In a new interview posted on SeymourDuncan.com, Jeff Schroeder discusses his role in The Pumpkins, what it’s like to cover Space Oddity, and what gear he has been using on tour.
Playing with Smashing Pumpkins:
I really feel like Smashing Pumpkins is my musical home. Being a two-guitar band, it’s taken a while for Billy and I to find an authentic style together. Playing the catalog material is pretty simple: you play what’s there. But newer music is a little trickier. So on a personal level, I’ve worked pretty hard at finding a way to play like me but within the context of the Smashing Pumpkins. It’s a much different position to be in than if it was my own band from day one. All that being said, I love being able to play guitar with Billy Corgan every day. It’s a real dream come true.
Covering Space Oddity:
Strangely, no. In fact, we didn’t think or talk much about it at all. We naturally fell into the Smashing Pumpkins version of the song. If people want a good glimpse of what this version of the band sounds like compared to the original band, I feel, oddly enough, that the cover of “Space Oddity” provides a good example. I don’t feel like it’s too far away from something like “My Love is Winter” from Oceania. The fact that we didn’t have to work too hard to make it our own is probably one of the main reason we like playing it all the time. It’s a good example of a band searching for a different voice using someone else’s song as a starting place.
His current guitar gear setup:
I’m using the TB-5 Custom in the bridge and the TB-12 in the neck. I’m just using the stock bridge model in the neck. Actually the people at Seymour Duncan suggested that and it has worked out great. With the V, I only use the neck for soloing and the Screamin’ Demonsounds great for that. It has a little more punch and cut than a normal neck pickup, which is great when you’re playing in a two guitar band and have to get your solos to tonally stick out against a big wall of distorted guitar.
Using the Whole Lottar Humbucker:
After playing every night with them for the last couple of weeks, I have to say I’m completely in love with them. The mixture of clarity, punch, and dynamics is wonderful. It’s the first matched set of pickups where I can actually use the neck pickup. For the most part, I’m not a fan of overwound, high output pickups. I like the beginning of my signal chain to have the widest spectrum of frequencies as possible. The Whole Lotta Humbuckers sound great clean as well as distorted. While playing, you can role the volume knob down and get tonal and gain variation that way too. And when I’m playing with a lot of gain, they sound and feel exciting under my fingers. They are easily my new favorite humbucking pickups. I want to put them in every Les Paul I own.
Jeff’s Touring Rig:
Guitarwise, I’m using Gibsons, Fenders, an EVH Wolfgang, and the Jackson V.
Amps: Customized Randall MTS preamp modules done by the amazing Anthony Salva atSalvation Mods and a few Orange heads.
Cabinets: Three Orange 4×12?s–two for the guitar and one for the Theremin.