Track is part of band’s 33-song cycle ‘Atum,’ which officially comes out this spring
Smashing Pumpkins’ new “Empires” video essentially serves as a teaser for their upcoming The World Is a Vampire tour. In his finest Nosferatu attire, Billy Corgan bleats about the beginnings and ends of empires while playing an elastic heavy-metal guitar riff onstage. “You know that zero is one more than null (but a zero),” he sings, “But a zero can’t leave well-enough alone.” The rest of the Pumpkins brood accordingly around the frontman (except for the backup singers, who look pretty stoked to be there) as stage lights flutter about and a giant mirror ball rotates behind them.
The track is part of the band’s 33-song Atum album, which they’ve been rolling out track by track for months. The cycle will complete on May 5. Corgan has been unveiling the album’s songs and discussing them on his podcast, Thirty-Three With William Patrick Corgan, since September.
The group will kick off its World Is a Vampire trek in July. Interpol, Rival Sons, and Stone Temple Pilots are all slated variously to open tour dates. “I grew up in a world where I needed to know bands like Siouxsie and the Banshees and the Cure existed,” Corgan said in a statement. “It meant there was a place for people like me to hang out and belong. That’s what The World Is a Vampire is about. Bringing back that sense of community. If you don’t fit in, you belong here. It’s about having a shared experience and respecting others, but ultimately having fun. A true alternative festival, where all the self-proclaimed weirdos and outsiders of the world can get together and have a party.”