Melissa Auf Der Maur has finished writing the material that will make up her sophomore album for Capitol. After hunkering down at a family home in Cape Cod, Mass., to get ideas on tape, the artist tel

Melissa Auf Der Maur has finished writing the material that will make up her sophomore album for Capitol. After hunkering down at a family home in Cape Cod, Mass., to get ideas on tape, the artist tells Billboard.com she will spend the next "five or six weeks doing pre-production so I can be ready to record by June 1."

"I just came out of hibernation," she says, noting that her new blog has been her primary means of communication in recent weeks. "Now I want to make sure all the songs are finely tuned, and really start to understand the message and theme of the record."

To that end, Auf Der Mar reports that she's "been in the studio for the past two weeks recording phase one demos of all the songs I wrote on the four-track. I need to turn them into understandable forms for the people who will play on the album." She adds that "Mother's Red Box" is the only working title not likely to be changed.

Auf Der Maur's self-titled 2004 debut reached No. 8 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart. The set featured such rock notables as Queens Of The Stone Age's Josh Homme, Mark Lanegan and former bandmates James Iha and Eric Erlandson, but the artist says she is hoping to change up the cast of guest artists this time around.

"Josh is my absolute favorite musician," she says. "I would love to make every record with the guy. But for this, I feel like I do have to start anew. I need to make a record about right now in my life. With the exception of [longtime collaborator] Steve [Durand], I'm pretty sure all the people will be new.

As for a potential release date, Auf Der Maur is shooting for late 2005 but is prepared to wait until early next year. "I would like to have it out this year, but the whole thing in the fall happens with the Christmas rush," she says. "I'm flexible, because I can always be busy and tour before it comes out."

Even if the album doesn't hit shelves until 2006, Auf Der Maur says, "I'm sure I'll be playing by the fall, because it would be sad if I didn't play a live show in 2005."