Pretty But Schizo - 1998

Melora Creager Q + A
By Jane Appleby

Why did you choose the name Rasputina?

We chose the name Rasputina because it is exciting to think of a female version of Rasputin: sexual, religious, historical and controlling.

Was it difficult to get a record contract because you are such an unusual band and might be perceived as uncommercial?

It was not so hard to get a record contract, but it is hard to figure out ways to become better known, feed ourselves and pay rent.

What special qualities do you think string music possesses?

String instruments are practically limitless in the sounds they can make. They have a human quality that feels really good. I like to make things with my hands and with the cello, you are making sounds with your hands.

What made you choose the cover versions on "Thanks For the Ether" and "How We Quit the Forest"?

"Brand New Key" I loved as a child, when it was a #1 song. It is babyish and kind of mean, like me! "Why Don’t You Do Right" is spooky and bossy, like me! For the new record, we did "You Don’t Own Me". I like the ‘50s chord progressions. We did Bowie’s “Heroes”, but suddenly it was in a lot of commercials and movies, so we are saving it for later.

What was Marilyn Manson like to work with?

Marilyn Manson is a weird guy. He is smart and stupid, sweet and rude. He is a good businessman yet seems quite immature.

How did you come about with your distinctive image?

We like to wear beautiful costumes as a disguise. Details are important in every way. It is fun to get dressed together and trade clothes and beauty tips. We love make-up.

Was there a conscious decision to change your image for the second album? If so, why?

For the second record, I just thought it was funny, and a joke on "Image Changing" to put us in streetclothes in the pictures.

What are the words on Kate Moss and why write a song about her?

  If you think real hard about the ace, the card
  The mirror of your life that's turned to shard
  You realise that it's gone and with its fine swan song
  Even worser things have come to pass

Something like that. What if Kate Moss was a depressed intellectual?

You've also written songs about Rose Kennedy and Howard Hughes - who else would you like to write a song about?

I would like to write more songs about T.V. stars and fashion designers.

What are your stage shows like?

We concentrate very hard when we play live. I look over the heads of the people so I won’t get distracted. I make up lots of things to say between songs that I think are very funny, but they can come out sounding pretty abstract. I think the movement of our arms is beautiful.

  This was a postal interview conducted in late 1998 with Rasputina’s singer and founder member/songwriter Melora Creager.