Melissa Auf der Maur @ Anticipation, WorldCon 67
Out of Our Minds film preview, video preview and live solo performance
Friday, August 6, 2009
By Laura Wiebe Taylor and Jonathan Smith
Besides being metal junkies, we’re also science fiction geeks (if you’ve glanced at our Hellbound playlists, you might know this already). Turns out Melissa Auf der Maur (Hole, Smashing Pumpkins, MAdM) has a soft spot for sf as well, which her new multimedia project, Out of Our Minds makes blatantly clear. Auf der Maur appeared as a special guest at the 67th World Science Fiction Convention, held in Montreal this past weekend, where she was promoting her new multimedia project, Out of Our Minds.
A cross of time travel, dark fantasy, and environmental concerns with a heavy psychedelic score (by Auf der Maur with the Entrance Band), Out of Our Minds the film bleeds heathen metal imagery. Auf der Maur (who apparently likes vikings) recruited director Tony Stone after seeing a rough cut of his previous film Severed Ways: The Norse Discovery of America (2007), a take on the Viking story with a partly black metal soundtrack. In Out of Our Minds, she and Stone intertwine trees, cars, mysticism, fur-clad marauders, and a lot of blood in a half hour of visual poetics.
Before and after the film – a fascinating piece of art, despite the technical interruptions – Auf der Maur explained the project and answered questions. She also debuted an unfinished cut of the rock video for the song “Out of Our Minds,” a much different sonic beast from the film score, and projected pages from the accompanying comic book.
But the real treat was Auf der Maur performing with voice and bass alone, sharing her new single plus a couple of songs from her previous solo work. Despite her repeated disclaimers that a “girl and her bass” shouldn’t play rock with no band (especially no drummer) the songs sounded heavy and haunting. The bass resonated with multidimensional power, freed from its usual supporting role (buried under screeching guitars and pounding drums). Her vocal delivery had a similar appeal, hypnotically reverberating through and subsuming the convention space, just as her image, enlarged on two video screens at either side of the stage, echoed the larger-than-life vibe of her entire performance.
According to Auf der Maur, the Out of Our Minds project will be coming out gradually over the upcoming months – more film screenings, the comic book, the album, with the whole thing available as a package in the new year.