Born and raised in Kansas, Melora Creager, Rasputina’s band directress, comes from a musical family and received classical training. At 18 she moved to New York City to attend Parsons School of Design. While majoring in photography she began playing her cello in rock bands and became involved with drag performers. She formed “The Fingerlakes Trio,” a falsely geeky classical group that performed covers of disco hits, before joining NYC’s Ultra Vivid Scene who recorded three albums for cult British label, 4AD. It was her first exposure to the professional rock world — UVS opened for label mates like The Pixies, Belly and Throwing Muses. Following a tour with Nirvana as a cellist on their In Utero tour she desired to do a project of her own, and she created Rasputina.
The concept for the group came to her fully formed; the idea was written as a manifesto. Her intention was to create an electric cello choir — no boys or guitars allowed. Through want ads she recruited like-minded young cellists. Rasputina evolved, employing elaborate costuming, as they were unable to move about while forcibly stationary in their chairs. What began as strictly “Victorian Whites” — bloomers, corsets and hoopskirts, has evolved into an amalgam of historical feminine icons — Indian princesses, Hawaiian handmaidens and fallen medieval queens, Rasputina keeps their cultish following enthralled with intimate recitals and post-show receiving lines.