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Story outtakes, celebrity confessions and the latest pop culture news in the Bay Area

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I'm a pop music writer for the San Jose Mercury News. I cover pop, hip hop, punk, rock, dance, and ethnic - well, basically everything you can dance to.

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  • Monday, October 11, 2004

    Emailing with Puffy AmiYumi

    I'm a big fan of Cartoon Network's teen-age superhero show "Teen Titans," so when I heard that the Japanese pop duo Puffy AmiYumi (the voices behind the show's soundtrack) were touring, I made sure to set up an interview.

    Problem was, they don't speak English, and I only know a few words in Japanese (
    judo terms). So their publicity person asked me to do the interview over e-mail. That's always problematic since I wouldn't really know who was answering my questions. Days later, I got an e-mail with
    answers using the collective "we." They (Ami-29 and Yumi 20) supposedly answered together and then got translated.

    QUESTION: How would you describe your music?
    ANSWER: It's kitsch and pop and rock... Puffy's music has no specific genre or style so it's hard to describe our music. We're very open to new ideas, styles and sounds. I guess our music is very fun to listen to and makes you happy.

    QUESTION: How would you describe you two?
    ANSWER: We're both very close and always try to have fun and enjoy what we do.

    QUESTION: How did you two get started?
    ANSWER: Well firstly, I, Ami, joined our management and was prepared to go solo. Then Yumi joined the management. While preparing for my solo, I couldn't really figure out which direction to go and at the same time, Yumi was in the same circumstance. We got along really well and became friends. We wanted to work together so here we are today.

    QUESTION: How did you come to do the soundtrack?
    ANSWER: A producer from
    Cartoon Network liked our songs and we were first
    offered to sing the Theme song for
    Cartoon Network's cartoon "TEEN TITANS".
    Of course we gladly accepted and from there, the project of making us into
    animated characters ... Then EPIC US got involved and compiled the tracks
    that will be used in the cartoon into a soundtrack.

    QUESTION: What do you think of the show?
    ANSWER: The show is great! What's even better is that our songs can be heard in all the episodes.

    QUESTION: Do you plan to push more of your music to American audiences? Why/why not?
    ANSWER: There are no plans to "push" our music but it's great to think that because of the new cartoon, many people will have a chance to listen to our songs. And if people really like it they will listen to more of our music and albums.

    QUESTION: If America is in the works, are you going to cater your music more for an American taste? Are you going to change anything?
    ANSWER: It doesn't really matter what country we're in, we will be the same Puffy AmiYumi. We will continue to do the music that we have been doing and dressing the way we have been. We don't plan to change anything.

    WHAT: Puffy AmiYumi
    WHERE: Fillmore, 1805 Geary Boulevard, San Francisco
    WHEN: 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 11
    TIX: $18.50; ticketmaster


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