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Melissa Auf der Maur

Melissa Auf der MaurBorn: 17-Mar-1972
Birthplace: Montréal, Québec, Canada

Gender: Female
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Bassist

Nationality: Canada
Executive summary: Bass player for Smashing Pumpkins, Hole

Born and raised in Montréal to Linda Gaboriau, the city's first female disc jockey, Melissa Auf der Maur was given an early start to her musical explorations, studying on piano and trumpet as well as singing in a choir by her teen years. While attending a performing-arts high school, Melissa decided to teach herself to play the bass guitar and began playing in small bars and clubs with local punk acts. Her first self-created band, Tinker, was abruptly pulled from obscurity when it was chosen to open for a Montréal appearance of Smashing Pumpkins during their 1993 Siamese Dream tour. The bassist's performance left a strong impression on Pumpkins-frontman Billy Corgan, and he later brought her to the attention of Courtney Love when the band Hole was seeking a replacement after member Kristen Pfaff was found dead of a heroin overdose in mid-1994.

With some misgivings, Auf der Maur made the decision to leave behind her home town, her attendance at University, and Tinker (despite the now-favorable prospects for landing a record deal) in order to join up with Hole in Seattle. For the next five years she found herself immersed in the constant tumult that surrounded Love and her band -- her tenure being started off with an immediate launch into a major tour, followed up shortly afterwards with a spot on the fifth Lollapalooza traveling festival. It was not until 1998's Celebrity Skin that a full-length album with Auf der Maur's contribution was released, just prior to which she (again through Corgan's instigation) spent time collaborating with former Cars vocalist Ric Ocasek. By the following year she had terminated her membership in Hole in order to pursue a solo career -- a plan that was temporarily sidetracked when Billy Corgan stepped in once again and convinced her to join Smashing Pumpkins for its final album (Machines of God) and tour in 2000.

In March of 2001 Auf der Maur began work on her debut solo effort, enlisting the aid of musicians she had long admired (Chris Goss, Josh Homme and Brant Bjork, all formerly associated with Kyuss) and some of her former bandmates (James Iha of Smashing Pumpkins, Eric Erlandson of Hole, and Steve Durand, co-founder of her first band Tinker). The result, titled Auf der Maur, was made public in early 2004, and received a favorable critical response from most quarters. In addition to her solo work, she also spent the 2000's fronting Hand of Doom (a Black Sabbath tribute band) and working alongside Iha in the side-project The Virgins.

Father: Nick Auf der Maur (journalist/politician)
Mother: Linda Gaboriau (journalist/DJ)
Brother: Yves Auf der Maur
Boyfriend: Steve Durand
Boyfriend: Dave Grohl

    High School: F.A.C.E., Montréal, Québec
    University: Concordia University, Montréal, Québec

    Tinker Bassist (1990-94)
    Hole Bassist (1994-99)
    Ric Ocasek Bassist/Vocalist (1997)
    Ben Lee Vocalist (1997)
    Idaho Vocalist (1998)
    Cecil Seaskull Bassist/Vocalist (1998)
    Smashing Pumpkins Bassist )1999-2000)
    Rufus Wainwright (2001)
    Jesse Malin Vocalist (2003)
    Hand of Doom Vocalist
    The Virgins
    The Chelsea
    Auf der Maur

    Collaborator (4-Jul-2011)
    Beyond Borders (24-Oct-2003) · Bass Player

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