Spin magazine has confirmed reports that Hole frontwoman Courtney Love has reunited the band members who played on the 1998 album Celebrity Skin. The iconic record also featured Montreal-born bassist Melissa Auf der Maur, guitarist Eric Erlandson and drummer Patty Schemel. The newly reformed band has reportedly been rehearsing new material, and Love is scheduled to drop a new single, titled “Wedding Day,” with an eight-day UK tour to follow.
The record caused internal strife, as producer and taskmaster Michael Beinhorn’s fastidiousness during initial recording sessions resulted in Schemel leaving the band. While credited for composing all drum parts for Celebrity Skin, Schemel was replaced for the recording and the subsequent tour. Hit So Hard, a 2011 documentary, tells the story of the rocker’s history with Hole, her coming out as lesbian — Schemel acknowledged she was gay in a 1995 interview with Rolling Stone — and outlines the drummer’s battle with heroin and crack cocaine addiction. Shortly after the release of Celebrity Skin, Schemel was penniless; she lived on the street for more than a year before getting sober.
Celebrity Skin was a radical departure from the stripped-down sound and aesthetic of 1994’s Live Through This, a record that confirmed Hole’s stature as a force to be reckoned with on the 1990s alternative-rock playing field. Baby-doll dresses, tiaras and smeared lipstick were tossed aside in favour of couture gowns, red carpets and film premieres. Celebrity Skin boasted a shiny pop sensibility while simultaneously embracing and berating the Hollywood culture that inspired it. Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan was enlisted to shape the new sound of Hole and is responsible for a significant chunk of the album, including the title track and second single, the sublime “Malibu.” Incidentally, Auf der Maur would go on to be Smashing Pumpkins’ touring bassist in 2000, replacing founding member D’arcy Wretzky.
Word is still out on whether the newly revitalized band will record anything substantial or tour together, but here’s hoping this is a 1990s revival worth writing home about. Stranger things have happened.