What many Hole fans have assumed for years was made official Thursday (May 23) with a statement from founding members Courtney Love and Eric Erlandson that the band is over.
The flamboyant singer and her longtime bandmate announced they will no longer record or tour together as Hole, though they will work together to promote future Hole catalog releases.
"I will always treasure the time we played together," Love said in the statement. "Eric has been an important part of my family for over 10 years and he'll continue to be a part of my life."
Added Erlandson, "We're incredibly proud of the music we've made together, but it seems like time for both of us to move on."
Although Hole have appeared dissolved since 1999, Love said that the recent lawsuits between herself and Universal Music Group at least partially provoked the split (see "Courtney Love Countersuing Label, Organizing Union").
"Since Geffen Records closed during the promotion of our last record, there have been a lot of distractions," Love said. "Universal's lawsuit against us made it impossible for us to find a new record company despite overwhelming interest from other labels. After three years of waiting, Eric and I have decided to put Hole to rest."
Rumors of the troubled band's demise first surfaced after the band finished touring behind 1995's Live Through This and Love shifted her focus to acting. Hole temporarily quelled that talk with the release of Celebrity Skin in 1998, but breakup rumors reemerged shortly after when several members left the group (see "Hole Seeks New Bassist As Auf Der Maur Departs") and Love said she would fight to get out of Hole's contract with Universal.
Last year, Love announced the lineup of a new group, Bastard (see "Courtney Love Unveils Lineup Of Femme-Punk Project Bastard"), and later performed solo opening for Jane's Addiction (see "Courtney Love Performing Solo With Jane's Addiction") two strong indications that Hole had gone their separate ways.
In the statement released Thursday, Love said she is writing and recording a new album with former Hole drummer Patty Schemel and former 4 Non Blondes singer-turned-Pink producer Linda Perry that she expects to release early next year.
Erlandson has been collaborating with various singers and may be putting together a new band.
Once Love recruited Erlandson through a newspaper ad to form Hole in Los Angeles in 1989, the remaining lineup became a revolving door of female musicians, beginning with bassist Jill Emery and drummer Caroline Rue. Kristin Pfaff and Schemel later stepped in for Live Through This. Pfaff died of a heroin overdose at the time it was released (two months after Love's husband, Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain, took his own life).
Melissa Auf der Maur replaced Pfaff and later left to join the Smashing Pumpkins. She is currently recording a solo album and is part of the Virgins (see "Hole/Pumpkins Bassist Gets Her Rocks Off While Working On Solo LP").
Schemel also left Hole at the time Celebrity Skin was released, and was replaced by Samantha Maloney, who later filled in for the late Randy Castillo as Mötley Crüe's drummer.
"We both appreciate the amazing contributions that our other bandmates made to Hole," Erlandson said in the statement. Pointing out her former bandmates' other ventures, including Emery joining Mazzy Star, Love added, "I think Hole has made great contributions to rock's Amazon culture."
Love and Erlandson also thanked their record label (Geffen, not the Universal conglomerate that swallowed them up), various management firms and their fans for their support. "Our fans have made Hole one of the greatest experiences any musician could ever have," Erlandson said. "Courtney and I are incredibly grateful for their loyalty and inspiration."
Hole's three studio albums, which also included their debut, Pretty on the Inside, sold more than 7 million copies worldwide, earned six Grammy Award nominations and spawned hits such as "Doll Parts," "Miss World," "Violet," "Celebrity Skin" and "Malibu."
Hole's official Web site, www.hole.com, will continue to be maintained and will still house Love's Kittyradio.