I was first musically introduced to Melissa Auf der Maur in 1994 when she became the bass player for the band Hole. I was 16 and very excited that she was in my favourite band not only because she was a young rocking bass player (she was only 22 when she joined) but because she was Canadian, hailing from the great city of Montreal.
Melissa’s music career started to take off in the early 90’s when she met Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins) after a Pumpkins show in Montreal when she apologized for her friend who had heckled him and thrown a beer bottle at the band while on stage. As fate would have it the two soon became friends and Melissa’s band Tinker would later open for the Pumpkins in 1993. It was Billy who recommended Melissa to Courtney Love when Hole was looking for a bassist after the death of their band mate Kristen Pfaff. She played with Hole for 5 years and after her departure soon join Billy’s Smashing Pumpkins in 1999.
After her short stint with the Pumpkins Melissa formed a Black Sabbath cover band called Hand Of Doom which she sang lead vocals. She later formed a short lived band called The Chelsea with Samantha Maloney (Hole), Paz Lenchantin (A Perfect Circle, Zwan) and Radio Sloan (Peaches). She has also been a contributing musician on works by Ric Ocasek, Rufus Wainwright, and Ben Lee just to name a few.
Her first solo album titled Auf der Maur was released in 2004 and featured guest artists Eric Erlandson (Hole), James Iha (Smashing Pumpkins), Jeordie White (Marilyn Manson), and Josh Homme (Queens of The Stone Age). My favourite song on that CD is Follow The Waves. The beginning vocals are killer. 🙂
I recently was given the opportunity to interview the multi-talented (she’s also a photographer and short film maker) Melissa Auf der Maur while she was in town promoting her second solo album, Out Of Our Minds, when she performed a small intimate show at the John Fleuvog store in Gastown.
Check out the official virtual home of everything Melissa Auf der Maur at xmadmx.com.