~Interview and photos by Kathryn
Rasputina have gone through a number of
memberchanges since the release of their first CD, Thanks for the Ether,
in 1996, but vocalist Melora Creagerhas always remained the heart of the
Melora Creager: A long time ago, we played at weird gay birthday parties. Like behind a bed in a Victorian recreation apartment, or where everyone went off in a bus at the end to God knows where. But the cellofest show was the best sound we've ever had. It was such a joy to be able to hear and be musical.
K: Have you done many other shows since K. Cowperthwaite joined Rasputina? How long ago did you find her?
M: I think Cowperthwaite has done about 3 shows. I met her about a year ago, and she is a revelation to me. She's an excellent cellist and is very happy to be playing with us.
K: There was no drummer at the UConn show, will you be adding one for future performances or recordings, or are you happy with the drummerless sound?
M: I like to be able to perform
w/or w/o a drummer. I really wanted one for the cellofest, I wanted it
M: I've been talking to David Eugene Edwards from 16 Horsepower, because I really want to sing with him. He's game, but we have to come up with the right song. Do you know of them? They're very good.
(K. ads: Since Melora was the second person within 12 hours to mention 16 Horsepower, I had to take a chance on listening, and was quite pleased with what I heard. And also wondered what rock I was hiding under that prevented me from hearing them before...)
K: Do you plan on doing more shows in the area (meaning the northeast, in general) any time soon? Any plans for a larger scale tour?
M: We will probably play CMJ in September, and I think we're talking about playing at a university in Buffalo or somewhere in the Fall. You never know when we'll go outside my house and play in the parking lot.
K: The website mentions a CD of covers to be released very soon. Could you tell us a little bit about that?
M: A year ago I recorded some covers
to get back in the swing of music after my daughter was born. We're
K: Is there a CD of original material in the works?
M: We are recording a new album
right now, and hope to finish by Autumn. It contains 3 doll songs, 5 animal
K: You finally let us see a photo of Mr. E. Leon Rauis. I read somewhere that you found his photograph in an attic. I always find it both fascinating and sad the sheer volume of abandoned portraits that end up filling boxes and baskets at antique stores. Do you collect discarded images such as his, or was it just something about his photo that inspired you?
M: I have a lot of those old photographs, and many books of reprints. I'm very picky about which I buy; Mr. Rauis being the King. I have a hunchback midget lady that I like very much and many pictures of children. I don't own any tintypes, but wish that I did.
K: Do you do all of the artwork
for the CD covers and website?
K: Much of the artwork has a very storybook look to it, and some of your songs also reflect that aesthetic. Do you have any favorite childrens' books or fairytales?
M: The original Mother Goose and Brothers Grimm are very sick, yet vague and nonsensical. I love those.
Tit tat tit.
That's genius, right?
K: And speaking of children, you have a daughter. How old is she now, and has her presence inspired your music at all?
M: My daughter turned 2 a few weeks ago. Her name is Hollis Willa. It's really hard to do creative work while raising a child. Her great existence has reconfirmed for me how much I need to do this work. I was going crazy when I wasn't doing music. And she makes me grow alot as a sensitive person, which is good for me as a growing, sensitive musician.
K: What are some of your favorite movies? Do you feel a good filmscore is an important part of enjoying a film?
M: Of course a good film score is important, but it might not be very noticeable. I like Neil Young's music for Jim Jarmusch's "Dead Man". I like Wizard of Oz (and the music), The Piano. I love movies, but that's all I can think of right now.
K: What music do you listen to? Old favorites? New discoveries?
M: I don't much keep up on trends and new music. I'm more inspired by old photographs and nursery rhymes. I listen to old David Bowie, Baroque era classical, Andrews Sisters, a lot of things from the '30's, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Tom Waits, some soundtracks...
K: Oh, and my friend the Leo wants to know... do _you_believe in the signs of the zodiac?
M: There are many cockamamie things I scoff at, yet believe; the zodiac being one of them. I'm an Aries (the Best!). I've lately gotten very into the I Ching. It's uncanny and poetic.
K: well, I think that's it... if there's anything else you'd like to add, feel free.
M: We had a contest for mailing list members to send in their best lie, and we would make a song out of it. We have completed the song, and it will be up on the site soon. It was so fun! There were so many lies, and the song sounds so nice.
Many thanks to Melora for taking the time to answer my questions. For the curious, much more information can be found at their official website:
and a lovely fan site called Corset Strings: