LESS IS MAUR!

And the former Hole and Smashing Pumpkins star ropes in some very famous pals for help...

Former Hole and SMASHING PUMPKINS bassist MELISSA AUF DER MAUR has told NME.COM she’s “returning to her roots” with her debut solo album.

Due out in March, ‘Auf Der Maur’ finally lets Melissa take centre stage. Recorded with famous friends including Josh Homme, Mark Lanegan and Nick Oliveri of Hole, Marilyn Manson guitarist Twiggy Ramirez and former bandmates Eric Erlandson ([a][/a]) and James Iha (Smashing Pumpkins), the well-connected rocker hopes it will showcases her as a talent in her own right.

“I don’t think the idea of ‘solo album’ was the way I thought of it,” Melissa told NME.COM. “When I was in other people’s bands there was only so much space for my creativity. So I had a great time within those limits but there was a natural accumulation of sounds and ideas that had nowhere to go. It was time for me to give them a home and create my own world.”

It’s a testament to Auf Der Maur’s popularity that such a high profile list of musicians offered their services. Melissa explained: “I basically took all of my bank account and put it into this album. I organised everything from ordering the pizza to hiring the engineer to the studio to calling my friends and saying ‘Hey I’m making a record! And I don’t have any money! Would you like to come down and play?’ I was returning to my roots. I wanted to make the record in my head so I invited my favourite friends and musicians. I’ve been very lucky to have a lot of friends who are so supportive. Josh Homme is one of my favourite musicians ever.”

‘Auf Der Maur’ is released on March 1, preceded by a single, ‘Followed The Waves’, on February 16.

While Melissa may be doing all she can to go back to basics, it seems that drama has a habit of following her around. At press time, it was looking likely that the single would coincide with Courtney Love’s long-delayed solo comeback. “I don’t think about it like that,” shrugs Melissa. “If music is being made in the world, I don’t care when it comes out or how it comes out or by who, there’s always gonna be a record by someone I know coming out. I hope hers is good and I hope she’s happy with it.”