The drummer and co-founder of Mötley Crüe, Tommy Lee has opened up about his experience of working with The Smashing Pumpkins frontman, Billy Corgan, for the alternative rock band’s ninth studio album, ‘Monuments To An Elegy.’
Within his most recent conversation on Apple Music, Mötley Crüe icon, Tommy Lee, has recalled playing for one of the most perfectionist musicians of all the time and a professional wrestling promoter, Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins.
Lee, who plays drums on nine songs from ‘Monuments to an Elegy,’ said that it was so cool to work with Corgan, who is actually a huge Mötley fan. Recreating those sessions from 2014 in his mind, Tommy admitted that smoke’s coming out of his ears from playing 7/8 into 12/4 and counting all the time.
The drummer described Corgan as an ‘anti-Pro-Tools guy’ whose secret method for a perfect sound is to not editing any of it. Although he tried to explain to Corgan you can take two really good takes and make a great one, The Smashing Pumpkins frontman refused to do this technique, Lee said.
‘Monuments to an Elegy,’ by The Smashing Pumpkins, was released on December 9, 2014, as the last part of the concept album project ‘Teargarden by Kaleidyscope.’ Following the second departure of the drummer, Jimmy Chamberlin, the project was abandoned.
Here’s what Tommy Lee said about playing for The Smashing Pumpkins album:
“Dude, I had to, and I love a good challenge. And it was so cool tracking drums with him because we’re very much alike – actual perfectionists.
I’m sitting in there, playing 7/8 into like 12/4, and my brain is like – smoke’s coming out of my ears from counting and just the time-signature changes…
And he, I can see him through the window as I’m playing, I can see him walking back and forth, and then I’ll see him start to jump up and down when he’s freaking out!“
“So anyway, my point is – he’s such a perfectionist that I would nail tracks and he’d be like, ‘You know, just those last couple bars towards the end, I just felt like it ran out of steam…’
He was the anti-Pro-Tools guy; he’s like, ‘There will be no edits on this record,’ and I was like, ‘Alright, I’m cool with that – I get it.’ There’s something magical about that one take that’s got it all.
Yeah, you can take two really good takes and make one great one. But he just refused to do that. I commend him for that, it’s rad, but man, it was not an easy record to make – to make 10-12 perfect drum takes!“
You can check out the rest of the conversation below.