Smashing Pumpkins’ Nicole Fiorentino: We Have a Mutual Respect


Story by Anne Erickson

Smashing Pumpkins bass player loves playing live

Great female bass players will always have an open invitation to jam in Billy Corgan’s Smashing Pumpkins. Nicole Fiorentino is the newest member of the Grammy-winning alternative rock group, and she’s the fourth female bass player to join the Pumpkins since their start in the late ‘80s.

When Fiorentino — who at one time played in ‘90s Chicago alternate act Veruca Salt — first joined up with Corgan and company, one would think she would be nervous about hanging with the guys, right? As it turns out, Fiorentino says it was easy to mesh, and now, they’re all great friends.

“We all get along really well, and I think there is a mutual respect between the four of us. We are all here for the same reason and we have the same goal in mind,” she told Bass Musician Magazine. “We work really well as a team, which I think can be a very difficult thing to find when it comes to musicians!”

As for those rumors that Corgan is impossible to work with — even, perhaps, a diva — he’s not. Writing songs together, Fiorentino says, feels natural: “Generally, Billy will come in with either a song idea or a well-constructed skeleton of a song and we will all jam on it for a while. Once we have all established basic parts we will record what we had and Billy will tinker with that for a while. Usually he will re-work it and we sort of keep tweaking the arrangement and the parts until it is where it’s supposed to be.”

She says her favorite feeling is when a song finally comes together after laboring over it for days, weeks and months. Any songwriter knows it doesn’t get better than that. “There’s nothing more rewarding than those moments to me,” she said, “except of course playing those songs live for fans!”

The Smashing Pumpkins are currently on the road, playing a handful of club dates through North America. The band’s upcoming album, Oceania, could drop as early as November. Corgan is also in the news for kicking off Resistance Pro Wrestling, his very own wrestling promotion company. Resistance Pro’s first wrestling event happens Nov. 25 at Excalibur in Chicago.




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