Lovers Lane
Copernicus Center

Hello, My Name Is Melissa

| March 1, 2010

Q&A with Melissa Auf Der Maur

IE: So after a long absence, you’re back in a big way, with a three-part conceptual piece Out Of Our Minds, an album, comic book, and 28-minute film directed by Tony Stone. But where in the hell have you been for the past six years?
Melissa Auf Der Maur:
Actually, I’ve been real busy, I promise you. And first of all, I wanna explain that it’s been five years, not six, ’cause I was on tour for the entire year of 2004. So what happened in half a decade? I began to write what I thought would be a rock record that I knew would have a more visual/conceptual element to it, because I’d decided that I wanted to bring together some of my visual-art roots of the past and mix ’em in with my music. Because I had sorta been hijacked by music for a decade, while I turned my back on my photography and all these other artsy things. But did I know the 21st-century beast was gonna become this? No. Not until halfway through the making of the record, when Capitol Records, my label at the time, began to melt. Budgets were being frozen, and I couldn’t go back into the studio until they told me I could. So I started to get very nervous about the music industry. And by the time that everyone I worked with at Capitol was fired in one fell swoop, I had already gotten my survival kit out. Legal affairs held up my half-finished record for almost a year, which was hellish. But I wanted to continue to create, so in that limbo, I met the filmmaker Tony Stone. And I’d had the idea for this film, so we just decided to go full-bore with it. So we embarked on this epic journey, even though it’s only a half-hour film — there really are car crashes in it, and lots of special effects like bleeding trees. So we were solar-powered, off the grid, living like pagans on and off for six months over the course of a year to make that epic movie. Then I wanted to continue expounding on it, so we started doing the comic book. And I also wanted to get back in touch with my roots as a Canadian independent artist, and that took a huge amount of brainwork, a learning curve for a girl who lived in the fantasy-Viking-creative side, who had to suddenly learn how to use a computer and make marketing pitches — because I’d decided that I wanted to be able to have my own artist-run production company. So it’s one thing to make a multi-media concept record, another thing entirely to become your own business. So that’s been the crazy last year and a half of my life. But now I’ve got my own MAdM Productions, and I’m the creator of music and film and whatever the hell I wanna make in the future!

Melissa Auf Der Maur’s Out Of Our Minds is available March 30th. Q&A by Tom Lanham.


Category: Columns, File, Monthly

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