After growing up in a musical household that treated jazz greats and classic rock icons with equal reverence, Chamberlin’s personal sensibility landed somewhere in between. He began playing drums at age 8, training formally with Charlie Adams and learning from the example of his accomplished older brother, Paul. He landed his first professional gigs at 14, playing on local Chicago television and in various jazz and rock bands.
Chamberlin’s career was catapulted to the next level when he met Billy Corgan in 1988. A few years later, the Smashing Pumpkins began to ascend the charts, eventually becoming one of the most influential bands in the alternative rock scene. In 13 years, the band sold over 28 million records and garnered numerous accolades including various video awards and a GRAMMY. In 2001, the readers of Modern Drummer magazine gave Chamberlin the title of Best Rock Drummer.
After the Pumpkins dissolved, Chamberlin teamed with Corgan again to form Zwan, a band that also consisted of Matt Sweeney, David Pajo, and Paz Lenchantin. After releasing one studio album, Zwan disbanded and Chamberlin finally struck out on a solo journey. He formed the Jimmy Chamberlin Complex with multi-instrumentalist Billy Mohler and released the aptly titled Life Begins Again album in 2004.
In early 2006, Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan announced the reuinion of the band. Chamberlin is currently working on their highly anticipated new album.