“I’ve decided to leave the band to explore a slightly different path”: Jeff Schroeder departs The Smashing Pumpkins after 15 years

Billy Corgan and Jeff Schroeder of the Smashing Pumpkins performs in concert at the Grona Lund amusement park on May 31, 2019 in Stockholm, Sweden.
(Image credit: Michael Campanella/Redferns/Getty Images)

Jeff Schroeder has announced he will be leaving The Smashing Pumpkins after 15 years of service with the band.

Schroeder was first recruited back in 2007 to replace founding electric guitar player James Iha, and joined the Billy Corgan-fronted outfit for their mid-’00s comeback, touring with the Smashing Pumpkins throughout ‘07 and ‘08. 

Since his appointment, Schroeder has remained Corgan’s right-hand man and a loyal member of the band through a handful of lineup changes, including a personnel shake-up in 2018 that saw the return of founding members Iha and Jimmy Chamberlain.

In a statement, Schroeder – who also helped record Oceania (2012), Monuments to an Elegy (2014) and SP’s recent three-act Atum rock opera – said he’d be leaving Smashing Pumpkins to explore a new path.

“Although it was a very difficult decision to make, I’ve decided to leave the band to make some space to explore a slightly different path,” Schroeder said. “I wish the band all the success in the future. I will be watching and listening.”

Reflecting on his time with the band, Schroeder also wrote, “It's easy to say now that when I joined The Smashing Pumpkins in 2007 I had no idea what I was getting into.

“The Smashing Pumpkins were looking for a guitar player. Being a huge fan of the band, the audition was something I threw myself into,” he continued. “It was one of the best decisions I've made in my life. The amount of incredible memories created over the last 16 years with the band are almost too numerous to quantify.”

In their own statement, Corgan, Iha and Chamberlain tipped their caps to the outgoing guitarist, writing, “We thank Jeff for his ceaseless dedication to the band and our great fans. Words can not express our gratitude and appreciation for the friend he is, and being there for SP in the good times and the tough times, too.”

Speaking to Guitar World back in 2018, Corgan paid tribute to Schroeder’s importance to the band, going as far as to suggest the band wouldn’t have been able to work without him.

“Jeff has put 12 years into the band, and that’s a very serious commitment,” he said at the time. “He’s dedicated his life to the band, and I feel he’s earned this. Not only is he a great musician, but he’s also very responsible for a lot that goes on behind the scenes. I really didn’t see any way this could work without him.” 

In other Smashing Pumpkins news, Schroeder’s former bandmate Billy Corgan recently teamed up with Sammy Hagar & The Circle for a knockout live performance of Van Halen’s Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.