Canadian musician, singer-songwriter actress and photographer Melissa Auf der Maur born March 17, 1972. Born and raised in Montréal, Auf der Maur formed Tinker in 1993 and was later recruited as the bassist for the American alternative rock band Hole in 1994. Following her departure from Hole, Auf der Maur joined The Smashing Pumpkins in 2000 and later began a solo career. Her debut studio album, Auf der Maur, was released in 2004 and her second studio album, Out of Our Minds, was released in 2010. Auf der Maur got her musical break after becoming friends with Billy Corgan after apologizing for a friend who had thrown a beer bottle at the band during one of The Smashing Pumpkins’ first Canadian concert dates at Montreal nightclub Les Foufounes Électriques (which translates to “The Electric Buttocks”).Her band, Tinker, opened for The Smashing Pumpkins in Montreal in 1993. In 1994, when Hole was in need of a new bassist after the death of Kristen Pfaff, Corgan recommended Auf der Maur to Courtney Love. Auf der Maur at first turned the job down, but later reconsidered. She joined Hole two weeks before the Reading Festival and recorded the album Celebrity Skin with the band, ultimately leaving on October 20, 1999, after her 5-year contract with the band had come to an end. In June 2009, Love announced through an NME blog that Hole was re-forming, with Auf der Maur on bass and Micko Larkin, who is Love’s lead guitarist, on her upcoming album. Which came as a surprise to Auf der Maur.
In 2012, Auf der Maur reunited for a one-time gig with Hole (comprising the 1990s lineup of herself, Courtney Love, Eric Erlandson and Patty Schemel) in New York during the promotion of Schemel’s newly released documentary “Hit So Hard”. Erlandson and Schemel performed with her initially until Love came to the stage for a spontaneous performance of “Over the Edge”. After D’arcy Wretzky left the Smashing Pumpkins in 2000, Auf der Maur joined the band as bassist. Lead singer Billy Corgan had known Auf der Maur since her days in her band Tinker (who opened for the Smashing Pumpkins on their Siamese Dream tour) and the pair were friends. Melissa did not play on Machina/The Machines of God, or Machina II/The Friends & Enemies of Modern Music, but was a part of the band for the associated tour. The Smashing Pumpkins split later that year bringing her brief stay with the band to an end. In 2006, Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin signed a new contract as Smashing Pumpkins. However Auf der Maur did not rejoin the Smashing Pumpkins.
Auf der Maur briefly toured with former The Cars frontman Ric Ocasek in 1997, after contributing bass and background vocals to his 1997 solo album Troublizing. She collaborated with French group Indochine on their song “Le Grand Secret”, singing a duet in French with Nicola Sirkis, to great acclaim in France. Auf der Maur joined the band on stage to perform. She has also contributed bass and backing vocals to childhood friend Rufus Wainwright’s album Poses, and appears in his 1998 video for “April Fools”. In 2008, she collaborated with Canadian musician Daniel Victor, on his music collaboration project Neverending White Lights. They recorded the song “The World is Darker”. she has also contributed to albums by artists such as Ryan Adams, Ben Lee, Idaho, she also appeared on the Fountains of Wayne album Traffic and Weather singing backing on the track “Someone to Love”.
in 2002, Auf der Maur fronted a Black Sabbath cover band called Hand of Doom, in which she performed lead vocals. In the same year, she and drummer Samantha Maloney (another Hole alumnus and also formerly of Mötley Crüe, and Peaches), Paz Lenchantin (of A Perfect Circle, and Zwan), and Radio Sloan (of Peaches, The Need) got together to play a show in Los Angeles, performing original songs and some covers. Courtney Love later adopted the band as her backing band while touring for her first solo album, America’s Sweetheart. Only Samantha Maloney and Radio Sloan remained of the original line-up, and the band was later renamed to The Courtney Love Band. In 2004, Auf der Maur released her first solo album Auf der Maur, containing the singles “Followed the Waves,” “Real a Lie” and “Taste You.”Auf der Maur was part of the November 2004 “Love Metal” tour also featuring HIM and 2004’s Curiosa. She was also the opening act for Matthew Good’s “Put Out Your Lights” tour in 2004, as well as for The Offspring’s Splinter tour in 2004.In 2006, Auf der Maur was included in Blender magazine’s hottest women of rock alongside Joan Jett, Liz Phair, and Courtney Love.
Auf der Maur released her second album in 2009 under the name of MAdM, together with comic, film and album entitled Out of Our Minds, or OOOM for short. a movie trailer for which can be found at xMAdMx.com. Glenn Danzig recorded a duet with Auf der Maur in 2008, titled “Father’s Grave. In 2008 the songs “This Would Be Paradise” “The Key” and “Willing Enabler.” Were released and in 2009 Auf der Maur released the single “Out of Our Minds” from her new album, which was also accompanied by a short film.In July 2010, she was a part of the major two-day, heavy metal and hard rock festival Heavy MTL at Parc Jean-Drapeau in Montreal. On October 4, 2010, Auf der Maur premiered her music video “Meet Me On The Dark Side” online.In January 2011, Auf der Maur won the Independent Music Awards in the Indie/Alt/Hard Rock category for Out of Our Minds. She also played Alice Longfellow in the 2011 film “Collaborator”.
Auf der Maur is also a published photographer. She was a photography major specializing in self-portraiture at Concordia University when she was invited to join Hole in 1994. Her photos have been published in Nylon, Bust, Mastermind, and American Photo, among other magazines. Her photos were also in the exhibition The Kids are Alright at Sotheby’s in New York City along with photos by Yelena Yemchuk. She put together a solo exhibition in 2001, under the name of Channels. It mostly featured shots of Auf der Maur’s life on the road, with a recurring TV theme and shots of hotel TV screens, hence the name Channels. The exhibition opened September 9, 2001, at Brooklyn’s Secret Gallery, but was shut down after the September 11 attacks. In 2004, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation produced a television series called The Greatest Canadian which saw 100 Canadian figures nominated for the title of ‘the Greatest Canadian’. The list of 100 was narrowed to a group of 10 finalists, and a program was dedicated to relating the story of and case for each nominee was aired on the network. Each nominee was promoted by a Canadian celebrity ‘advocate’ and Auf der Maur appeared as the advocate for environmentalist David Suzuki (who finished 5th of 10).