Of all the acts calling Montréal their home town these days, the one with perhaps the most name-drop-able resume has got to be Melissa Auf Der Maur.
After spending the early 90s in local band Tinker, she later joined Hole on Billy Corgan's insistance. She spent 5 years with Hole (apparently on a contract more than as an actual band member), touring (for two albums) and recording Celebrity Skin with them before leaving when her contract was due. She was a key part of making Stevie Nicks' Gold Dust Woman a listenable song on the Crow 2: City Of Angels soundtrack - the backing vocals are among the best I've ever heard - they overshadow the leads, even if they don't appear often.
Her plan was to pursue photography, her other passion - and her major - but Life got in the way, in the form of another Corgan indecent proposal / offer she couldn't refuse: D'Arcy Wretzky had left the Smashing Pumpkins after the recording of 2000's Machina: The Machines Of God, and Corgan needed a trustworthy stand-in for her. She only agreed after it was made clear this would be a one-off and that it would mark the Pumpkins' farewell tour.
She then went on to photography - until 2004's Auf Der Maur, which featured Queens Of The Stone Age members Josh Homme, Brant Bjork and Nick Oliveri, Marilyn Manson guitarist Jeordie White, former Hole guitarist Eric Erlandson, former Pumpkin James Iha, Paz Lenchantin (of Zwan and A Perfect Circle fame), Helmet drummer John Stanier, and Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan, among others. For those who like their rock heavy and smart.
Her new record - Out Of Our Minds - is conceptual. It's a record, a graphic novel and a short film, and the videos are to be added to the film for the whole thing to work. There's obviously a ton of work and thought that's gone behind all of this; we're a far cry from the fun, skinny chick who used to hang out at Bifteck's and play pool until 3:30AM - she's a full-fledged, multi-talented artist of epic proportions.
This song is called Meet Me On The Dark Side. And you should.