Sunday, November 01, 2009

Mike Byrne: New Pumpkins Drummer

Billy Corgan has announced that nineteen year-old Portland, Oregon, drummer Mike Byrne has joined the Smashing Pumpkins and will make his debut with the band on their next album and tour. “I’m super excited to be playing with the band,” says Byrne. “Dream come true, man.”

Byrne, who’s played in indie Portland bands Moses, Smell The Roses, and the Mercury Treeheard, heard about the Pumpkins’ open call for a new drummer on the Internet this past April and submitted his materials. Byrne was immediately called to attend an audition in Los Angeles, where Corgan liked what he heard.

Byrne has been playing drums since he was eleven and formed his first band, Mercury Tree, at fifteen. His influences include post-rock bands like Mogwai, Maserati, and Maps And Atlases as well as the Pumpkins. “It was a really good time in my life to hear the Pumpkins’ music when I was thirteen. It just connected with me and it was sort of a window into something really different and eclectic. The band was a little bit more willing to take risks than a lot of the groups I had been listening to.”

“I was astounded by how many great drummers wanted the chance to try out for The Pumpkins,” said Corgan. “We counted over a thousand submissions, and what made Mike stand out was that he just seemed to have that X-factor that all the great drummers have, a stunning blend of power, speed, and grace. I’m excited to work with him moving forward; he truly deserves this opportunity. I believe in my heart he will push me to be a better musician.”

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