Currently in the UK for a short stay, RoomThirteen managed to catch up with the Japanese artist Cornelius (real name Keigo Oyamada) who chatted to us via an interpretator. Bursting onto the UK scene over a decade ago with the Brian Wilson tinged 'Fantasma' to the recent release 'Sensuous', Cornelius has proven himself to be as successful in the music world as Japan's Shunsuke Nakamura has been with free-kicks this year.

R13: Cornelius, welcome back to the UK, are you happy to be here?
C: We've just played Leeds and All Tomorrows Parties and we've enjoyed them, it was really good fun. We've got Koko still to play but we found out yesterday that our label is no longer existing in the UK, so we're in quite a bit of shock. Also, the pound is very strong and things are very expensive for us.

R13: Do you think the label problems will cause problems in coming back to the UK?
C: The records on Warner Records in Europe and the UK label is an offshoot of Warner, I just found out yesterday about it. I hope it wont affect the release over here of the future.

R13: You take your time between albums, how long did you spend writing and recording the album?
C: The writing and recording took about a year for this record.

R13: You worked with Erland Oye and Eirik Glambek Boe (Kings of Convenience) on this album how did that come about?
C: I have remixed them and they have remixed me in the past. They were coming to Japan for some live shows and they wanted to come by and see the studio and I said "If you're coming, lets try something."

R13: Will there be any remix albums for 'Sensuous'?
C: Not at this moment.

R13: Do you have any plans for the next album?
C: No, I'm going to tour for a while and focus on that.

R13: When you were growing up, what music did you listen to?
C: It depends on exactly when you mean in my childhood but as a small child, most of the music I listened to was Science Fiction TV shows music and themes.

R13: What music is influencing you at the moment?
C:Theres too many and its difficult to say just one, sorry.

R13: Did you always want to be a musician?
C:Not necessarily a musician but I went to art school so I did want to do something that involved art.

R13: On the 'Point' shows you played behind a backdrop, what visual aspects are you utilising on this tour?
C:The basics of the tour this time around is the synchronisation of the lights, the band and the visuals.

R13: When you write a song, can you think of visuals or a video for it?
C:Most of the time, the tracks are done first and the visuals come later but there are some songs where they come together.

R13: Recently your music has been used on UK TV and adverts, were you happy to do this?
C:I haven't actually seen it yet so I cant say.

R13: Are there any other Japanese artists that could breakthrough in the UK?
C:I don't know about the breakthrough part but there are a few that could draw interest over here. There are many garage psychedelic rock bands who would do very well and there are elecrtronic acts. Hifana use breakbeats, its two people who perform a sampling sort of breakbeat sound, they don't use samples, they play them live.

R13: Are there any UK acts that are doing well in Japan?
C: I don't know too much about them personally but the Arctic Monkeys are doing really well in Japan at the moment.

R13: What is your favourite Planet of The Apes film?
C: The first one.

R13: What did you make of the Tim Burton "re-imagining" of Planet of The Apes?
C: It's a film I watch co-incidentally so I haven't seen the Tim Burton version yet so I cant say.

R13: What are your hopes for the year ahead?
C: To keep playing live and making the tour a success.

Although he may be unable to play these shores again in the near future, the records of Cornelius are an outstanding tribute to the mans craft and talent and should be checked out and it can only be hoped that his live shows is seen again in the UK very soon.