Auf Der Maur, Melissa
Melissa Auf der Maur. Bass guitarist, singer, songwriter, photographer, b Montreal 17 Mar 1972. Melissa Auf der Maur is the daughter of Montreal journalist Nick Auf der Maur and former Montreal rock radio disc jockey Linda Gaboriau. She initially studied piano, trumpet, and voice and sang in her Montreal high school choir, then took up the bass guitar at age 21. She studied photography at Concordia University, while also playing bass 1993-4 in the Montreal alternative rock band Tinker. In 1993 Tinker opened a show for US alternative rock band Smashing Pumpkins at Montreal's Metropolis. Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan recommended Auf der Maur to Courtney Love, of the US alternative rock band Hole. Auf der Maur played bass and sang backup vocals 1994-9 in Hole (including on its 1998 album Celebrity Skin); in 1997 with ex-Cars lead singer Ric Ocasek (including on his Corgan-produced album Troublizing and a brief tour); and 1999-2001 played and sang in Smashing Pumpkins. Her time with that group included its tour in support of the 2000 album MACHINA/The Machines of God and performing on the (unreleased) album Friends and Enemies of Modern Music. She also appeared in the video for her childhood friend Rufus Wainwright's "April Fools" (1998).
Auf der Maur modelled in 1999 in Calvin Klein ads, and 2001-3 returned to photography (with works published in Nylon, Bust, Mastermind, American Photo, and elsewhere). She assembled the Black Sabbath tribute band Hand of Doom (in which she sang lead vocals and which played in clubs and made an independent live album); performed in the group The Chelsea; participated in the all-star project "The Virgins"; contributed bass and vocals to the album Poses (2001) by Wainwright; contributed backup vocals to Ryan Adams' album Rock N Roll (2002); sang with the French group Indochine on "Le Grand Secret" (album track and song video, 2002); contributed to albums by Ben Lee, Idaho, the Stills, and Fountains of Wayne; and collaborated in 2008 with Canadian musician Daniel Victor on Neverending White Lights and the song and video "The World is Darker."
In 2004 Auf der Maur released her hard psychedelic rock debut album, Auf der Maur (7243 5 78941 2 8 Capitol), with contributions by James Iha (formerly of Smashing Pumpkins); guitarists Eric Erlandson (formerly of Hole) and Josh Homme; bassist Nick Olivieri; drummers John Stanier, Adam "Atom" Willard, and Brant Bjork; producer Chris Goss; and Canadians Steve Durand (Auf der Maur's former bandmate in Tinker) and Jordon Zadorozny. After performances in 2004 (such as opening for tours by Matthew Good and for The Offspring), she began working on the interrelated film, graphic novel, and album MadM and Out of Our Minds, and performed in Montreal and Europe in 2008.