During the recording for Machina, Wretzky quit the band and was replaced for the upcoming tour by former Hole bassist Melissa Auf der Maur.
In 2000, the band announced they would break up at the end of the year, and soon after released Machina II/The Friends & Enemies of Modern Music for free over the internet.
The Smashing Pumpkins played their last show on December 2 of that year at the Cabaret Metro.
Chamberlin was reunited with the band in 1999, and 2000 saw Machina/The Machines of God, a concept album on which the band deliberately played to their public image; critics were again divided, and sales were lower than ever.
The band became known for internal drama during this period, with Corgan frequently characterized in the music press as a "control freak" due to rumors that Corgan played all the guitar and bass parts on Gish and Siamese Dream (a rumor that Corgan later confirmed as true).
Despite this, the album was well received by critics, and the songs "Today" and "Disarm" became smash hits.
Chamberlin left the Smashing Pumpkins in March 2009, while Corgan has continued to record and tour with a new lineup.
Corgan was born in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, as the oldest son of William Corgan Sr., a blues/rock guitarist, and Martha Louise Maes Corgan Lutz.