For “Oh Perilous World,” her new album with chamber-rock band Rasputina, cellist/singer Melora Creager found inspiration by obsessively reading daily news on the Internet. She compiled a notebook of words, phrases and stories and then used it to cull material for lyrics. Keeping with her strong sense of storytelling and interest in history, Melora gave it an “overall narrative of Mary Todd Lincoln as Queen of Florida, with her blimp armies having attacked Pitcairn Island, where Fletcher Christian’s son Thursday emerges as a resistance icon.”
In an email interview, Melora told us a bit about the album.
For this album, what initially sparked the idea of looking to current events and the Internet for lyrical inspiration?
“All at once, my eyes got opened to the reality of the war in Iraq, climate change, the messed-up U.S. government, etc, etc, etc. I didn’t know how to deal with it, but I’m an artist, so I gradually made something. I got into dissecting how news is written.”
Some people feel that the internet/online music distribution is shifting interest back to the single, and away from the album. Did this have anything at all to do with the decision to have a unifying concept running through “Oh Perilous World”?
“I don’t pay much attention to what’s going on in the music business and I don’t feel a part of it. I did realize that from years of being in the business, I’ve had it drilled into me to try to get on the radio. To erase that intention from my brain was freeing in songwriting.”
Rasputina’s songs have always contained a lot of historical references. With your lyrics, have you been making a conscious effort to make people think more/be curious about history?
“A lot of my intention is to share with people things that excite or intrigue me. I want people to think in lots of ways, not just about history. To have a curiosity about the world, past & present. I like history because it helps us understand the present and how we remain the same.”
On the upcoming tour, will you be dedicating a continuous block of the show to “Oh Perilous World”? (As opposed to mixing the material in?)
“We tend to do the Perilous World stuff all together toward the end. Then it’s like our history of song, concluding in the present.”
The album is referred to as “selected excerpts from the Finest Show that NEVER Was” – do you think there could ever be an actual full Rasputina musical? (A cello rock opera?)
“I can get a lot of projects out of this material I collected. But I don’t get everything done I’d like to because I’m a single mother.I’m ok with that though, because I’m doing a good job on both fronts.”