AE: You grew up in a small town like so many of us did and your mother talks in the movie about you being bullied because you made a pass at another girl. How was coming out for you in Marysville?
PS: It was a relief and I’m grateful that I had parents who accepted me and the way my Mom spoke to me was like “There’s such a huge world out there for you.” Of course, she was concerned about me getting hurt along the way and eventually I discovered my people and I got to the point where it was okay.
AE: The movie also documents your drug addiction and trips to rehab. Was being gay a part of what led to your addiction in any way?
PS: Being gay had absolutely zero to do with my addiction. I was born with the DNA that makes me an addict but I was also born a lesbian.
AE: What would you say finally helped you turn a corner and get sober?
PS: The small things like the small estimable acts like taking time to help and teach drum students or teach rock and roll camp for girls and that got me back to being around music. Now I do all kinds of stuff with music. It was a slow return, you know?
AE: What kind of relationship do you have today with the gang from Hole?
PS: Everyone came out to the New York premiere. Courtney and Melissa were in New York and Eric came out from L.A. so we all saw each other for the premiere. I’m in contact with everyone and, actually, Eric and I see each other a bit since he’s in L.A. We’re rehearsing for a show that we’re going to play after the screening tonight. I’m so excited!
AE: So, overall, what do you hope people take from Hit So Hard?
PS: I guess mostly it has a lot to do with — a “be careful what you wish for” kind of idea. I’m not saying that I’m not grateful that my dream came true and that I became a musician and I toured the world but there’s also a downside of it and my downside ruined that path of my life with my addiction. I came through it and a lot of the people that I loved that were important to me didn’t. Everybody is always trying to fill that emptiness with something and sometimes being successful in a rock band isn’t going to do it for you. It doesn’t always work.
P. David Ebersole, Patty Schemel, Christina Soletti, Beatrice Schemel and Todd Hughes at Outfest
AE: You married your partner (Christina Soletti) and have a baby. How’s married life and being a mom treating you?
PS: Oh, it’s good! We got through the first six months of a baby, which is always the toughest and that’s true! She’s nine months and has two teeth and is now starting to stand up and crawl around and move so that’s the next step. They say it gets easier and it has.
AE: At least you’re getting more sleep now, right?
PS: Totally! That’s the best part!