Rasputina is an American, cello-driven band based in New York City, that is known 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 writes the music and lyrics and creates art for the band’s albums, singles, and website.
In 1989, Creager wrote a manifesto, and placed an ad in The Village Voice seeking women to form an electric cello choir. Julia Kent, then an editor at the Village Voice, was the first respondent. The original group of nine was whittled to three. They named themselves “Rasputina”, after one of Creager’s songs. The group performed frequently and became a local favorite in New York City.
Columbia Records’ A&R representative and producer Jimmy Boyle saw the group perform at a New York festival. He signed the group to the Columbia Records label in 1996. Creager and Boyle produced their first album on Columbia titled Thanks for the Ether. In 1997 the band released Transylvanian Regurgitations, a follow up EP remixed by Marilyn 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 also provided electronic drums and sound effects.
Rasputina toured with such bands as Bob Mould, Porno for Pyros, Marilyn Manson, Siouxsie Sioux, and Les Claypool. Creager played cello with Nirvana for their final tour in Europe, 1994.
In summer 2010, a documentary was made about Rasputina called Under the Corset by Dawn Miceli. In January 2011 Melora Creager announced on The Dawn and Drew Show that Dawn Miceli would be playing the drums on the February 2011 tour.
Rasputina released Unknown on April 10, 2015. The record is a concept album that exhibits the band’s frontwoman, Melora Creager’s, trauma after her computer was hacked into. The album is only available on CD from the band’s website so, as Melora states on the site “conceptually… anyone who purchases it is known to me.” The entire album was recorded solo by Creager in three weeks.
The 2015 “Unknown” lineup is the first in the history of Rasputina to add piano and beat boxing, in place of traditional drums, by Luis Mojica.
On June 26th 2015 Rasputina released a compilation of demo recordings from 1991 – 1997 titled “Magnetic Strip” and is only available by digital download on the band’s website.
In the fall of 2016, Polly Panic joined Rasputina as the second cellist. The first tour of the line up with Melora, Polly Panic as second cellist/backing vocalist, and Luis Mojica as keyboardist/beat boxer and backing vocalist.
In July 2017, Melora Creager announced a new album, The Feel-Good Hits of 1817. In her email newsletter, she states that the album will be vinyl-only, and limited in quantity.