Please introduce yourselves. Hello, we are Taffy. We’re a band based in Tokyo Japan. There are four of us, Vocal and guitar Iris, Bass Koichin, Guitar Asano and Drums Ken.

How do you see the current state of j-pop? There are some good music in j-pop, but it’s too commercial.

And how is it considered/received by the West? I don’t think it is, at all. I don’t expect anybody in the UK or EU to know any Japanese band, unless you’re a fan of Japanese animations and some of the bands here are known because their songs are played in them. And that’s not really a music scene.

What is your opinion on the state of Japanese youth culture? Don't have much opinion there. Personally, most of the times, things that interest other people don't quite interest me, so I end up not knowing what goes on out there. So not very much to say, I guess. But I can see that more people are loosing interests in a lot of things, ,especially in music, oh no!!

In the wake of the Fukushima tragedy there has been a real sense of community spirit that has been well documented in the West. What is your experience of that and how, if at all, has music figured in it? It was a quite an experience. We were all in Tokyo, and an earthquake is a common thing here, but that was something none of us had ever experienced. That made me more confident about doing what I believe in is a good and right thing, regardless of what other people say. Life is short and fragile, and can end anytime. So musically, not much had changed, just more energy to do what I want to do.

What has your experience of the a world tour teaching you about yourselves, and how does that reflect on your feelings about Japan? We haven’t gone on a tour yet, but we’ve played in London and Mongolia (yes, Mongolia) recently and both crowds were amazing. We’re kind of a misfit here in Japan, but things and crowds like these, make us realize that we’re actually ok and have us go forward.

What is your goal as a band, and do you think of yourselves as 'A Japanese Band'? Our goal is to reach the people who ever like our songs, no matter where they are in the world. If they listen to Taffy and not like it, that’s just too bad, but if they would like it, then we’d want to reach them. Actually we’re not a typical Japanese band. In fact people in Japan, both fans and industry, do not seem to like us as much as people abroad. I guess they don’t really know what to think of us. The members are Japanese but not singing in Japanese, sounding like foreigners but are Japanese. It’s sort of like an air pocket thing.

What are your thoughts on how Western culture is absorbed in the East? And vice-a-versa? I think that Western culture is absorbed in the East quite well. I mean we can start from what we wear and all, the food, the movies, and of course the music. Vice-a-versa, I’m not too sure of. It’s taken into somewhat, but still there a lot of margin left, it seems. I think it’s a good idea to start from Taffy. Haha!