The Smashing Pumpkins are an alternative rock band, formed in Chicago, Illinois, USA, in 1988. Billy Corgan and James Iha met in a record store, and began performing in local nightclubs with their bassist, D’Arcy Wretzky, using a drum machine. Playing with a drum machine frustrated both the band and their audience, and so Chicago jazz drummer Jimmy Chamberlin was hired soon afterwards.
Less influenced by punk than many of their contemporaries, the Pumpkins had a densely layered, guitar-heavy sound, with powerful loud-to-soft-to-loud transitions, while still picking up grunge, heavy metal, power pop, psychedelic rock, shoegaze-style production.
In later recordings, namely Adore, the fourth album, an electronica flair filtered in after Jimmy Chamberlin temporarily left the band for drug rehab. Though Jimmy Chamberlin returned for their fifth album, Machina/The Machines of God, electronica undertones remained. The emotional tone of bandleader Billy Corgan’s songs ranged from angry (X.Y.U.) to dour (Disarm) to jubilant (Cherub Rock).