Mike Byrne, 19, Smashing Pumpkins' New Drummer
19-year-old Mike Byrne from Portland, Oregon, is Smashing Pumpkins' new drummer. Byrne auditioned for the job in April, 2009, and beat out the competition of nearly 1,000 other drummers. The band's singer Billy Corgan handpicked Byrne after a 15-minute jam session.
"We didn't actually play songs at the audition," says Byrne. "We just kind of jammed for about 15 minutes and then talked about Fugazi for the other 15 or so minutes."
Mike Byrne has played in a number of bands despite his young age - among them Moses, Smell the Roses and the Mercury Tree. He started playing drums when he was 11 years old, and started his first band at 15. He will join the Smashing Pumpkins on August 26 for a couple of small club shows in California.
The Smashing Pumpkins' old drummer, Jimmy Chamberlin, quit the band in March. On the band's website he stated the reason that he could no longer commit 100%.