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?

Tim Kelley - Guitar + Vocals

Christa Meyer - Drums + Vocals

See You In Hell


Your Bloated Corpse Has
Washed Ashore

Welcome to Puerto Muerto

Silver Shoes

Puerto Muerto

See You In Hell

Notting Hill Arts Club

Official Site

Fire Records - Label Site

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.

Christa: Yes.

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