Thursday, 8 May 2014

From Bad to...

...not quite as bad.

Tommy Lee is the New Drummer for Smashing Pumpkins

Reasons to be thankful
  • PUBLICITY - Billy will be happy, his ego will be stoked as the band becomes a talking point again
  • Tommy Lee is better than Mike Bryne
  • It’s a new direction for the band
  • Tommy Lee is definitely not a destructive human being
Reasons to be disapointed
  • He might be better than Mike, but not by a lot
To get into it a little more - Motely Crue have some fucking awful music.  It is dreadful.  Really. It is. And Tommy Lee isn't that good. People like show-off drummers I guess.  

Based on my very limited knowledge, and it is rather limited, in terms of drumming style I can only guess Corgan heard in Lee’s limited phrasing - echoes of those kind of parts Chamberlin wrote which lean towards complementing the melodic leads of the music. But unfortunately he also seems to share some of the same over-indulgent, abrasive and tasteless fills that our old pal Byrne was so fond of.  I don’t know if he fucks up quite as often though. I image not...

Still - this move is a good one for the band though. I think. Maybe.
Well, it’s something different at least.  Billy has at least seen sense to hire a drummer who can do a specific job > a drummer who can sit in for a certain style of record.  Chamberlin’s skill set was so broad and is so strong in so many areas (which afforded the band the ability to flit across genre’s with ease) that it was fucking stupid of Corgan to think he could get in someone to replace Jimmy like for like.  What he got was a Jimmy clone, but without the skill to reach each end of the spectrum or the vision and/or ability to be able to lift the band beyond the mediocrity of his drumming.

It makes sense that if the band (re: Belly) wants to put out a “rock” album – he get an ‘experienced’ 'rock' (hair metal?) drummer to sit in. He might not be the best. He might be more show than ability – but if you can’t get one of the true greats who are able to go across genre’s with ease to join the band – better have someone that is ['good' at what they do] than middle of the road. Right? Get someone to embody that aspect of Chamberlin (or as Billy will put it the Smashing Pumpkins) and another drummer to embody another and so on and so forth... oh and ot also helps that he’s a name. Oh boy does it help. 

But anyway, the good thing is, even though he appears to be a terrible person and a rather shitty drummer, he at least has the potential to make the next album sound different. Which is good for SP from my point of view.  It’s all I hoped for in a new drummer following Jimmy.  The lazy rehash of the old tropes on Oceania was a corporate and safe album.  The opposite of what the band has been.  Billy said it himself.  It was too nicey-nicey.   

Anyway, I haven’t heard quite enough of Tommy Lee’s drumming to pin down what his style is per-se, but the good thing is his style certainly isn’t “trying to copy Jimmy Chamberlin, but failing” and that is something we should be thankful for.  I don’t think us drummers will get anything to write home about in terms of interesting parts or shows of technical skill – but what we shouldn’t get is something that sounds lacklustre and best and embarrassingly amateur at worst.

Don't get me wrong I do sort of think the band I once worshipped has become an absolute joke - but I guess I'm still holding on to a tiny shred of hope that once again Corgan will make something that I enjoy.

How can someone who once had one of the greatest drummers of all time in his band, keep hiring shit ones... meh

Sorry for the opinion piece. But whatevs. It is what it is.


  1. I almost totally agree with you.... I don't understand why he can't find a great drummer... Looks like he's only looking for a mercenary. Still, I would have loved to see Billy work with John Dolmayan when he auditioned him, back in 2010.
    The only reason I can think of, is that Billy is too hard to work with, and that lots of musicians out there are aware of it. Anyway, I guess this time, drums will be listenable on that next record.

  2. too lazy to login. anyway, I am glad Mike Byrne is out. He was annoying to listen to and just ruined songs live with his non stop play everything super fast antics. Tommy Lee is a joke too but at least he is tommy lee. meaning he has his own sound and style. corgan is becoming more and more of a joke. He can easily get someone equivalent to a josh freese to come in and be great. but menrad is right. people like that might not want to work with corgan due to his demands and possibly ego. well we will see what happens.

  3. I'm not too sure if Billy finally realised that he's stuck in a dead end road since Mike is on board. But it's good to hear that he is willing to push his music further with, as promised, loud guitars and a drummer, that is used to play the more heavy stuff. I totally agree with everything that has been said about Tommy. He is definetly not who we wanted to see working with Billy. He's a grounded dummer with enough skills for rock drumming, but he's just not a virtuoso like Jimmy. I would have never thought I'd say this, but nowadays I wish Matt Walker would rejoin the "band". Let's better not have any expectations on these new recordings as the there have been too many dissapointments in the past.

    1. I know. I'm keeping my expectations as low as possible. I'm mean it can't possibly be worse than with Mike though... Can it?