Former Smashing Pumpkins/Hole bassist Melissa auf der Maur has completed her second solo album, "Out of Our Minds," and it's part of a multidisciplinary Viking-themed project that includes a short fil
Former Smashing Pumpkins/Hole bassist Melissa auf der Maur has completed her second solo album, "Out of Our Minds," and it's part of a multidisciplinary Viking-themed project that includes a short film and comic book. They will all be released under her initials, MADM (pronounced "madam").
"This is the early stages of this brave new world of multimedia and this potentially alternative business model of mine," auf der Maur tells Billboard.com. "A lot is to-be-determined beyond the three creative elements that are in their final stages -- art is done; business is to be done."
Auf der Maur no longer has a record deal (she was on Capitol) and is looking forward to finding a business partner who could potentially release the entire artistic package. To that end, she recently attended Comic Con International, the world's largest comic book convention.
"I was basically building relationships because those comic book companies are crossing over into film and video games. Why not music?" she says. An avid sci-fi fan also fascinated by Viking legend, she knew she wanted to make a concept album off the top, including fantasy, time-travel and the idea of male-female forces.
The album was self-produced with Jordan Zadorozny and Chris Goss in separate recording sessions. Guests include Ryan Adams, Priestess's Vince Nudo and ex-Tinker member Steve Durand. "The last one was straight ahead rock, I guess, but this one goes from heavy to atmospheric to sometimes just piano and five female voices to instrumental interludes. It's far more diverse," she says.
The film includes a totally separate soundtrack. A collaboration with director Tony Stone -- whose first feature, "Severed Ways: The Norse Discovery of America," just premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival -- the 30-minute "Out of Our Minds" mini-movie has no dialogue, but is instead scored by instrumental trance-y rock music, says Auf Der Maur, who stars in it. It too is a time-travel fantasy.
The comic book is also an extension of the album and film and is a collaboration with Kevin McCleod, a.k.a. Mastermind, whom auf der Maur calls "a good friend and wild forward thinker gamer and Web maniac."
Auf der Maur is now looking at "Out of Our Minds" as a lifelong project to which she can continually add new elements. A web component is now live at xmadmx.com.
"Creatively, it made sense to create content, knowing how I like to consume things, where I want to find new version of things to keep me engaged," she explains. "People don't necessarily have the vision to create the business version of it, which is where I'm at a loss because I spent two years creating the content. Now, I need somebody to help me figure out how to do it and I think it's a bit over people's heads, but I'm doing my job. I'm talking to people and getting ideas."