Thursday, 26 May 2011

SKYSAW - Live Review

Great, frank, review of the Skysaw show @ The Ritz in Ybor City, FL here @

I've nabbed one of John's videos, which includes a small, but killer, section of one of me favourite Skysaw songs from the start, Cathedral:

Holy fuck, indeed.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

The Answer to Your Question, the Answer to Your Guess...

Jimmy Chamberlin and Mike Reina talk SKYSAW, Smashing Pumpkins, Jimmy Chamberlin Complex, SP Archives and... Mike Byrne

Special thanks to John Prinzo we've got a couple of your questions answered below.
Check out his site or the for the full interview. The whole thing is most definitely worth a read.

The typical trajectory of a band starting off is to tour then record – how does it feel to turn that concept on its head?
MR: It’s interesting to construct tightly wound songs and then go looking for the places where they can stretch out a bit live.

Who put together the orchestral arrangement on “Am I Second?”
MR: Jimmy wrote the orchestral arrangement, Anthony transcribed it and we recorded it at my place.

How many songs have you recorded as SkySaw?
MR: Eleven – I think and demoed probably 12-15 others.

What was Roy Thomas Baker’s involvement with the record?
JC: We worked with Roy early on.  Jimmy sent him “No One Can Tell” and asked if he wanted to be involved.  He loved the song and came out to my place to work with us for two weeks.  After the first two weeks we decided to remain insular and produce the record ourselves.  We started from scratch and continued working together as we had previous to our stint with Roy.  He was hilarious, by the way.

Have you changed up your kit for SkySaw? I noticed a few pictures that didn’t seem to have the left mounted 14” tom or quite as many cymbals. If so, is this a reflection of your approach to this sound or brand of music?
JC: I moved things around for one show. My configuration is the same.
(DP: The drummer for the Constellations, who are joining Minus the Bear and Skysaw on tour tweets: "Wanted 2 clarify-he's still using yellow Yamahas while his DW kit is being made."
What is the name of this song…
…and will it see a release?
JC: “Cathedral.” It is fairly new, not yet recorded and will be on the next release following Great Civilizations

Rumors are that the Jimmy Chamberlin Complex had a couple of tracks in the works, details?
JC: The complex lives and will rise up again at some point. Mohler and I started working on stuff before I left the Pumpkins and we continue to do so.  It’s really just a time issue. We are both very busy these days.

What, if anything, can you say about the upcoming Smashing Pumpkin re-masters and re-releases?
JC: I am very excited.  Those records are sacred to me and I’m thrilled that they will be Repackaged and marketed to another generation. The Pumpkins still have a lot to offer, old and new I’m sure.

As a respected musician and accomplished drummer, what is your summation of Mike Byrne? Ya know, if you were evaluating him or grading him or just your opinion.
JC: I think Mike is perfect for what Billy is doing now; a great drummer with an extremely bright future.

 Again, check out the full interview right, here

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Interview/Podcast with Jimmy Chamberlin
"Mase talks it up with former Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin about his new band SKYSAW...playing clubs again and ripping off his own drum parts. " 
Just having a listen now...


Skysaw is not about making a hit record... it’s about having fun 

Chamberlin clarifies his statement in the recent SPIN magazine interview "I've learned that you can call it a band, but unless everyone is contributing it's not really” and says that this doesn’t apply to his time in the Pumpkins; in particular with his song-writing relationship with Billy.
With regards to recording: JC recorded the drums, bass, guitar and vocals to tape – loaded to pro-tools for mixing; “24 Tracks just wasn’t enough”.

In terms of Roy Thomas Baker, it appears his presence was a little ‘imposing’; “Mike and Anthony were a little freaked out”; the sounds he was getting were ‘bigger than the band...he brings more than just his Rolls Royce to the studio” and they didn’t actually end up using any of the tracks recorded with RTB on this record, but he hopes to record again in the future with him and his “stamp” is all over Great Civilizations. 

They talked briefly about the Jimmy Chamberlin Complex, writing, recording, and mixing in 40 days... nothing about anything new from them (JC and Billy Mohler) though...

With regards to hitting the club scene again; the feeling of playing doesn’t change whether or not you’re getting your drums out of the back of a (white?) van and setting them up yourself and if you’re a millionaire getting a massage before a show. It’s the same experience; just as long as people are having a good time.

With regards to the Pumpkins; JC left it in the immortal words of D’arcy; “being in the Pumpkins, was like being in a marriage with 3 people you wouldn’t even consider dating”.

JC is not involved at all, other than giving it the green light.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Chamberlin SKYSAW Tour Update 2


Another great show last night in Jacksonville, Fl. with "minus the bear" and our new opener, " the constellations", who were great BTW.  Our show opened with No One Can Tell and the crowd was immediately into it and with us for the duration. Here is the setlist per your requests.
Am I Second
Great Civilizations
All I Hear is Snow
It was hot as heck but I felt like the band played great and the crowd was super into it. I'm so happy to be able to do this type of playing. Small clubs are great places to grow your garden with the fans providing sunshine, air and water. Looking forward to Ft. Lauderdale tomorrow night!  Today is a day off.  We are going to relax by the ocean and work on some arrangements. Thanks to all for another great time in music!


First Pic of Chamberlin's new DW Kit from the Tour

The set-up remains intact... hopefully we'll see some more pics, aud, vids surface soon... hopefully.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Chamberlin on the Skysaw Tour

Last night was the first show of our mini tour with minus the bear.  We played the varsity theatre in Baton Rouge,La. The crowd was fantastic and it felt so good to be playing. Baton Rouge knows how to rock out! Skysaw is coming into it's own as a live band and I am so proud of my bandmates and their continued dedication to music.  Paul Wood flew from New York yesterday, missed his connection in Charlotte, and not being able to get to Baton Rouge, hopped on a flight to New Orleans and drove the 80 or so miles in a rental car up to Baton Rouge to make it in time for the show with an hour of so to spare!  
For me personally the band , tour, marks a return to a lot of things that I haven't done in a while. Being on the road with just the band , no crew, no tour manager, staying in cheap hotels, setting my own stuff up every night and tearing it down - loading the trailer! I must say that it brings a different resonance to the music. One I haven't enjoyed in a while. When you set your drums up yourself , you play differently. There is a reverence to the art as a whole, not just the performance, but the life. It is sacred. I love these times and I thank every one of you for making them possible. 
We are off to florida to rock out again tomorrow. I look forward to seeing some old friends and making some new ones.

Regards, JC

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Another Interview with Mike Reina of SKYSAW


Including a little bit more talk about the cross-country collaboration involved the recording of Great Civilizations.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011


I might, might, be able to coax JC and Skysaw to answer a couple of questions...

I have my own super nerdy ideas of course, but rather than just ask them - I thought I'd throw the floor open to you guys... So, post away in the comments.


Saturday, 14 May 2011

Mike Reina Interviewed about Skysaw

Right here

Apparently Mike writes the lyrics and they might play some festivals this summer

This just doesn't get enough plays...

When JC has talked about Machina being " the most honest record [Smashing Pumpkins] ever made, because it's the least least forced. It's what came out of us naturally, as opposed to songs like 'Geek'..."*  I just think that this is a perfect example of SP playing naturally back in the day. At the very least, it's one of the great examples of JC playing what seems to come completely naturally to him: The ease, power, swing/feel and harmony with the guitars he injects is well... just, absolutely, splendid. G&TGC and Stellar went on to echo this type of playing from JC perfectly, as far as I'm concerned.

Let us know if you feel differently;


*Rhythm magazine Christmas 2000

P.S I may have had a dram or two 2 many, please excuse me.

Friday, 13 May 2011

BLAMO... R.I.P., one of the two [most famous and long standing Smashing Pumpkins fan sites] alongside, which had tons of cool SP resources for fans, has decided to close its doors... well most of them...

After 15 years of running, I've decided to shut off most of the content to the site. The site now will be redirected to the Smashing Pumpkins forum on Additionally I've shut off and and forwarded them both to

 Cheers Aaron, thanks for everything of the years. 

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Inside Chamberlin's Studio - The Signature Set-Up is Back!

Victor (from The Drum Pad) stopped by Jimmy Chamberlin's [presumably home] studio to deliver and set up some new DW drums for a photo shoot and interview with Drumhead Magazine...

Double Rainbow Pedal

Thursday, 5 May 2011

No 'Bad Blood' Betwixt Corgan and Chamberlin...

Rolling Stone asks Corgan in a new interview regarding the upcoming releases;
Could the original Pumpkins line-up ever reunite?
Corgan: ... Jimmy [Chamberlin] and I aren't enemies – he's just off doing what he wants to do, as he should. There's not super bad blood between me and Jimmy that we'd never get on stage again. But I cannot in any way, shape, or form ever envision standing on a stage, playing music again with James [Iha] and D'arcy [Wretzky].

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Jimmy Chamberlin in Top 100 Most Influential Drummers - EVER

Those over at Rhythm Magazine don't actually quantify how they have measured the influence, save "The list was put together by Rhythm magazine, its expert contributors, and over 50 world-class drummers - many of whom appear in this rundown". None-the-less, SKYSAW sticksman Jimmy Chamberlin "[whose] style was integral to The Smashing Pumpkins" comes in at 89, in their rankings of the "100 most influential drummers of all time". 

Interestingly Joey Jordison, who was voted the "greatest drummer of the last 25 years" ranks 4 places behind Chamberlin on the scale of influence... 


Digging around online for Rhythm's last run down of the top 100 (in 2009 I believe),  I didst stumble across this little curiosity;  the write-up about Chamberlin is EXACTLY the same as a write up 'of the top 100 most influential drummers' compiled some little time ago, by an apparently defunct* website  
"Trained as a jazz drummer, Chamberlin's style is integral to The Smashing Pumpkins. Propelling songs with intensity, quick snare rolls and flourishes. He is a master of unleashing dynamics with the lightest of touch. He has also been very active doing drum clinics, and playing with his own band - The Jimmy Chamberlin Complex.
Top 5 tracks:
1. Cherub Rock (The Smashing Pumpkins)
2. Geek USA (The Smashing Pumpkins)
3. Tales Of A Scorched Earth (The Smashing Pumpkins)
4. Tonight, Tonight (The Smashing Pumpkins)
5. Cranes Of Prey (The Jimmy Chamberlin Complex )
 *i can't find an update on the site later than 2009 and the last tweet was sent May 2010 anyway.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Jimmy Chamberlin Plays DW - New Video

The kit in this video is:
Vertical Zebra Exotic Candy Black Fade with Black Nickel Hardware.
18x23 (VLX), 9x10 (VLT), 10x12 (VLT), 14x14 (X), 16x16 (VLX), with 6.5x14 Straight VLT Snare.

The kit Jimmy decided to order has a custom "prototype" Copper Lacquer Specialty with Chrome Hardware. Jimmy actually sent in a penny that we used as a color match. The Shells are a ply combination of VLT Maple and Mahogany with no reinforcement hoops. The kick drum hoops are Solid Black Lacquer.
Sizes: 5x8, 7x10, 8x13, 10x14 rack toms
14x14, 16x16 floor toms, and 16x22 kick, with a matching 5.5x14 snare and a stainless steel 6.5x14 snare.