In the clearest sign yet that Billy Corgan is moving ahead with his plan to revive seminal alternative rock act Smashing Pumpkins, sources say the group has signed a new management deal with Jared Pau

In the clearest sign yet that Billy Corgan is moving ahead with his plan to revive seminal alternative rock act Smashing Pumpkins, sources say the group has signed a new management deal with Jared Paul and Paul Geary at the Irving Azoff-helmed Front Line Management.

Billboard.com has learned that Corgan and Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin will initially begin work on a new studio album, the first under the group name since the original Pumpkins' 2000 swan song, "MACHINA/the machines of god." When asked for comment, a Corgan spokesperson said there was no information to report at present.

It is understood that at this point, original members James Iha (guitar) and D'arcy Wretzky (bass) are not participating in the reunion, but sources say multi-instrumentalist Billy Mohler will be involved in some fashion. Mohler formerly played bass in pop/rock act the Calling and was a featured contributor on Chamberlin's 2005 solo album, "Life Begins Again."

The Pumpkins are expected to hit the road at some point this year, although, as first reported here, a rumored appearance at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in late April will not materialize. The group's name is already being kicked around as a possible headliner for Lollapalooza, which is set for Aug. 4-6 in its Chicago hometown.

"As long as Billy has Jimmy, he can make the essential Pumpkins record, I'm sure," former Pumpkins bassist Melissa Auf Der Maur tells Billboard.com, adding that while she is not involved in any reunion plans, "my services are always there to play my favorite songs. If D'arcy is not available, I'm always happy to be second in line."

As previously reported, Corgan stunned fans last June when he took out a full-page ad in the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times announcing his intentions to "renew and "revive" the Pumpkins. In 2004, he broke his silence about why the band dissolved, lashing out at Iha and Wretzky for walking away from an endeavor he described as "essentially my entire life... a dream I still believe in."

Corgan's newspaper ads came out the same day as his Reprise solo debut, "The Future Embrace," which met with a chilly reception at retail. The album debuted at No. 31 on The Billboard 200 and has sold just 69,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

In the past few weeks, the URL SmashingPumpkins.com has begun redirecting to Corgan's own home page. In December, he teased fans on his Myspace.com site with the promise of a surprise, saying that it "all will be announced soon enough. Hold on to your horses. After all, good things surely [come] to those who wait. Don't you just love the suspense?"

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