Melissa Auf der Maur (/ˌɔːf dər ˈmaʊər/; born March 17, 1972) is a Canadian musician, singer-songwriter, actress and photographer. Born and raised in Montréal, Auf der Maur formed Tinker in 1993 and was later recruited as the bassist for the American alternative rock band Hole in 1994. Following her departure from Hole, Auf der Maur joined The Smashing Pumpkins in 2000 and later began a solo career. Her debut studio album, Auf der Maur, was released in 2004 and her second studio album, Out of Our Minds, was released in 2010.
Auf der Maur was born to journalist and politician Nick Auf der Maur and literary translator Linda Gaboriau. She is of German Swiss descent. Because Nick Auf der Maur was Canadian and Linda Gaboriau was born in the U.S., she holds dual Canadian-U.S. citizenship, as well as Swiss citizenship. Auf der Maur's surname translates as 'On the Wall', as 'maur (die Mauer)' was derived from the German word for 'wall'. Auf der Maur says her grandmother, Theresia Schaelin-Auf der Maur, was "always pounding my heritage down my throat", and was very proud of the name, which is on the brink of extinction.
Her native language is English, though she also speaks French. She spent some of her early childhood in Kenya with her mother, but after several bouts with malaria returned to Montreal, where she attended M.I.N.D. High School, a performing arts high school, and then Concordia University as a photography major.
Auf der Maur became friends with Billy Corgan after apologizing for a friend who had thrown a beer bottle at the band during one of The Smashing Pumpkins' first Canadian concert dates at Montreal nightclub Les Foufounes Électriques (which translates to "The Electric Buttocks"). Her band, Tinker, opened for The Smashing Pumpkins in Montreal in 1993. In 1994, when Hole was in need of a new bassist after the death of Kristen Pfaff, Corgan recommended Auf der Maur to Courtney Love. Auf der Maur at first turned the job down, but later reconsidered. She joined Hole two weeks before the Reading Festival and recorded the album Celebrity Skin with the band, ultimately leaving on October 20, 1999, after her 5-year contract with the band had come to an end.
In June 2009, Love announced through an NME blog that Hole was re-forming, with Auf der Maur on bass and Micko Larkin, who is Love's lead guitarist, on her upcoming album. It came as a surprise to Auf der Maur, who responded by saying she felt that "You can't take a Hole reunion thing that lightly. It's gonna take a little more organizing than just 'I'll come and sing some backups and then we got Hole'". Eric Erlandson also responded to the rumors, saying, "There is no Hole without me [...] on a business level." Erlandson claimed, "[Love] signed a contract with me when we decided to break up the band" that he claimed would prevent Love from using the name for a band that he wouldn't be a part of.
On April 12, 2012, Auf der Maur reunited for a one-time gig with Hole (comprising the 90s lineup of herself, Courtney Love, Eric Erlandson and Patty Schemel) in New York during the promotion of Schemel's newly released documentary "Hit So Hard". Erlandson and Schemel performed with her initially until Love came to the stage for a spontaneous performance of "Over the Edge".
Auf der Maur
Full Name at Birth
Melissa Gaborian auf der Maur
Melissa Gaboriau Auf der Maur
Melissa Auf der Maur
Date of Birth
Actress, Writer, Producer, Musician, Photographer
Claim to Fame
Bass player for Smashing Pumpkins and Hole
2000: Featured in a commercial campaign by Poole cosmetics.