“There are 8 people working full-time to review each and every one”: The Smashing Pumpkins receive 10,000 submissions for new guitarist role

Billy Corgan, Jimmy Chambelin and James Iha of Smashing Pumpkins perform on stage at The SSE Arena Wembley on October 16, 2018 in London, England.
(Image credit: Burak Cingi/Redferns/Getty Images)

As the world eased itself into 2024, the Smashing Pumpkins broke the internet when they announced they were looking for a new guitarist… and anyone could apply.

Now, the alt-rock icons are facing up to the reality of their generous offer, revealing that over 10,000 guitar players have applied for the position.

In a social media post simply captioned, “Update”, SP writes, “The band has received over 10,000 submissions for the position of additional guitarist. Currently, there are 8 people working full-time to review each and every one.”

There’s no word on the credentials of the eight-strong team reviewing applications, but we’d assume they are pretty guitar- and Pumpkins-savvy. Although we imagine their primary job will be weeding out anyone who just emailed in to say, “I can play Today on Guitar Hero – can I be your guitarist LOL?”

The Pumpkins began their search following the departure of longtime guitarist Jeff Schroeder, who left the band in October 2023 “to explore a slightly different path”.

That means the group will be sticking with the three-guitar lineup that has featured in live shows since the return of James Iha to the Billy Corgan-fronted fold in 2018.

The band’s initial social media post was shared on January 5, and stated, “The Smashing Pumpkins are in search of an additional guitarist. The application process is open to anyone who might be interested.

“Applicants may submit a resume and related materials to SPGuitar@redlightmanagement.com.”

As we noted at the time, there’s not a whole lot of criteria there – which may go some way to explaining the sheer deluge of applications SP have received.

To remedy the situation, we generously took it upon ourselves to assemble a list of 5 things you need to nail to get the gig. Spoiler alert: it won’t be easy.

There’s no word on a closing date for applications, or indeed, when the recipient of the role will be revealed, but the Smashing Pumpkins are due to embark on a European tour in June, so presumably we can expect some kind of announcement before then…

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Michael Astley-Brown

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.