Thursday, 16 June 2011

Interview with Jimmy Chamberlin

Chamberlin talks Song-writing, Skysaw and Smashing Pumpkins

Over at "The Swerve Magazine", apportioned here;
TS: How is the collaborative process with Skysaw different than with the Pumpkins?
JC: With Smashing Pumpkins we were primarily working on the work of one writer and the rest of the band was in charge of arranging the material. With Skysaw everyone kind of writes. Everybody brings songs in and we all work on each other's songs. It's really more of a band situation. More of a collaborative effort insomuch that everybody; myself, Mike Reina and Anthony Pirog, are all songwriters. With the Pumpkins, it really got to the point where Billy was writing so much material that that's all we really worked on.
TS: You wrote a lot of the music, and then brought Mike in the handle most of the lyrics, is that right?
JC: Mike wrote all the lyrics on the record, and that's not to say that there's not lyrics that I've written for the songs that I wrote, because some of the songs on the Skysaw record have alternative lyrics. I have always felt as a musician and a song writer that, unless it's a cover, if it's a song that Mike's going to work on, I feel he should have an investment in the lyrics and what the lyrics are saying. Obviously, for me to tell him, "Here's the lyrics, I want you to sing about this uncomfortable experience" . . . I didn't want to do that to anybody [...]
TS: After working with Smashing Pumpkins where Billy Corgan is the frontman in the spotlight, what is it like to shift into more of a leadership position?
JC: [...] I feel like being in the Pumpkins was a harder job than being in Skysaw just because I had 20 years of legacy to uphold all the time, and I felt like I had to be a certain kind of person to be in that band.  That necessarily wasn't the person I had become as an individual. With Skysaw it really gives me free reign to be myself and not have to deal with any preconceived notions of what the people in Skysaw are like. Being in the Pumpkins, you are a Pumpkin, so to speak. You go to work. You put that hat on, and you become that person. With this, it's a lot more open and I feel it's more representative of how I feel day-to-day.
TS: What was your inspiration in writing the Skysaw album?
JC: It's just asking yourself, "What does my life sound like now?" If I don't want to be in this situation, and I want to create something new what does that new situation sound like? And I think once you go down into your studio and pick up a guitar, you start to figure out, "Okay, this is what it sounds like. Now I can expand on this and kind of take it to the next level."

I found myself with a bunch of songs and needed and outlet with which to purge myself of those songs, and that was really Skysaw.  I go through cycles. When I write a bunch of pop songs I have to find somewhere to jettison them so that I can move onto the next thing. The same thing with the Complex. I found myself being drawn to a lot of early 70s prog/jazz fusion, and in writing that stuff it was necessary to find a vehicle in which to jettison that stuff.
Anyway, go and read the whole thing - tis worth it.

1 comment:

  1. I love how consistent Jimmy always is in regards to his take on music and always searching for ways to make the most sincere music that he can. Top notch fellow!