Joy: Firstly, a standard question, but one a lot of people would like to know; why did you call yourselves Puerto Muerto
Tim: We came up with it, it was originally the name for a bar, like a pirate bar my brother and I were gonna open up. But since that never happened we figured we’d use the name for Puerto Muerto
Joy: Your music hints at a lot of different languages, are you bilingual?
Christa: I’m a bit bilingual, yeah. I speak some German.
Tim: Just grammar school French basically.
Joy: Do you think it gives more substance to the songs?
Christa: I think its fun to play with languages, and even make up languages if it suits the song.
Joy: How do you go about creating your songs?
Tim: It’s always different. Sometimes Christa will come up with lyrics and then we’ll throw down music, and other times it’s based on a melody and we add lyrics later
Joy: Are the songs tales or fiction? Are they historical or autobiographical?
Christa: Some of them are just made up historical and some of them are just generally made up stories, little anecdotes.
Tim: Yeah. The Jean Lafitte song was based on an actual pirate’s memoirs. We just lifted the actual text right there.
Joy: Your song Chapayev’s Machine Gunners is to do with the Russian Revolution?
Christa Meyer - Drums + Vocals
Bloated Corpse Has
Welcome to Puerto Muerto
Christa: Yeah, that’s real.
Joy: Apparently Chapayev would sing for ten minutes a day otherwise he’d get depressed
Christa: Yeah he would. He was kinda crazy.
Joy: Does singing make you feel good?
Christa: Yeah, yeah. And what I thought was cool about it was that there was an actual sort of little fleet of women machine gunners and they called them Chapayev’s Machine Gunners, so it’s kinda cool.
|Joy: Your songs are often quite sinister. In Pretty Girls you say of your|
mother, ‘she tells me I look like a whore, she can go straight to hell’. How were both your family lives, and your upbringings?
Tim: I had a wonderful upbringing, I think so did Christa.
Christa: (jokingly) No, my mum was a prostitute; I was a prostitute’s daughter actually.
Joy: So very real to life then?
Christa: Yes, it’s very real to life!
Joy: The albums are all quite distinctive, is there a theme for each one?
Christa: The only theme was the Elena, other than that it’s purely by accident that they kinda sorta go together.
Joy: Were they progressional or were you starting from scratch in each album?
Christa: We basically started from scratch and the songs just work off each other
Joy: Are image and artwork important to you?
Christa: Our friend, Phoebe Love, did all the artwork. She was an artist in New York for a while.
Joy: What were your aims in the new album? Was it a conscious decision to have more of a balance in vocals?
Tim: I think we just wanted to progress a little bit as songwriters.
Joy: That worked really well in Babylon, It seems you speak of being uprooted from a simple life and wanting to return to that. Are you bothered about luxuries, and how’s your life been?
Tim: It’s based on how hard it is sometimes moving to the big city and just feeling like everything is beating you down
Christa: And you’re a bit star struck, but you’re completely out of it.
Tim: It wears off; you know the bright lights, after a while. You just want to go somewhere nice and quiet and clean
Joy: So would you like to be famous?
Tim: I’d like to make some money. I don’t care for the famous part really.
Christa: We’d just like to be able to make a living doing what we do.
Joy: Your music seems quite original and not like anything else out there. Do you have any musical influences, any favourite bands?
Christa: It kinda depends day by day, but we listen to a lot of Kinks, a lot of Clash and Nina Simone
Tim: We both come from a classical background,
Joy: What bands would you love to play with?
Tim: The Mountain Men Anonymous
Joy: Do you have any needs when touring?
Tim: To be clean
Christa: To be clean, to be fed.
Joy: Are there any venues or places you like best?
Tim: We really like The Spitz in London
Joy: How would you describe the Puerto Muerto live experience as opposed to the recorded material?
Tim: It’s a lot rougher, and more, possibly scary for people to have Christa shrieking and caterwauling at them.
Joy: So it gets pretty intense?
Christa: It can get intense, yeah.
Joy: Do you prefer the travelling life of touring or being settled in one place?
Christa: We’re not really huge touring fans; I know that’s not really cool to say. We love performing but it gets stressful sometimes, touring.
Tim: Some of the time you’d rather be doing something more productive. I mean you’re doing something productive, but you’re not coming up with new stuff
Christa: You’re in a holding pattern
Joy: You often tour with your label mates, do you have a strong connection with the label?
Tim: Yeah, pretty strong, they’ve been really supportive. We really like all the bands that they have, so it just makes sense that we play with them.
Joy: You’ve been given many descriptions: gothic country, Spanish folk, cabaret, pirate rock, as well as comparisons to PJ Harvey and Edith Piaf. How would you describe your sound?
Christa: Really we’ll just try anything, so it’s really hard to peg down. It just depends on the day what we describe ourselves as being.
Tim: It’s basically like electronica soul
Tim: White boy funk!
Christa: No, it’s not electronica soul.
Joy: What about today, what would you say it was today?
Christa: Sort of Andy Griffith meets erm…
Tim: The chick, erm, the lady from One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Joy: So, you like films. What are your favourites?
Tim: Mine’s Taxi Driver, I think it should be everyone’s.
Christa: It should be everyone’s
Tim: What’s yours Christa?
Christa: I like Goodfellas.
Joy: Where do you see Puerto Muerto in ten years time?
Tim: At the bottom of the ocean.
Joy: Anything else you’d like to add? Any last thoughts?
Christa: It’s a nice day and we’re enjoying it. I think that’s it.
Tim: We’re happy to be here, at the end of our tour and safe. No car accidents!
Christa: No car accidents, but don’t speak too soon.
Interview by Nathania Hartley