Billy Corgan is the latest guest on Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich's Beats 1 show "It's Electric!" The first half of the two rockers' two-part chat premieres this Sunday (May 6th) at 3 p.m. PST/6 p.m. EST on Beats 1 on Apple Music, with the second half airing a week later. In a new clip from the wide-ranging interview, the Smashing Pumpkins frontman addresses the controversy surrounding original bassist D'Arcy Wretzky's absence from the band's upcoming tour and album, which both feature the classic lineup of Corgan, guitarist James Iha and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin. (The band ultimately enlisted Jack Bates, the son of New Order's Peter Hook, to handle bass duties.)
Speaking with Ulrich, Corgan claimed that he hasn't been in the same room with Wretzky in nearly 20 years, despite repeated attempts to reconnect. "I spent two years before all that repairing my relationship and every time I tried to get into a room with her — so, I still haven't been in a room with her in 19 years," Corgan said. "It was a telephone thing, and you're trying to say, 'This can happen, this can happen, what do you think?' [It was] always very pleasant, great, awesome, and only when it became obvious that it wasn't the way she wanted it to be, it turned into this other thing that was reminiscent of the past."
"It's been cast so into a tabloid thing that you're basically feeding back into the machine," Corgan said of his back-and-forths with Wretzky, who has maintained that her former bandmates consciously excluded her from the the Shiny and Oh So Bright tour. "The thing that keeps you on the rudder is the music, and the fact that somehow, when the three of us come together, this magical thing happens that's bigger than me, and I have no problem admitting to that. And if that's not your guiding principle, then it is a shit reality show — and we don't want the shit reality show."
Elsewhere in the interview, Corgan gave an update on the Smashing Pumpkins' upcoming album, revealing that they're tracking eight new cuts with producer Rick Rubin. While the as-of-yet untitled record marks the first release with Smashing Pumpkins' classic lineup in nearly two decades, he insists that their old creative process is nothing if not fruitful. "In this case, it came really quickly," he said of the new material. "We did 16 demos in three weeks, and then I played Rick what I thought were the eight best songs, hoping he would pick one — and he picked all eight. We were standing there, like, our eyes are blinking. We thought we were just going to do a single."
Since launching last May, Ulrich's "It's Electric!" has featured guests including Maynard James Keenan, Jack White, Dave Grohl, Iggy Pop, James Murphy, Metallica, Dillinger Escape Plan, Rancid's Lars Frederiksen, Avenged Sevenfold's M. Shadows, Royal Blood and more.