INTERVIEW: Taffy | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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We’re all accustomed to bands with vast, mysteriously procured fanbases in the Far East, yet cases of this phenomenon working in reverse are few and far between. Tokyo outfit Taffy have, however, proved a low-level exception, fostering a cult fanbase despite a conspicuous lack of adulation in their homeland. “In a way, the internet has made us all much closer, but Japan kind of closes itself off to the outer world,” reveals Iris, the quartet’s guitarist and lead vocalist. “It has gotten better – more people come to our shows now – but Japan has its own special taste in music and I guess we don’t fit into that. We still feel like misfits – but I like it this way!”

Fortunately, the group’s intoxicating melange of shoegaze and dream pop has had little trouble finding an audience in the West, where they’ve drawn a steady stream of acclaim ever since forming in 2012. “Touring in the UK and other countries is always exciting!” Iris enthuses. “People are more responsive, and we can see and feel that they enjoy our music. It’s always a fun challenge to see how we can make the best Taffy sounds in each place. UK, Japan, or any other country; we’re really thankful that there are actual fans waiting for our music. We wish we could come to the UK more often – we never have enough days to tour all the cities we want to go to.”

It’s always a fun challenge to see how we can make the best Taffy sounds in each place

One town they can strike from the bucket list is Gateshead, with their gig at the Central Bar on Saturday 13th July marking their first North East visit for six years. The date forms part of a jaunt in support of new album Deep Dark Creep Love, their fifth full-length and one which continues their long-term relationship with London label Club AC30. “We’ve tried a lot of choruses on this album,” says Iris. “Until now I did all of the choruses by myself, but this time we were able to try so many things with all four members. The lyrics have changed a bit too – I often write about themes of life and death, but on this album most of the songs are about love, encouragement and the brighter sides of life. I still always have feelings of emptiness, hopelessness and loneliness in me though, so I write it in my own way, blending those emotions in here and there.

“I went to an international school and lived in the US and Taiwan when I was small, so I was always close to English speaking people,” she reveals, as we turn to the band’s apparent Western influences. Indeed, while often likened to groups such as Lush, Slowdive and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, it seems that their influence on Taffy’s sound has been indirect at best. “We hear that often, but I’d never listened to any of them at all – at least not intentionally. I wouldn’t say they’ve been influences, but we’re very honoured to be mentioned alongside them! The Beatles and classical music were pretty much the only things on in my house when I was growing up, so maybe that’s why, but we only really know how to Taffy!”

Taffy’s new album, Deep Dark Creep Love, is out on Friday 5th July. The band play Central Bar, Gateshead on Saturday 13th July.


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