The writing was on the wall with news of Tommy Lee’s involvement in the recording of Smashing Pumpkins’ new album, but now Billy Corgan has, in fact, confirmed that drummer Mike Byrne is no longer with the band.
Speaking to Music Radar, Corgan said: “Mmm… Let’s just say that Mike, like Elvis, has left the building.”
In 2010, Byrne joined the band at the mere age of 19, replacing founding member Jimmy Chamberlin. He drummed on both 2009’s Teargarden by Kaleidyscope and 2012’s Oceania, and accompanied the band on the road for their various supporting tours.
Later in the interview with Music Radar, Corgan discussed the similarities between Lee and Chamberlin, while also seemingly taking a shot at Byrne: “The two most intuitive musicians I’ve ever worked with are Jimmy Chamberlin and Tommy Lee. You sit there in the back as you’re watching it happen and you think, ‘There’s a reason why this guy has sold so many records’ – and I’m looking at it. It’s a certain feel, a certain swing, a certain approach to music and a real love of music. Both Tommy and Jimmy have that. They just know what to do – there’s no hand-holding.”
Corgan previously confirmed that Lee would appear on the band’s new album, Monuments To An Elegy, but it remains unclear whether his involvement ends there.