aka The Victorian Ladies' Travelling Cello Society. Three women (Melora Creager, Julia Kent K. Cowperthwaite and Agnieszka Rybska NaNa Bornant Zoë Keating) play cellos while Creager sings harmony with herself.

Their three albums: Thanks for the Ether, How We Quit the Forest and Cabin Fever!. Their biggest hit now is "Transylvanian Concubine" off their first album, mostly due to its being featured on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer soundtrack.

They toured with Marilyn Manson for a while, but don't judge them for that.

the origins: rasputina officially began in brooklyn, 1992. melora creager put out an ad requesting members for an all-cello band. when julia kent responded, the travelling ladies' cello society was formed.

melora and julia have been with the band since the beginning, but the third member took a little more doing.... several women have filled this role for varying amounts of time throughout rasputina's history. there is a mystery woman named lisa haney who toured with the band for a while. carpella parvo was the third cellist on the debut album, thanks for the ether, but left the country afterwards. agnieszka rybska, who performed on the second album and became a somewhat regular member, is listed in the special thanks section for thanks for the ether. (side note: when melora met julia and agnieszka, they had a weird-ass deja vu moment when they realized that they'd all attended the same nanny school in manhattan).

then, just when you thought rasputina had finally become stable, agnieszka got pregnant in 1998 and some chick named nana, from bordeaux, france, was brought in as a touring substitute, possibly permanently.


the band's name, according to melora, came from a song she'd written called rasputina: "i was just into rasputin at the time, and it seemed to have all the perfect connotations for who we wanted to be, or what we were trying to do."


the members: melora, a former jewelry designer, is the frontwoman for the band and has been playing the cello since she was 9. her teacher, an old man from boston, would call her a pickled herring if she made a mistake. she grew up in kansas and moved to new york in 1984, where she attended parsons, an art college. melora has performed with many bands, including Ultra Vived Scene, Nirvana, Screaming Trees, the Pixies, and Babe The Blue Ox.

a self-proclaimed history buff, she writes all of the lyrics for rasputina, oftentimes basing them on actual past events. says melora:

"what makes me feel excited and passionate is usually something i'm reading about, a historical character or a city at a certain time; and i think if i write about that, it's inescapable that my feelings are going in there. and the drier the book, the more i get to use my imagination; that's what gives me pleasure.... the fact that what is reality changes is exciting to me. i feel false and uninspired writing about modern settings. the emotions are from any time."

some history lessons from melora:

melora also does all the vocals on the albums, explaining in an early interview that "it's so physically difficult to play and sing, that julia and lisa aren't interested in trying." although it may seem like that's someone else performing such spoken word pieces as nozzle, the donner party, and christian soldiers, it really is just melora with voice distortion.

finally, melora does all of the cover art for the albums herself. thanks for the ether featured her talent for embroidery, while how we quit the forest showed how creative one can really get with sandylion stickers.

julia kent is from canada and has been playing the cello since she was 6. she also seems to be a goth. I would write more about her, but apparently "julia keeps what she does a secret." i caught sight of her on a projekt compilation of christmas tunes once. according to the official website, her favorite hobby is "worrying and waiting. her practice routine is daily."

agnieszka rybska came from poland, where she was performing with the Tarnowska Orkestra. She likes to set diamonds. right now i assume much of her time is taken up by her two-year-old child, but since nobody has updated their information on rasputina, who knows what has befallen her?


as for the music: rasputina was well-known, and, of course, liked very much but didn't seem to fit into any category. for this reason, the band was largely untouched until jimmy boyle, a "very zealous A&R person," saw them at some festival shows and got them signed to columbia's label. in 1996 thanks for the ether was released, and afterwards rasputina toured with such bands as Bob Mould, Porno for Pyros and Marilyn Manson ("i like contrast, and when we think of tour pairings i like to think of very constrasty pairings," explains melora). in 1997 transylvanian regurgitations, a followup ep remixed by marilyn manson, was released.

on their second full-length album, how we quit the forest, rasputina signed on chris vrenna (from nine inch nails) as their drummer/producer, resulting in songs with more distortion, drums, and weird sound effects. the title's meaning is explained by melora in many interviews:

"there's a certain feeling, and it seems like a very modern feeling among people i know, to just be in a constant state of quitting. it would be the present tense, rather than you have quit and something's over. but to maintain a state of quitting, to go from quitting one thing to the other, from quitting smoking to quitting a relationship, quitting things in your diet. that's a strange state, and imagining the forest as your society or your community. just kind of taking yourself out of a scene or something while being in it."


all of the members share an interest in the victorian era, and express it most obviously through their clothing. here is a "costume inventory" from their official website:


"shoes omitted without implication."


however, despite all of their love for antiquities, and their sometimes rather dark, ethereal sound, they don't like being thought of as a goth band. as melora puts it, "we don't wear black, we wear white."


http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Stage/3388/, www.rasputina.com, and http://www.chaoscontrol.com told me much more than i'll ever need to know about rasputina

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