Location: if drumming was a contest we'd've all already lost - JC - 10/22/16
been watching some of this stuff this morning
I feel terrible for him. imagine having to try to fill in for jimmy motherfucking chamberlin. i'd lose my fucking mind having to go out on tour every night under the reign of billy corgan, trying to play these crazy songs that were written before i was even born.
imagine trying to be an equal, contributing member of a group when you're 19, and the singer is a total asshole, and went through stuff like this with the old drummer:
As our days grind on in the studio, all pressure is mounting on Jimmy…the success of every session weighs solely on his shoulders, something he is not used to…the big question every day sits whether he can top himself and play better than he has ever played in his life…we are counting on him to finish all the drums first, and I can tell that even though he is putting on a brave face, this type of microscopic attention is starting to freak him out…Jimmy is the type of musician who is at his best if he is not thinking…this doesn’t mean he doesn’t know what he is doing at any given moment (he does), but rather what he does is so complicated that it’s best if he doesn’t pay too much attention, a act like juggling with dangerous objects…because you can juggle 4 knives fairly effectively if you really don’t pay much attention to the fact that you are juggling 4 sharp knives…and this is what it is like for him, playing some of these songs at 100mph…I look for ways to help him, and notice if I give him too many details after a take, he plays worse and worse, overburdened by thought…also, he doesn’t play well if you criticize him openly particularly, or directly, but responds really well to overall grand concepts and encouragement…the general feeling for me when I work with Jimmy is one of true honor…he will absolutely kill himself and play his fingers to the bone trying to get you what you want musically, if you will walk with him thru the darkness of the whole ordeal…take after take strips Jimmy of his natural confidence, and I try to stay in the spot with him, reminding him of how far we have come, and how we are both going to get there…we start to speak a secret language no one hears, not even Butch over the open mikes…James and D’arcy don’t say a word, either because they don’t understand or don’t care, as this part of the process becomes mine and Jimmy’s exclusively…I spend a lot of energy trying to soothe him, to get him to play consistently so that we won’t have to chop up all his drum takes so much, both because the editing is so time consuming (sometimes a whole day) and the very act of slicing apart his grooves destroys his urgent swagger, killing the bands natural feel…I secretly go along with all this idealism, believing in Butch and how it will get us all where we want to go…unknowingly, I am deftly balancing two worlds on a pin, one the world of the mighty Pumpkins and our sloppy yet defined passion, the other the growing perfectionism of a coming corporate age…
i just think his style wasn't meant for the pumpkins. he was into math rock and crazy shit like that.
the pumpkins are much more straightforward rhythmically; the main thing is being aware of dynamics and vibe. jimmy always talks about the importance of expressing the emotion of the song through the drum part, moreso than chops or rudiments or anything.
it's just really sad. billy basically set him up to fail. guys like matt walker, kenny aronoff, they're pros, they're experienced, they can handle it. burnsie obviously couldn't...he's a kid, what do you expect?