Jimmy Chamberlin The Smashing Pumpkins alternative rock Drummer

Jimmy Chamberlin is an American drummer and record producer born on June 10, 1964. He is known for his drumming career with the alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins.

When the band broke up in 2000, Chamberlin continued his career by joining Pumpkin’s frontman Billy Corgan in the supergroup Zwan. It was not enough for him; hence he went on to form his own group called Jimmy Chamberlin Complex

He joined Corgan in 2005 in the reformation of The Smashing Pumpkins and left the group in 2009 before returning again through the 2015 summer tour.

Jimmy Chamberlin
Jimmy Chamberlin

Jimmy Chamberlin started drumming at an early age. He was always interested in music, which led him to create special styles during his career. He performed with many bands because they saw certain potential in him. Every group he performed with, including the Skysaw, worked until 2012 and became successful. It is his charming personality that pulls him closer to people.

Even in his current band, the Jimmy Chamberlin Complex, he has successfully pushed those he works with to success. He is one of the few drummers in the world who supports talent and understands the importance of teamwork.

Apart from running his own, Jimmy also worked with the Chicago jazz Saxophonist Frank Catalano on several projects between 2013 and 2015.  They released an EP “Love Supreme Collective” in July 2014, which has gained a lot of attention across the globe.


Jimmy Chamberlin Performing
Jimmy Chamberlin Performing

Chamberlin originally trained as a jazz drummer. And during his training, he was able to play in a number of joints in the city that became very fond of him.

He cites great musicians like Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich as people who have been very influential in his career. He also mentions rock drummers like Keith Moon, Ian Paice, and John Bohman as the main inspiration of his technique.

What sets Chamberlin from other drummers is the way he strives to communicate emotionally while playing. Music is not just for entertainment, but for teaching as well, and that is why he goes the extra to bring out emotions in every song. Listening to him feels like you are part of the song.

He is known as ‘one of the most powerful drummers in rock,’ yet he manages to deliver the feelings. This is an approach that many rock drummers have failed to work with. In 2008, he was named by Gigwise as the 5th best drummer at all times, and in 2016, Rolling Stones ranked him 53rd on their list of “100 Greatest Drummers Of All Time.”

Smashing Pumpkins
Smashing Pumpkins

When he first showed up for his rehearsal with Smashing Pumpkins in a Pink T-shirt, Billy Corgan states they thought he was not the gut they were expecting. But when he learned all the songs within one practice, his fate was sealed as the number one drummer for the band.

In terms of handling the drums, he played like a deadly serious jazz-indebted drummer, which suggested his familiarity with the styles of Dennis Chamber and Return to Forever’s Lenny White, among others. He has never looked back ever since.

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Written by Andrea

Andrea is a music lover and an experienced drummer with more than 15 years of drumming with different bands and music projects, such as Seditius and Hermano & the Marines.

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