Ex-Smashing Pumpkins bassist to make comeback

Melissa Auf der Maur to return with multimedia project

Former Smashing Pumpkins‘ bassist Melissa Auf Der Maur will return next year with a multimedia project encompassing music, film, comic books and the internet, she has revealed.

In addition to an album of new material, she will spin out her vision across an ARG (alternative reality game), over a fantasy film series, soundtrack and an interactive website. A teaser for the project can currently be found at xmadmx.com.

“On a very broad level, it’s the eternal female force on the hunt for the heart,” she told NME.COM of the project’s theme. “The healers versus the hunters. It could be the heart of the universe, it could be literally the physical human heart. Its the hunt for the centre of life.

“The broad original concept broke down into songs and into a few storylines. It’s also very much for people to determine themselves, but the general thing is ‘get the fuck out of our minds and into our heart’ and just follow the feminine force to the centre of everything, which is the heart.”

Auf der Maur found herself on such an unusual path after restructuring at her record label Capitol left her with an excess of time on her hands.

“After I wrote over two and a half albums’ worth of material and had more than an album recorded, I thought ‘I’m gonna have to start telling the story in another way. It then became a half-hour fantasy time travel film involving vikings and witches, but also modern day car crashes and this whole scary freaky thing that then translated into a comic book, and then I met this amazing comic book team.

“It’s a long unfolding of a bigger story. Each element can be ‘to be continued’. There is potentially a 12-part comic book and there is potentially a six-part mini-series film.”

Though keen to spin details out gradually, Auf der Maur revealed that she would not be playing herself in the series. “I am a witch in the year 1007, a magic healing witch, and a sort of lost-in-time 1940s secretary. It could be the same person, because it is me, but it might also just be any woman.”

Considering the breadth of the project, Auf der Maur said she would consider following Radiohead’s lead in giving the music itself away for free.

She said: “I almost would like to just give the music away if I could, we’ll see. There will be an album, but there’s also an extra album of material and instead of maybe putting out an album of B-sides maybe I’ll just be giving away extra songs. There’s also the soundtrack for the film, which is totally instrumental, totally separate from the album, so there’s a lot of music to be had within the whole project.”

Meanwhile, NME.COM met Melissa in her hometown of Montreal last week. You can watch her tour of the city on our video blog Toomuchinformation.