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Patty Schemel – The Collapse Board Interview

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Patty Schemel and daughter Beatrice

You also have a family now.

Yeah, I have a daughter. Beatrice. She’s nine months and has two teeth! She has a small piano that she plays sometimes. We just played a bit. We’re getting ready to go to a film festival in San Francisco tomorrow. Over the last few months she’s now a seasoned traveller going to film festivals [laughs].

And, there’s your wonderful dogs.

Yes, I have my dogs, four dogs that I love.

You have your own dog walking/pet care kind of business too! I know that when you were going through the program to get clean you needed to find a day job and a friend pointed you in the direction of someone they knew who had a pet care business that needed to hire someone.

Yeah, that’s how I started. It was nothing that I thought about beyond nothing more than I need a job. It became something that I really liked to do, so I eventually started my own business.

Patty Schemel and dog

Was it the first non-musical job you had?

Pretty much. In the film my mother talks about how I left a job at Microsoft early on. That was one of my first jobs. It had been a long time since I had a regular day job.

What was it like for you?

It goes back to the whole thing of the structure. I liked being a worker among workers. I liked having things set out for the whole day. Things like, OK, 10am break time [laughs], was like “wow, I’m like other people in the world!”.

Now what’s your daily schedule like?

I do my dog stuff in the morning. Then I have three musical projects I’m working on, so I’ll do that in the afternoon. It’s pretty flexible. Mostly my big priority is being with my daughter and Christina. We do a lot more baby kind of stuff: children’s museum and the park. It’s the most amazing thing to see her experience things for the first time – stuff like “That’s a rock!”

That would also help you appreciate the small things.

Yeah, it does.

The full title of the documentary is Hit So Hard: The Life & Near Death Story of Patty Schemel; was there ever a time during your addiction that you thought you really might not make it?

Yeah, I felt like I wanted to not make it. It was that situation of that flat feeling of, “If I keep doing this I’m going to die, if I keep using drugs I’m going to die, but if I don’t keep using drugs I’m going to die kind of—” Where do you go from there? I just pulled it altogether in myself and said ok one more time I’m going to try and get it together and try to get out of here, this cycle of how I live. So far so good [laughs].

Hole at Patty Schemel film screening

During the Q&A session after one of the film screenings Melissa said “We’re not here for Hole, we’re here because Patty is still alive”; how did that statement make you feel?

A lot of that was that the point about the film was a lot about survival. It made me feel really good. In that comment she was addressing the fact that everyone was asking “Is Hole going to get back together?” All these questions were about the band, when it was about me and the documentary and that story. To answer that though, there are no plans for Hole to ever reunite at this point – well, no short-term plans. Courtney has her thing which is totally not really Hole.

Trailer & Preview Clips for Hit So Hard: The Life & Near Death Story of Patty Schemel:

Q&A at a Hit So Hard Screening

For more info check out: www.pattydoc.com

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