Ever wanted to play guitar in the Smashing Pumpkins? The alt-rock legends are taking applications, and anyone can throw their hat into the ring

(from left) Billy Corgan, Jimmy Chamberlin, and James Iha of The Smashing Pumpkins perform at the 2023 BottleRock Napa Valley festival at the Napa Valley Expo in Napa, California on May 26, 2023
(Image credit: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

Late last year, Jeff Schroeder – who spent more than 15 years in the Smashing Pumpkins as an electric guitar player – announced that he was amicably leaving the group

Schroeder first joined the band in 2007, shortly after their mid-aughts reunion, and remained with the Pumpkins even after original guitarist James Iha re-joined the group in 2018. After Iha's return, he, Schroeder, and frontman Billy Corgan ushered in a new, three-guitar era of the band.

To replace Schroeder, the Smashing Pumpkins are casting a wide net – a very, very wide net.

On their social media channels last week (January 5), the alt-rock legends announced that they were opening up their search to “anyone who might be interested.”

“The Smashing Pumpkins are in search of an additional guitarist,” the post reads. “The application process is open to anyone who might be interested. Applicants may submit a resume and related materials to SPGuitar@redlightmanagement.com.”

Throughout their career, the Smashing Pumpkins have been well-known for what Corgan has referred to as their “big wall” guitar sound, with a discography featuring songs rumored to have as many as 100 guitar tracks.

The band's permanent move to a three-guitar lineup, however, is more about texture than brute force, Corgan says. 

“James has a way of taking the blunt-force trauma of how Jimmy [Chamberlin, the band's drummer] and I approach rock music and creating a softer, more psychedelic kind of layering thing that somehow makes it feel cooler or sexier,” Corgan explained to Guitar Player in 2018. “And when you see it happen and you notice it, especially because it hasn’t been around for a while, you’re like, 'Oh, that’s that thing that people like!'”

Speaking in reference to the band's 2018 comeback album, Shiny and Oh So Bright, Vol. 1 / LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun, in the same interview, Iha added, “This time there were definitely a couple of heavy songs where I knew I wasn’t going to be able to make the tracks any heavier. So I just looked for little melodic details or hooks that I could put in to bring out a different kind of sound here and there. 

“My feeling is, if you try to make the guitars even heavier, it just winds up sounding one-dimensional. So I would look for something else to do.”

Jackson Maxwell
Associate Editor, GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com

Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.