“I never thought little ol’ 15-year-old me playing metal guitar in my bedroom would amount to this moment”: Smashing Pumpkins name social media shredder Kiki Wong as new guitarist after 10,000 applications

Smashing Pumpkins and Kiki Wong
(Image credit: Jason Renaud/Press)

At the beginning of 2024, the Smashing Pumpkins damn-near broke the internet when they announced a worldwide open audition for an additional guitarist to replace the outgoing Jeff Schroeder, resulting in 10,000-plus applications (this writer included). Today, the alt-rock icons announced their new touring guitarist: Kiki Wong.

Wong is one of Instagram’s foremost shredders, with 674k followers to her name. She has performed with Taylor Swift, Usher and Bret Michaels, along with notable rock bands including Nylon Pink, Hellfire Heart, and currently, Vigil of War.

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Michael Astley-Brown
Editor-in-Chief, GuitarWorld.com

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism from Cardiff University, and over a decade's experience writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as 20 years of recording and live experience in original and function bands. During his career, he has interviewed the likes of John Frusciante, Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Matt Bellamy, Kirk Hammett, Jerry Cantrell, Joe Satriani, Tom DeLonge, Ed O'Brien, Polyphia, Tosin Abasi, Yvette Young and many more. In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.