Smashing Pumpkins’ Jeff Schroeder, Detroit’s Tommy Marz – Interview


Smashing Pumpkins' Jeff Schroeder and Detroit's Tommy Marz

Smashing Pumpkins’ Jeff Schroeder and Detroit’s Tommy Marz – Story by Anne Erickson, courtesy photos

Detroit’s Tommy Marz and Smashing Pumpkins’ Jeff Schroeder join Anne Erickson to talk about their new single, “15”

Detroit’s Tommy Marz and Smashing Pumpkins’ Jeff Schroeder have a new single out, “15,” which is skyrocketing up the iTunes charts. The song features dreamy sonic textures, with lyrics that tell a deep story and Schroeder’s mesmerizing guitar work.

Schroeder tells Audio Ink Radio’s Anne Erickson that doing the song was a perfect fit, because Marz “basically wanted me to be 100% me, which for me is a plus. I didn’t really have to try and play something differently, even though the style or genre of music isn’t what I normally would play over. He gave me the freedom to do completely whatever I wanted, and that was such a joy. That was almost too good to be true, to be honest! (Laughs) It was really just a few hours. He sent me the track. I looped that section, and honestly within a half hour or 40 minutes, I kind of mapped out what I wanted to do.”

Marz says he studied the best songwriters leading up to writing “15,” which paid off. “In this case for this song, I was down the rabbit hole of Taylor Swift’s catalog, because I think she paints a story and formats a song almost better than everybody. She can make you individually be in that place. And I’m not saying being a fan of her music or it being catchy and not catchy, but I’m talking about from a songwriting standpoint. (I was) going back and listening to Billy Joel, “Streetlife Serenade”- those kind of records where there’s some really specific storytelling there, and that’s kind of what I did with ’15.'”

As for what’s next, Marz says he’s continuing to work on solo music and possible a companion single for “15,” which he describes as a “summer banger.”

For Schroeder, a major Smashing Pumpkins tour is on the way- plus new music. If you’re wondering if the band finished that massive album they’ve been working on, the answer is “yes.” The band’s next album will be the third part in a trilogy after and 1995’s “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness” and 2000’s “Machina / The Machine of God.”

“This is our first extended tour in such a long time, so (we’re) really excited about that,” Schroeder says. “I’ve been working on the set at home, and there are going to be a lot of good surprises for the fans out there for that. I think the approach to this tour is- we’re calling it Rock Invasion 2, which I can’t remember when the first one was, somewhere in the early-’90s. It’s going to be, basically, I think our reaction is very similar to yours, Anne, like, ‘Where are the guitars? Come to our show, and you’ll find the guitars!’ We’re going to be rocking hard.”

Schroeder adds, “I can’t say too much, but we’re going to have some pretty exciting announcements at some point during the tour, as well, pertaining to the rest of the year, so it’s a really exciting time for us. I’m just excited to be doing what I do, which is play guitar and perform.”

When asked if the Smashing Pumpkins have new music on the way, Schroeder replies, “Yeah, we do. So, that’s why I said I think there will be some announcements soon in regards to things like that and stuff. Nothing I can give details on quite yet, but yeah, we finished that big, epic album we were working on.”

Listen to Audio Ink Radio’s full interview with Smashing Pumpkins’ Jeff Schroeder and Detroit’s Tommy Marz below. You can also listen via via the Audio Ink Radio show on Apple Podcasts here and Spotify here.

Anne Erickson
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Posted by Anne Erickson | Alternative, Features, Grunge, Interviews, Music