D’arcy Wretzky, former bass player of Smashing Pumpkins, gave a rare, sprawling interview to Alternative Nation to further explain the controversy surrounding her role–or rather, non-role–in the new Pumpkins reunion. Yesterday, after the remaining members of the band (or, perhaps, just Corgan) issued a statement saying they had repeatedly asked Wretzky to rejoin the group to no avail, the bass player released a long series of screenshots of an exchange with Corgan. In that conversation, Corgan initially floats the possibility of Wretzky playing on the band’s upcoming reunion tour, but later seems to just be proposing a potential guest spot. After some debate, Corgan ultimately concluded: “…you deserve to be on a t shirt if someone wants to buy it and get your just due for the hard work you put in. But if you don’t want to be on a t-shirt then the kids are happy to buy something else.”
In the Alternative Nation interview, Wretzky offers an unequivocal portrait of Corgan as a self-important narcissist who never had her best interests in mind, either during her tenure in the Pumpkins or afterwards. When responding to Corgan’s claims that he made regular reunion offers to her following her expulsion from the band in 1999, Wretzky said she had only heard about the supposed 2005 Pumpkins reunion (which ultimately only included drummer Jimmy Chamberlin) on the news.
The bass player also detailed his attitude towards her recently when she texted him to ask about his recent Ogilala tour:
[Billy] has been telling people, ‘Well [The Smashing Pumpkins] haven’t played with [D’arcy] at all in 18 years.’ Right dumbass, because then it wouldn’t be a reunion! He says that he’s invited me to come out and play for all of these things, which is a complete lie. He’s never invited me to anything. In fact, my feelings were a little bit hurt because he did the solo album tour, and he didn’t tell me when it started. I was texting him saying, ‘Where the fuck are you dumbass?’ He’s like, ‘Oh, I’m in New York. The tour started.’ Then I’m like, ‘Where are you?’ ‘Oh, the tour ended, you missed it.’ He thinks it’s a privilege for anyone to be in his presence, so therefore he shouldn’t have to tell me, and I shouldn’t have to be invited.
Wretzky also responded to Corgan’s insinuation in a recent Instagram post that she (or, as he monikered her, the “flaxxen Saxon”) did not play most of the bass lines on 2000’s Machina/The Machines of God:
I was told by both James and Billy that they were going to change my basslines and re-record them, but for the most part they didn’t. It was mostly my stuff, and they actually sent me some of the Gold records from it. Now Billy is saying that’s not true. You must have seen his lovely Instagram post, he’s saying now that he isn’t throwing shade, but with the hashtag #becarefulwhatyouwishfor. No, that was directed totally at me, the whole thing.
Wretzky also claims that she and Corgan were “never friends,” and said any time in the studio with the band was “a fucking nightmare.” She recalls personal tragedy from one of the band’s most legendary recording session: “When we were recording Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness in Atlanta [Editor’s note: She may actually be referring to Siamese Dream] I had a miscarriage because of the stress. Nobody knows that…The band doesn’t know that, nobody knows that. The stress was so much that I had a miscarriage.” She also claims that Corgan refused to call her to discuss her firing from the band, which apparently began as a proposed three-month break.
After Iha rejoined with the band in 2016, Wretzky claims fans tried to set up a phone call between her and Corgan: “Somebody told Billy that I wanted to talk to him, and gave him my phone number. He called me and left me a message. It was kind of like a Parent Trap, we got Parent Trapped. He called me, and I was thinking he wanted to talk to me, and he was thought I wanted to talk to him. It was kind of funny.” From there, the two apparently spoke a few times about playing together again–about being “a band again” without the money-grubbing and bashing through the oldies (“That’s exactly what it is now,” Wretzky quipped).
When asked if she thought the four of them would ever get it together: “I would love to, but Billy will never do it. Not in this lifetime.” Ultimately, though, Wretzky says her lasting feeling toward Corgan is not malicious: “…I don’t hate him, I’m back to where I was at the beginning. I laugh at his antics, and I’m going to go about my own life, but I don’t feel sorry for him. I do think he needs to get an MRI though.”
Outside of everything Wretzky said about the he-said-she-said surrounding the band’s reunion, the interview also just includes some really good shit like this:
You should have heard him the day he validated Mozart’s music [laughs]. James and I wanted to strangle him. We were on a plane on tour with all of these studio musicians who were just so even keeled, and the only way they could stay in the business at that level is to be level headed, and just let things go. These are classically trained people, and I’m classically trained as well. He’s sitting there literally validating Mozart like, ‘Hey, it’s okay to like Mozart, because I just realized that he was a genius.’ It’s like oh my god, I can’t listen to him talk any more! [Groans] What was the question?