Despite only now seeing the release of her second solo effort, Montrealer Melissa Auf der Maur is no stranger to the international music scene.
After having logged miles with seminal alternative-rock bands Hole and The Smashing Pumpkins, the artist is reintroducing herself to audiences via Out Of Our Minds, a multi-platform project that includes a new record, a short film, viral web components and a comic book.
The title track and lead single from the project is currently available for free download at http://xmadmx.com while the film component of the project has been making the rounds at various film festivals for the past 10 months.
And even though the full-length Out Of Our Minds record will not see release until February 2010, Auf der Maur is hitting the road for shows as the support act for Stone Temple Pilots.
The multiple formats of Auf der Maur’s newest project allow her to tour and promote the project in many different capacities. As far as she is concerned, it boiled down to her survival instincts kicking in when her recording contract with Capitol Records came to an end.
“I see this opportunity as the best thing that could have happened to me,” she says. “I realized that I had to start expanding in the way I wanted to make art. I had to start hustling my creative self in a very serious way and ended up doing things that I didn’t know I could do.
“The past few years have definitely been the busiest of my life,” she says. “My first solo record came out in 2004 and then I toured in support of that until 2005; that was a big chapter of my life. Then I spent the following year starting to write this record if that helps to give perspective on how long this project has in the making,” she laughs.
While Auf der Maur remains vague about where she calls home these days (saying it lies in between New York City and Montreal), she is optimistic about “coming home” to Canada. She admits that her home country was neglected during the promotional efforts for her 2004 record and is looking to right this wrong with Out Of Our Minds.
“I am definitely going to have to try to make up for having neglected Canada. The beauty about Out Of Our Minds is that I actually have Canadian partners with Phi now “” the label who is going to be releasing the record.
“As lame as it sounds, Capitol Records in the US never contacted their Canadian counterparts (EMI) about promoting the record. I hadn’t realized that I had to look out for Canada for myself and have regretted it since.”
An immense source of pride for Auf der Maur is the fact that Out Of Our Minds has remained independent, from its creative birth through to the production and distribution of the various facets of the project.
“This project was self-financed and entirely self produced,” she says. “I turned down a few different companies based on the fact that I wanted to keep it independent and the integrity of the project in tact. I realized that I had come too far and invested too much in this project to let anyone else take the reins on it.
“Luckily, the company I ended up choosing (Phi) are very 21st century and very unique. They recognized the value of the project as a whole and helped nurture the vision I had going into the project.”
Catch Melissa Auf der Maur on stage at the Moncton Coliseum on Monday November 23 as the special guest to headliners Stone Temple Pilots.