In the most reductionist understanding, Glass & the Machines of God serve as a semi-fictitious/semi-autobiographical rock band. There was a time when a man by the name of Zero lead a group called The Smashing Pumpkins. But upon being charged with what he perceived to be a divine calling emitted through the radio, he assumes a new identity –Glass- and renames his band to 'The Machines of God'.
Glass is a complex and multi-dimensional character. Lyrically he is witty, vain, sarcastic and intellectually brilliant. However, he is also materialistic, fame driven, and emotionally wounded. Glass' character undergoes many changes over the course of the albums and his fate is left somewhat open ended. In the following articles, I present pertinent details of all things Glass related, and house once dead, archival material.
ALCHEMICAL GLASS | Devoted to the subtler aspects of alchemy evoked by the band, apart from the overt imagery and symbolism of the Machina plates. Contained within are the alchemical double meanings of “Dross”, “Heavy Metal Machine” and “Saturnine”. In addition, our spotlight shifts to Jimmy "Thunder of the Gods" Chamberlin, as we inspect the tattoos he had inked circa the Machina era (those being: the ouroboros bearing the symbol of mercury, and Anubis, the Egyptian God of the Dead).
CHARDS OF GLASS | Spanning a collection of entries from April 28th, 2000 – July 27th, 2000; 'Chards of Glass' served as a diary of sorts, detailing the band's latest exploits of the tour. Written from the perspective of Machina's central figure, the written communiqué served as a glimpse into the mercurial-laced-mind of Glass. So Rat-tat-tat-ka-boom-boom, reaffix your eyes on a soul stained by rock and iodine.
THE MACHINES OF GOD | An integral part of 'The Machina Mystery' were revealed in coded chapters of an ongoing seven part series, titled "Glass and the Machines of God" (of which, only six would see public release). Billy Corgan also wrote an overall summary of the story concept, dubbed, "A Modern Fable". The Nachtkabarett proudly rehosts this archival material for all interested parties.
BILLY CORGAN'S MACHINA GALLERIES | Existing on the official website between (approximately) September 24th, 2001 to November 26th, 2002 (and phased out altogether by January of the following year) were a series of three galleries selected and with introductions by Billy Corgan. The first of the three series were the artworks created for Machina by the sublime alchemical artist, Vasily Kafanov. The second series were a selection of cards from the tarot -specifically The Thoth Deck- as imagined and detailed by grand occultist Aleister Crowley and painted by Lady Frieda Harris. The third series were a small selection of illustrations by William Blake – one of the greatest English Romantic poets/painters/engravers of his (and all) time. The Nachtkabarett re-presents these archival galleries.
THE LOVE OF JUNE | The first in an eventual series of mini-essays regarding the core components of Glass and the Machines of God. Love –being at the core of The Smashing Pumpkins- is once again present within the story of Machina. Within - a mini-essay on Glass' devotional observance to June, and the power and significance of love.