Rasputina is a cello-driven band based in New York that is renowned for their unconventional and quirky music style as well as their fascination with historical allegories and fashion, especially those pertaining to the Victorian era.
The group is fronted by cellist/vocalist Melora Creager, who also writes all of the lyrics and creates art for the band's albums, singles, and website.
In 1989, Creager, wanting to form an all-cello band, placed an ad to find members. Julia Kent responded and the two formed the Traveling Ladies' Cello Society as a duo. Creager also toured with Nirvana after released In Utero. In 1991 (their official website claims "1891"), Creager and Kent expanded the group with members who attended the same nanny school in Manhattan (which wasn't known until post-formation). They were then renamed "Rasputina" after one of Creager's song. The group played shows and became a local favorite in NYC. Columbia Records' A&R representative Jimmy Boyle saw the group perform at a festival, and they were then signed to the label.
In 1996, Thanks for the Ether was released. Rasputina toured with such bands as Bob Mould, Porno for Pyros and Marilyn Manson. In 1997 the band released Transylvanian Regurgitations, a follow up EP remixed by Manson and Twiggy Ramirez.
On their second full-length album, How We Quit the Forest, Rasputina signed on Chris Vrenna (from Nine Inch Nails) as their drummer and producer. He encouraged the group to go ahead with the distortion they had been experimenting with. He provided electronic drums and sound effects.
Rasputina went through several line up changes. Lisa Haney performed as third chair cellist before the group signed to Columbia. "Carpella Parvo" was credited as the third cellist on Thanks for the Ether, but Melora has since admitted that Carpella never existed, and her name was a play-on-words joke representing the carpal tunnel syndrome that Kent and Creager developed after playing all the second chair parts. Agnieszka Rybska performed on How We Quit the Forest. She temporarily left the band in 1998 due to pregnancy.
Drummer Perry L. James toured with the Rasputina in 1998-1999. Julia Kent left during the four year hiatus between their 1998 album How We Quit the Forest and 2002's Cabin Fever which was released on Moby's label Instinct Records. In 2004, they released a follow up album, Frustration Plantation, which featured Zoë Keating who left the band in 2006. Upon her departure, Creager's ensemble consisted of her and Jonathon TeBeest. Ex-Graces cellist Stephanie McVey occupied second chair from September 2006 to January 2007. Sarah Bowman rejoined Rasputina on their spring 2007 tour of the U.S.
In 2008, Bowman and TeBeest have left the band and were replaced by 2nd chair cellist Daniel DeJesus and drummer Catie D'Amica.
In summer 2010, a documentary was made about Rasputina called "Under the Corset."
• Melora Creager is a former jewelry designer. She has been playing the cello since she was nine and maintains that her teacher, an old man from Boston, would call her a pickled herring if she made a mistake. Creager grew up in Kansas but moved to New York in 1984, where she attended Parsons, an art college. Melora has performed with many bands, including Ultra Vivid Scene, Nirvana, Screaming Trees, Pixies, Marilyn Manson, Belle & Sebastian, Fudgie & Fufu, and Babe The Blue Ox.
• Daniel DeJesus is a cellist from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Before joining Rasputina, he was involved as both cellist and vocalist in his own band, Dejesus.
• Melissa Bell has taken the place of Jonathon TeBeest.
Official Website: http://www.rasputina.com/