Following an audition held by The Smashing Pumpkins to seek a new drummer, it was announced that Mike Byrne, a 19-year-old Portland, OR native, won the audition and so replaced Jimmy Chamberlin who left the band earlier this year. "I'm super excited to be playing with the band. Dream come true, man," Mike responded to the announcement.
There were about 1,000 submissions that Billy Corgan, the remaining member of the band, has received during the audition. Among those participants, Mike who has played for Portland indie bands, such as Moses, Smell the Roses and Mercury Tree, was the one who is considered by Billy "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," Billy said. "I believe in my heart he will push me to be a better musician."
Mike is confirmed to join Billy at several small club dates starting from August 26. They will have Spirit in the Sky as a special guest at the gig. On what to expect from the shows, Billy said, "We'll probably play 2 sets a night, which will feature a mixture of band material and also I'll be playing some solo type stuff as well. I don't figure on playing any old songs, with the exception of maybe 'song for a son' or 'owata', but since there are so many other new ones I'm not sure."
The Smashing Pumpkins' club dates: