Hit So Hard: Hole Drummer Patty Schemel on the '90s Revival, Courtney's Antics, and the New Film About Her Life

[Editor's note: Matt Momchilov plays in an S.F.-based, all-gay Hole tribute band called Butthole. He seemed like the perfect person to interview original Hole drummer Patty Schemel about the new documentary covering her life, so when we were pitched this story through a friend of Momchilov's, we took it. Enjoy.]


I have always wanted to be the girl with most cake. Somewhere in the dawn of my adolescence, Hole crashed the party with sunless bruised legs in a beer-soaked baby doll dress, and set up camp — permanently. The band's seminal second album, Live Though This, has been in the five-disc CD changer in my car for the last four years. I think the world would be hard-pressed to find anyone who has spent more time screaming along to their cathartic jams than I have, excluding, potentially, the other members of my all-fag Hole cover band, Butthole. Images of Courtney Love have even begun creeping their way into my art practice: I recently made a life-sized concrete sculpture of Butthole's singer, Lain Kay, in full Courtney Love drag.


When I caught word that Hole's original drummer, Patty Schemel, an ex-junkie turned sober dog walker, had a new biopic about to see release, it was music to my ears. Hit So Hard is a rare glimpse of a life lived in the shadows of Courtney Love's star, loaded with a dark nostalgia that is equal parts grunge home movie and VH1 Behind The Music. I had a chance to talk to Patty during a break from the New York leg of her press tour for the film, which starts a week-long run at S.F.'s Roxie Theater this Friday.

What do you think about this huge surge of '90s nostalgia in fashion and pop culture right now?

It's crazy. It's hard to wrap my head around it. There's like, a new version of flannel. [Former Hole bassist] Melissa [Auf der Maur] and I were just talking the other day, and I was asking, 'What's with the pants tucked into the lace-up boots thing all the kids are wearing?', and she was like, “Oh, it's from Chris Cornell.” I guess I'm not removed enough from it to come back. I'm constantly listening to new music, and hearing what people are creating, but I never stopped listening to my favorite music from the '90s. It's interesting to think, what does New Grunge sound like? Did I just coin a new term?

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