After the American alternative rock band Smashing Pumpkins temporary split, their lead vocalist and guitarist Billy Corgan briefly formed a band called Zwan. Recently, he took to his tea shop, Madame Zuzu’s in Chicago’s Highland Park to get some songs off of his chest, some very rare to the public.
In the tea shop, Corgan played his acoustic guitar solo but the Zwan band originally included longtime Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, Slint’s Dave Pajo, Chavez’s Matt Sweeney and A Perfect Circle’s Paz Lenchantin, according to Stereogum. Zwan lasted two years with their only LP called Mary Star Of The Sea which tackled the common topics of love and relationships and apparently isn’t finished according to Corgan.
Patrons of Madame Zuzu that day experienced an intimate feeling with Corgan perched on a bench, just him and his guitar. He dug deep in the catalog to play both Zwan and Smashing Pumpkins songs including Zwan’s “W.P.” and “I Know My Time Is Coming Round” for the first time since 2001/2002, according to Stereogum, and Zwan’s unreleased-era song “El-A-Noy” for the first time since 2015. From Smashing Pumpkin’s catalog, Corgan did Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness track “By Starlight” and the Teargarden By Kaleidyscope single “Widow Wake My Mind” with its break out kicks and upbeat energy. Each song is a glimpse into the band’s slow drums, acoustics and croons with raspy yet rhythmic vocals.
Corgan performed two songs this past December at the same venue, Madame Zuzu, and his band Smashing Pumpkins is set for two festivals this year, the BeachLife Festival and Summer Camp Music Festival.
Photo Credit: Alyssa Fried