Disarm – The Smashing Pumpkins

The Smashing Pumpkins are an American alternative rock band that formed in Chicago, Illinois in 1988. While the group has gone through several lineup changes, The Smashing Pumpkins consisted of Billy Corgan (vocals/guitar), James Iha (guitar/backing vocals), D’arcy Wretzky (bass guitar/backing vocals), and Jimmy Chamberlin (drums/percussion) for most of the band’s recording career.

Disavowing the punk rock roots shared by many of their alt-rock contemporaries, the Pumpkins have a diverse, densely layered, and guitar-heavy sound, containing elements of gothic rock, heavy metal, dream pop, psychedelic rock, arena rock, shoegazer-style production and, in later recordings, electronica. Frontman Billy Corgan is the group’s primary songwriter-his grand musical ambitions and cathartic lyrics have shaped the band’s albums and songs, which have been described as “anguished, bruised reports from Billy Corgan’s nightmare-land”.

The Smashing Pumpkins broke into the musical mainstream with their second album, Siamese Dream (1993). The group built their audience with extensive touring and their follow-up, the double album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995), debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 album chart. With approximately 18.25 million albums sold in the United States alone, The Smashing Pumpkins were one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands of the 1990s. However, internal fighting, drug use, and diminishing sales hampered the band and led to a 2000 break-up. In April 2006, the band officially announced that it was reuniting and recording a new album. Returning members Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin were joined by musicians Jeff Schroeder (guitar/vocals), Ginger Reyes (bass/vocals), and Lisa Harriton (keyboard/vocals) in 2007 to tour in support of their new release, Zeitgeist.

Disarm

The BBC banned the song from appearing on Top of the Pops, because of the lyric “cut that little child”, and it received little radio airplay in the United Kingdom. That lyric along with lyrics like “what I choose is my choice” and “the killer in me is the killer in you” has also led to some controversy, as some read it as implying that abortion is murder. Corgan, however, has clearly asserted that the song is about the shaky relationship he had with his parents while growing up, where

[...] the father abuses son, son abuses his son and it is passed on and on. I hate what it is in me, that is in you, and a child is cut. Year after year in continues to consume all it touches, bitterness and denial consuming and causing hate that gets passed on like a sickness until it is disarmed with a smile by someone who understands it. I see the rage and know what it is and I smile and it cannot touch me because I choose to make it so. I pass the smile over to my son, my love, and the killer in me kills no more. I choose to live my own life and teach my son to fear no more.

[flv]http://djallyn.org/media/smashing-pumpkins-disarm.flv[/flv]

Disarm you with a smile
And cut you like you want me to
Cut that little child
Inside of me and such a part of you
Ooh, the years burn

I used to be a little boy
So old in my shoes
And what I choose is my choice
What’s a boy supposed to do?
The killer in me is the killer in you
My love
I send this smile over to you

Disarm you with a smile
And leave you like they left me here
To wither in denial
The bitterness of one who’s left alone
Ooh, the years burn
Ooh, the years burn, burn, burn

I used to be a little boy
So old in my shoes
And what I choose is my voice
What’s a boy supposed to do?
The killer in me is the killer in you
My love
I send this smile over to you

The killer in me is the killer in you
Send this smile over to you
The killer in me is the killer in you
Send this smile over to you
The killer in me is the killer in you
Send this smile over to you

  • Audio from the 1993 album, Siamese Dream:


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About DJ Allyn

DJ Allyn is a burned out radio guy who went on to become a burned out sound engineer for a few Seattle area grunge bands in the 1980s and 1990s. Left the madness of worldwide tours with bands, cleaned up my act and went into the relative sanity of sound engineering for television series. Currently working as the Director of Sound for a television series being filmed in North Vancouver, British Columbia. I am always on the lookout for interesting videos, old music, and fun.

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