - Disraeli Gears
Return to Forever – Return to Forever, Romantic Warrior
Elvin Jones – Jazz Machine
John Coltrane – Giant Steps
McCoy Tanner - The Real McCoy
Tony Williams – Tony Williams Lifetime
Tony Williams – Believe It
Jeff Beck – Blow by Blow, Wired
Captain Beyond – Captain Beyond
Lalo Schiffin – Dirty Harry Soundtrack
Michael Jackson - Off The Wall
Frank Zappa – Roxy and Elsewhere

Lenny White
Jr Robinson
Ian Paice
Buddy Rich
Louis Bellson
Ginger Baker
John Bonham
Genre Krupa
Elvin Jones
Bobby Caldwell
Tony Williams
Steve Jordan
Roy Haynes
Tony Allen
Barrymore Barlow
Larry Bunker
Joe La Barbera
Paul Motian
Nadara Michael Walden
Richard Bailey
Billy Cobham
Dave Weckl
Terry Bozzio
George Laurence Stone
Steve Perkins
Matt Cameron
Matt Walker
Keith Moon
Shelley Mann
Mitch Mitchell
Chick Webb
Ed Shaughnessy
Sonny Payne
Jimmy Cobb
Kenny Clark
Danny Carey
Art Blakey

Bands and Artists:
Weather Report
Return to Forever
The Tony Williams Lifetime
Jethro Tull
Led Zep
Bill Evans Trio
Mars Volta
Herbie Hancock
Wayne Shorter
King Crimson
Chick Corea
Duke Ellington
Count Bassie
Benny Goodman
Artie Shaw
Miles Davis
Steely Dan
Joni Mitchell
Fela Kuti
Mahavishnu Orchestra

United States: Deep Purple - Chasing Shadows
Tarantula: Deep Purple - Pictures of Home

Interview for JC Website Japan - Reprint

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Kiku (K): Yoroshiku Onegai-shimasu.
Jimmy (J): Good evening.

K: Welcome back to Japan. How were the shows during this tour in Japan?
J: I thought that the shows were really good. I think I had a better time, this time than the last time that I was here in Pumpkins. I think that songs are better, and musicians are better. So I enjoyed my staying in Japan much more just because I think the band is better. Much better than the Pumpkins.

K: What do you think about the difference between Japanese audience and US audience?
J: I think the Japanese audience is much more attentive, and they pay attention. I think Japanese audience go to the venue to see the show, where the American audience go to party. A lot of the people in the crowd in America are there because there are other people there, not necessarily because the band is there. I think everybody in Japan is there watching the band, I mean if you look at the crowd you can see. You can pretty much meet everybody gazed at some point. Everybody's paying close attention.

K: How about Europe?
J: I think Europe's somewhere in the middle, I think Europe fall somewhere between Japan and America. I think the south in Europe is more attentive, people are like Italy, Spain, South France and closely you get to Bergian, Germany, and other ones are more westernized.

K: After the final Metro show, how did you feel?
J: Relief. (Laugh) I mean because we decided to end the band six months before that, so it was a kind of like driving in a car, but knowing that some point down the road, you'd gonna get an accident you just did not know when. So I mean I thought it was good, I mean it felt like the right thing to do, and it felt like if we had continued we would have just ended up with being like Aerosmith or you know, for some reason, for some money. I think stop the pumpkins and re-challenge yourself to make something better in another band are really good thing to do because... it became harder and harder to face people playing in the pumpkins, just because it seemed like really hanging out in something that was going away . And I think we just let it go in a natural way, and say that OK... So this kind of relationship means the music is over, it does not mean I can not start a new one, you know, I think Billy (Corgan) and I were young enough to where we can start another band, so stopped to think about shutting At least we wanted to do. Because in the pumpkins we had to be the pumpkins, you know. And we got to be tiresome to be that guy all the time. And I think by letting that go, by kinda reinventing ourselves, and we brought up some new fresh music. Because I don't think, if we stayed in the pumpkins, first of all we did not have the talent in the band that we are playing now. And I don't think we would have even tried to create what we are now creating, because we would not have confidence in the people in the band. .........sorry my answer is so long...

K: After the Pumpkins, did you start creating music with Billy soon? With no intermission?
J: When we played the last show, we shook hands and we said no more music for one year. "We take one year off and I'll call you." And then three months later I called him on the phone, and then I said 'Really really bored." Three months is too long not to play, you know. So we decided to get a hold of Matt Sweeney, and ran to the studio. The idea was just to go out and write some songs just to get together to play again. And three of us had such great chemistry together that we said "Let's just start a band". you know, let's just go again. Let's just take these songs to another level. And let's continue to write, continue to play, and try to put a band together and see what it happens. Three months later we were ready to do some shows, but it was just three of us, so Sweeney suggested that we would need to get David Pajo to play bass. So when Pajo came in to play bass, it was great, I mean we had a great great chemistry. But David is such a great guitar player, it seemed like a waste to have him play bass, because it's not always a good idea to have a guitar player to play bass. It's better to find somebody who just plays bass. And it wasn't just until February last year that we finally... we auditioned (counting numbers) twelve bass players in Los Angeles, professional bass players like the guy from Suicidal Tendencies, and the guy from...... And then Sweeney got Paz (Lenchantin), and asked her if she would be interested in coming out to jam, because she was in a perfect circle at the time. So finally we got down to Key West, Florida to play, and like a week later we decided we were going to be a band that quit her A Perfect Circle, which I don't think she was very happy about. But I think for her it was really important. I mean I think she was totally happy in A Perfect Circle, but I don't think it really gave her opportunities to write and sing as much to have much fun. ...The story is long.

K: I have A Perfect Circle album. I know Paz.
J: Yeah. They are good.

K: I heard a rumor that Paz quit A Perfect Circle, but nobody knows she selected Zwan, not A Perfect Circle.
J: Nobody knows that she quit A Perfect Circle and then joined Zwan? I just think she was not so much with the music in personal as the fact that A Perfect Circle was a kind of like a side line for Maynard and Josh, the drummer that was doing lots of other things and he was playing in some other band at the time. So A Perfect Circle was a kind of a band like when they want to get together they get together, and in Zwan we are like we gonna be a band, we gonna drink and sleep together and play music all the time every day. And I think that's really attractive to her, I mean, you know, aside from the musicianship in the band, we come lotterly and song writing. And her own ability to contribute more, as opposed to some of these things "Here is a song I want you to play like this". In Zwan, we only write loose outlines of songs and everybody brings their ideas. I think that's really appealed to her. In fact she can write melodies and Billy can write songs around them, you know, we can all talk and have a good time, and we are always together. I think it's a great opportunity for her, for everybody in the band, I mean, everybody in the band had written something in the new record. It's not like A Perfect Circle where I think Billy Howerdel's writing materials and just telling everybody what to play.

K: So Matt Sweeney and Billy are old friends.
J: Matt, Billy and I are very old friends. Billy and I met Matt at the same time in '89 in New Jersey. We were playing in a place called Maxwell's. Matt was very young at the time, I think he was twenty, and he gave Billy and me a demo tape whose band was at the time Skunk. Billy and I had listened to it and completely blown away. We said to Sweeney, you know, we had to be a band and we gotta be in a band together, you know. Then we kinda lost in touch with Matt for a while, and Billy ran into him in New York after the Pumpkins had broken up. Billy invited Matt to come out to play jam. But I've known Matt forever. I've known Matt for fifteen years. Whenever we were in New York or New Jersey, we'd always go to Matt's house and jam in his basement. So we played together 13, 14 years ago. We wanted to be in a band with him, and he always wanted to play with us. So it was a kind of dream had come true, when I heard Billy got a hold of Matt Sweeney and go jam because of just like revisiting 1989 or whenever it was. Matt's very talented and he's a great great great guitar player.

K: What kind of impression did you have when you first met Matt Sweeney?
J: You mean in 80s when I met him? I mean I just thought he was a young kid with a lot of talent. And when I met him again, I thought he was an old man with a lot of talent. (Laugh) I was just kidding.

K: When you first made music with Matt and Billy, how many songs did you record?
J: About twelve songs. About tweleve we started off with. And then it was a kind of work in progress, you know. And then we played in Salt Lake City and our next plan was to go to New York and record. Just three of us went to New York and just tried some demos of some songs, and tried to pull out what was good about the songs.With the idea we were going to a professional studio and do these songs with Billy, Matt and I. I was at my house in San Diego at the time, and just about to get a plane to go to New York, and the 9.11 happened. So I had to drive from San Diego to Chicago, and rent a car and pick up my car and drive to New York to be with my friends because they were both in New York when it happened. So I had a little worry about that. So I drove all night from Chicago to New York ten hours and fifteen minutes and I made it. I drove real fast. But we started working right after that. Five days after it happened we started working again in New York, and it was really weird, weird time. Military and every street corner army geeps were running around. I had had so much fun time in New York, but I had never seen such lockdown. Everybody was a kind of freaked out. So it was a kind of weird time to be out there creating music, but I think some of the tension, doubt, and just a kind of creepiness, and a kind of doomy groove were really reflecting some of our music. I think the reason the music is so up and so happy is because when you realize you may not have longer to live, if war comes, you learn to celebrate your life a little bit better than if you take life for granted. When you realize that life is very fragile and you could end it any minute, and you start to celebrate the good things in life. It's good to think about what's good about your experiences.

K: Do you remember the first Zwan show?
J: You mean just Billy, Matt and I? That was amazing. I mean, because when you start a new band, you don't have expectations. You are just out there testing water. You are just out there dipping your feet in the pool to see if it's hot or whatever. So I mean I think that relaxed atmosphere was really carried on. Things are a little more intense now because we have a record now and we have expectations to meet. Back then, there were no expectations and it was just what it was. The band was put together more on people's personalities than it was on their musicianship, because when you know somebody, whether they are musician or not, if they were musicians you know what type of musician they would be, like I know what type of musician my sister would be when she would play instrument, even though she does not. It's like with David, Matt, Paz and Billy, I know what's gonna come out of them emotionally. So it's a lot easier to play with someone like that and to build a musical relationship based on heart and spirit. The main reason everybody's together is because we are friends. It was kinda lucky the everyone's total musical genious.

K: Is there any difference with your play between on stage and on record?
J: Yeah. On record you have a captive audience. So when somebody's listening to your record, they are listening to your record. And they are listening focused. When you are playing to an audience, you don't necessarily have everybody's attention. So you need to push and pull a little bit harder that kinda suck people in. So I think the dynamics, if these are the dynamics of the record, then this is the dynamic of a large show. You gotta make it interesting to watch as well as listen to it. I mean Billy doesn't stand up there doing this kind of stuff in studio.

K: About the way of recording, is there any difference between pumpkins and zwan?
J: The main difference is everybody played their own parts. (laugh) It was a lot easier just because I felt like I was one of their best friends, as opposed to people there I was working the job with, you know. It's like I said before, Zwan is a labor of love, and the pumpkins were just a labor. (laugh)

K: Did you change your drum play from Pumpkins to Zwan?
J: Yeah, a little bit. I opened it up a little bit more off the Zwan. The way we kinda visioned the record was that the drum is a kind of being this lead instrument that would be up in the middle like always in your face, and the guitars and melodies would be kinda out here. So I kinda streamlined my playing for that vision where I played busier and tried to play little more here as opposed to being supplemental, you know what I mean? In the Pumpkins I was always playing behind the songs, and in Zwan I think I am playing in front of the songs, like opposed to playing back here.

K: What was difficult for you when you were recording songs in the Mary Star Of The Sea album?
J: I think it's really funny because the things you would think really difficult like the song Mary Star Of The Sea which has all the crazy drumming on it, was probably the easiest thing I did on the record. Just because there is no parameter. It's just basically go crazy on the drum set, which I'm really good at, you know. I can play like that all night long. There were the songs like El Sol, Honestly, some of the more controlled stuff that had to be. Because we didn't do a click stuff, so the stuff that was more pocket-playing I had a hard time with, because in the pumpkins we really never explored that type of four and four drum beat. We never played that in the Pumpkins. If we did it, we usually used drum machine on top of the drums. So that was a good experience for me, just starting experimenting simple like Charlie Watts type of studying. That sounds like Come With Me and El Sol. Those were probably the two hard songs. Honestly was pretty easy, but it sounds like Mary Star Of The Sea, World Goes Around (Ride A Black Swan) and Endless Summer were very easy to do. For me because that's the way I play, that's the way I always play. And I never play like this: Just two-four. It is like breaking new ground for me.

K: I love your playing in Ride A Black Swan, with perfect groove, perfect rhythm, and perfect composition of phrases and beautiful phrases....
J: Thank you. That stuff for me comes much more with natural rhythm, just having sit back, you know. I never played that type of playing in the Pumpkins, you know what I mean? Like Tonight, Tonight, the stuff like that was always really orchestrated and the drums came all over the place. But just to play a back beat, it was a great challenge, you know. If the tempo is here, then so many emotions would exist before the tempo and after the tempo. Like if you are a little ahead of the tempo, the song sounds pushy. And if it's a little too behind, the song sounds lazy. So to find the perfect pocket sitting for those songs that really fits in the vocal and emotion of the vocal was quite undertaking for me.

K: What kind of process did you go through when you were making the MSOTS songs?
J: How did we make it? We were still writing the record when we started recording it. So basically the way of the drums we done was we would go to our rehearsal space, come up with an arrangement, figure out an arrangement and I would write it down. Then I would have the lyrics. We would figure out good tempo for the song, do a click. Billy would play a scratchy guitar and some scratchy bass sometimes, and then just a scratchy vocal, and I would go to the drums to the click tracks, and we would add guitar, bass and vocals later. We'd erase all the scratchy guitars. It was a pretty good way to work because we ended up doing about a song every other day. So we moved pretty fast and drums were done under a month. And 15 of those days we just spent getting snare drum sounds and bass drum sounds. Alan (Moulder) was there and Alan and I were really good relationship. We spent about five or six days just moving the drums around the room and trying to find the best area to set the drums. And then we experimented different sizes of bass drums, different symbals, and we used about seven or eight different snare drums on the record. So I mean it's a really tedious process, but I mean for me I'm real professional when it comes to drum tones, you know, gone everything to sound like I hear to my heart, that's almost impossible, so it takes so long time. But a "GA! GA! GA!" for hours. And then I come back, "Oh no, that's no good" and then move it over to "GA! GA! GA! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!". So I mean that's really painstaking. Once you get rolling with a good sound, you can pretty much just blow to the record.

K: Did you change your drum set from the pumpkins era?
J: A little bit. Not much. It's a little smaller. I just took the toms off over here on the left-hand side. I just wanted to try to do a little bit more of glass, and try to achive the same power without all the bells and whistles, you know, like triangles and tambourines and timpanis and gong, you know, a roll of toms. I kinda evolved into the kit in the pumpkins just because I used electric stuff in different songs. In Zwan I only use the drum set you are looking at on the record and I am not going to add any right now. If I use more on the next record, then I probably will start using those again. But I like playing a small kit. It makes you think things through a little bit better. I didn't think it was a good idea to bring all those drums on the road. I did not play them anyway. That's all the drums I used in the studio and that's really all I need. And I think I'm gonna stick to playing a little smaller kit. Because I think we have three guitars. Drums don't, because there's so much going on with the guitars, I feel a lot comfortable to let them do the show, as opposed to when I was in the Pumpkins, my job was just beat all over the head night after night, because there was all to watch. ...And it was pretty much like a core blues band, you know.

K: Why did you select Yamaha drums?
J: Because they make the best drums in the world.

K: I think Jazz drummers love Yamaha, and Rock drummers love other drum companies like...
J: Those are junk. Those drums are made in some other countries. Those companies don't even make their own drums. They buy them from drum factory. I know the artists in Yamaha, I know everyone of those people working in Yamaha for more than twenty years and I know every guy to put together my drums and I know them personally, and I have a great relationship with the company, and I'm a jazz-based player, so I play jazz drums and I just play them in a rock band. Hagi (Mr. Takashi Hagiwara: Product Planning and marketing Yamaha Drums) and the people in Yamaha are great. They've been great to me. When I went to Yamaha, they totally made me blown away. I really like the sound and I'm really interested in making the company better. It's a great family. You can not get them from American drum companies. These people have been doing this for thirty-five years. They are genious. Hagi, the main guy of Yamaha, has been to every one in my Japanese shows, and he is a guy I talk to on the phone all the time. We've been developing a snare drum for a long time, and it's just an amazing relationship. And they accompany with Dave Weckl, Elvin Jones, Steve Jordan. The masters of Yamaha are all best drummers in the world. Joey Kramer would play on Yamaha, you know, and he never will. Because they are not interested in selling drum sets to Aerosmith. They are interested in top talent. When they come to see me playing, it's an honor. For me these are like the people still my other family. I feel like with Hagi we talk about everything. These guys are taking care of me and even when I was out of the Pumpkins my relationship with Yamaha was totally solid. It's the same with all my drum companies like Remo, Zildjian and VicFirth. They are just the best in the business and that's the only people that I'm really interested in working with. You can not be the best golfer without the best golf clubs. You can not be the best drummer without the best drums. Like I said, I know these people in Yamaha, and I've trusted them with my career for eight years, and they've never done me wrong. Then I know they never will.

K: Is your main snare now your signature model?
J: Yes. I play a 5.5" *14" , steel shell, a kind of raminism of old Ludwig Black Beauties in 70s. Ludwig Black Beaties snare drums, which I think are great snare drums. Yamaha was capable of making snare drum better than that, and that's what we came up with. And I think it is better. For me it's exactly what I want. Let's go back to relationship with Hagi, and Hagi, he knows so much about drums and he's somebody you can just talk on the phone, telling him what sound you are looking for, and you show up in Japan and he has a drum for you. "Here is what I made for you," and it sounds like exactly what you wanted. It sounds amazing. I have been to Yamaha factory three or four times now, I know exactly what goes in making all drums are exactly the same twenty-five people that work there. They've made every drum I've played. You go to a company who buys shells in some other country, and how are you gonna meet the person who makes the shells? How are you gonna establish a relationship with someone like that? You can't. With Yamaha, I know I can get on the phone and I can come to Japan, and then I can go in there and make my own goddamn drums if I want. I know how, I mean, they told me how to make drums. There are a lot of top drummers out there playing crap, crap. This just sounds like junk. ...Sorry.

K: Don't you play wood snares?
J: Wood? Yeah, I do when I record. When I record I use a lot of wood shell snares. It's just because it's a little more controlled sound and a little deeper. But when I play live, I like to have a loud and cracking snare. That's why I have been using the steel shell snare. But I have over fifty snare drums. All kinds, all new prototypes and old drums. For recording, I like to use a lot of different snares just to get different sounds. But I don't think you really need to look any further than Yamaha now. I think maybe sixty years ago I would be using some different name snare drums, but now pretty much all I need is Yamaha, and for live, only Yamaha. It's just made by the best people, and you can feel, you know, the loves by playing on the drums, "Boom!" It's always perfect.

K: When you were recording MSOTS, did you change your snare drums on every song?
J: No. But I used Yamaha Manu Katche model snare, for World Goes Around, Lyric, Settle Down and Cast A Stone. I used the Yamaha brass snare for Honestly, El Sol and some of the softer pop stuff. And then for Desire I used Akira Jimbo. Do you know Akira Jimbo?
K: Yeah.
J: I used his snare for that. I can't remember what I used. I think I used an old Yamaha recording series for Of A Broken Heart, just because it's a great brash sound, which I mean I had gone through twenty snare drums for that one all day long.

K: Do you want to play the drums forever?
J: Yeah!
K: Oh, great.
J: Elvin Jones is 75 this year, and he is on tour. Roy Hanes is 78, and he is on tour. So Jimmy Chamberlin on his 90, he will be on tour.
K: (LOL)
J: I mean I don't know how to do anything else. Now I can go back to mat-making, but playing drums is pretty much all I can do. I like it that way. I think it's important for my wife and my daughter to see, I think it's good to raise a child who can look at her father and mother and see that they have commitment to career and that type of integrity and that type of self-respect and that type of discipline. If you bounce around job to job, I don't think it's a good way to raise a child. I don't think a child needs to see that. The important things in life are self-respect, discipline and commitment. I think that's the way to have a successful family.

K: What are your recommended CDs?
J: Recommended CDs to listen to for drummers? I would say Bill Evans Trio, 1964. Larry Bunker on drums. Miles Davis, Jimmy Cobb, any Art Blakey, any Elvin Jones, any John Coltrane, any Tony Williams. Especially for rock, I would say Tony Williams Lifetime with Allan Holdsworth, Tony Newton, and Tony ... I can't think of it... oh, Alan Pasqua, who was a keyboard player, Tony Newton, Tony Williams and Allan Holdsworth. Tony Williams Lifetime's first album "Believe It" is amazing. And then also Tony's last record was a tribute to Miles right after Miles Davis died, they did this tribute record. It was Ronnie Wallace on trumpet. It was Tony Williams, Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Ronnie Wallace. Amazing. Any Kenny Clark... and there were so many great drummers. And even now there are some great drummers out there, like Danny Carey for Tool, an amazing drummer. I think when the Pumpkins and Nirvana and Jane's Addiction and Alice In Chains and Soundgarden in the late 80's and in the early 90's, I think it was, drummers like Steve Perkins, myself and Matt Cameron who really made it possible for drummers to play like drummers again, I think we were a kind of first... because before that it was a kind of REM type of pop... but I think when the grunge thing came around and we were very capitalized to have all over the place like crazy, We got back to more on when it was like Led Zeppelin or Deep Purple of the 70's. Because the grunge thing was based on it, it was just a re-interpretation of 70's rock, I mean, with guitar solos and big drums. I think anybody plays drums with their own spirit and it sounds different. The sounds like they want to sound is worth listening to. I really like the guy from Violent Femmes, and I think he is an amazing drummer, even though some people would think the drum is sloppier, but I think that has real soul to it, I mean, you know, like anybody who is an innovator, the drummer for James Brown, you know... I'm going on and on all night long for those drummers, but I am not going to... I think those of the first records I said are the most important ones to me anyway. For my playing to achive the type of power Elvin Jones achieved. Those guys were totally reinvented the way of playing drums, and any of those guys really made it possible for people like me to be around, and those guys bought my house. That means that's how I feel. If I hadn't had listened to it as a kid, I would have never got it. So all of those guys are great. It goes back to Hagi, and Hagi is Elvin Jones' best friend. So, to be in that family, when I was thirteen, I never thought that I would meet Elvin Jones. Now I find out these people are really accessible and they are open to being your friend. They want to teach you. and they want to make music better. That's all I really want to do. I just hope people listen to me, and get inspired, and take one step further, you know, don't take it backwards. I want to hear a lot better drumming on that. Then I can do drumming for twenty years from now. When I'm old, I will still play same old shit that I always play.

K: Who's your young noteworthy drummer?
J: I don't know many young drummers. I mean I really don't. I mean I don't listen to radio. Danny Carey is probably my age and Matt Cameron is the same age as me. I only know my contemporary is really old drummers. I couldn't tell you. I don't turn on radio because I create pop music myself. I just listen to Art Blakey. (laugh)

K: May I have your message to your Japanese fans? And may I have your message to young drummers? Very young drummers visit my site.

K: So that's it! Thank you!
J: Thank you!

February 2003

Reprinted for posterity on TMS

The Gothamist Band Interview: Jimmy Chamberlin - Reprint

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By Jen Carlson on May 4, 2005 11:45 AM

After spending over a decade as the Smashing Pumpkins stickman, Jimmy Chamberlin has released a solo album under The Jimmy Chamberlin Complex. The cd is a sonic melting pot. If there was a sound in between Steely Dan, Miles Davis and Smashing Pumpkins then this comes pretty close to hitting it. It's soft and smooth one second (Streetcrawler), hard and jagged the next (Cranes of Prey), creating a sort of fusion jazz prog-rock. This sound undoubtedly comes from a lifetime of influences, something that is also apparent in the guests who turn up on the album, including: Billy Corgan, Rob Dickinson and the legendary Bill Medley.

Jimmy Chamberlin Complex are Billy Mohler (bass & vocals), Sean Woolstenhulme (guitar & vocals), Adam Benjamin (Fender Rhodes) and Jimmy Chamberlin on the drums. Catch them tonight at the Knitting Factory.

Let's get this out of the way, where did your band name originate?
My wife, Lori, came up with the title

What is your favorite/least favorite memory involving New York?
Pumpkins at Roseland ' 93/ The death of my friend Jonathan

What is your favorite/least favorite thing about playing shows in New York?
New York fans tell you how it is/ New York fans tell you how it is!

How does New York's music scene differ from Chicago's?
I don't think there's much of a difference other than sheer numbers.
Chicago has an East Coast vibe as far as people willing to make a
commitment...........Something we don't have in L.A

Now its time for some fill-in-the-blank action

You know you've made it when...
You're complaining about a "funny smell" in your private jet.

It'll be time to pack up the gear for good when...
I'm arguing the finer points of Kenny G

I'll never forget the first time I...
forgot what city I was in

I'll never forget the first time [insert another band members name here]...
The Chili Peppers played in Belgium. It was raining cats and dogs and Flea told 80,000 Belgians to "throw mud" if you like us. It took them three hours to clean off the stage!

Lets have some fun with word association. Give me your immediate feelings on the following (if you've got no discernable feelings, make something up that won't embarrass you in the morning)

Yankees: Randy Johnson vs. Curt Schilling 05 Playoffs!

Mets: Cubs

Britney: America!

Bridge & Tunnel: Mullets

The Darkness: Queen!

Times Square: Too clean! Bring back the filth!

Bloomberg/Smoking Ban/Noise Laws: Welcome to California!

Questions inspired by movies

If you will, a brief justification of the ontological necessity of modern man's existential dilemma (in less than 10 words). (Reality Bites)
I don't go to movies or watch TV but as far as I can tell , we must be here to destroy to the earth..........

What came first, the music or the misery? (High Fidelity)

A few quickies on the music tip

Who would be in your ultimate music supergroup, your all-star Olympic team of rock?
Jimmy Page , Keith Richards, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck: Guitar
Larry Graham, John Entwistle, Phil Lynott: Bass
John Bonham, Keith Moon, Tony Williams: Drums
Sly Stone: Vocals

If you released a 7" what would you put on the cover?
A ruler

What was the first/last album you bought on the day it was released?
Rush, Fly By Night - The Mars Volta, Frances the Mute

And finally...If Josh Schwartz, creator of the OC, asked your band to perform on his TV show (as Modest Mouse, the Killers and the Walkmen recently have) would you?
I doubt it.