It has been noted that Schemel was considered by Kurt Cobain as Nirvana's drummer after the departure of their drummer, Chad Channing. However, after Dave Grohl's audition, Schemel became Cobain's second choice, but he and Schemel developed a close friendship.
After the departure of Hole's original drummer Caroline Rue, frontwoman Courtney Love recruited Schemel and she joined the group in 1992. Schemel's first work with the band involved the recording of their fourth single, Beautiful Son, on which she also played guitar on the b-side "20 Years in the Dakota." Most notably, she played drums on Hole's sophomore and most successful album to date Live Through This. She later went on to tour with the band for the promotion of Live Through This, which featured dates at the Reading Festival, Big Day Out and Lollapalooza. While on tour in April 1995, Schemel became the first woman ever to appear on the cover of Drum World magazine. Around this time, she also recorded with Phranc, playing drums on the Goofyfoot EP. In 1996, while Hole were on a reported hiatus, Schemel and Hole bassist Melissa Auf der Maur formed a short-lived side project called Constant Comment. The band played a small number of shows before disbanding.
Patty Schemel appeared on the cover of the March 1995 issue of Drum World and was the first female musician to be featured on the magazine's cover.
Hole became active again in 1997 and entered the studio to record Celebrity Skin, the follow-up to Live Through This. Schemel worked on the writing of the album's material - especially "Awful", which she composed most of - with Love, guitarist Eric Erlandson, and Auf der Maur, however, left the band before the album was recorded. All her parts on the album were performed by a session drummer provided by producer Michael Beinhorn and she was eventually replaced by Samantha Maloney for the album's tour. However, due to her contribution to the writing of the album and its demos, Schemel's name and photo were still included on the album sleeve.
Reasons for Schemel's departure from Hole were disputed, with Courtney Love claiming that Schemel's then drug habit was to blame, which supported circulating rumours at the time, however, Schemel insisted it was due to "musical differences." In fact, Schemel left Hole due to personal and musical differences between her and Celebrity Skin producer, Michael Beinhorn. She claimed that Beinhorn was "totally psyching out in the studio" and after a meeting with the band, Beinhorn brought in a male session drummer, to which she felt "betrayed by the band." She subsequently left before the final recording sessions for the album.
After her departure from Hole, Schemel embarked on a number of musical projects. In 2001, she joined Courtney Love's short-lived project Bastard, which included Veruca Salt's Louise Post on guitar and Gina Crosley of Rockit Girl. The band, though they recorded a few demos, became nothing and disbanded shortly afterwards. She also recorded with Juliette Lewis's punk rock band Juliette and the Licks, with who she played drums on their debut 6 song EP ...Like a Bolt of Lightning before leaving the band prior to the recording of their second album, You're Speaking My Language. Schemel - and her brother Larry - were also key composers and performers on Courtney Love's solo album, America's Sweetheart. She has also toured with Imperial Teen.
In early 2010, she formed a new band, Green Eyes.
Schemel was born the middle child of three children and grew up in Marysville, Washington, close to Seattle where she would later become musically active.
Schemel is openly lesbian, commenting to Rolling Stone that "it's important" and that she's "not there with that fucking pink flag or anything but it's good for other people who live somewhere else in some small town who feel freaky about being gay to know that there's other people who are and that it's OK." One of Schemel's girlfriends acted as Courtney Love's personal assistant during Hole's 1994–1995 world tour, while promoting Live Through This. She now resides in Los Angeles, California with her wife, Christina Soletti.
In the early 1990s, Schemel developed a drug addiction to heroin. She also refused to be part of close friend Kurt Cobain's drug intervention in March 1994, claiming that doing so would be hypocrisy, as she "was strung out [...] how dare I go there and say anything about someone else's abuse when I'm doing it too." On March 18, 2010, Schemel appeared in bonus footage for the VH1 program Sober House with Dr. Drew discussing her addiction and sobriety. She also took part in the MusiCares MAP Fund benefit concert in 2010, which is focused on women's recovery from drug addition to sobriety.
Along with still doing music, she owns a dog walking/boarding/daycare business. She also appeared in an episode of LA Ink.
Patricia Theresa Schemel (born April 24, 1967) is an American drummer, most notably known as the drummer of the alternative rock band Hole from 1992 until 1998.
Schemel learnt to play drums after her father bought her a drum kit at age 11. Her influences were listed as Echo & the Bunnymen, AC/DC and Wire, among other punk rock bands, and at age 15, along with her brother Larry, formed her first band, Sybil, which was later renamed Kill Sybil due to the artist of the same name.
In 1987, she joined Doll Squad, an all-female punk rock band from Seattle, Washington. Along with bassist Annette Billesbach, lead guitarist Cathy Watson, rhythm guitarist Helen Halloran and vocalist Mara Dralle, Schemel was one of the original members of Doll Squad before their 2008 reunion. The band was initially active from 1987 to 1989 gaining an indie following in Seattle, playing alongside Nirvana, and releasing one self-released demo tape.