A chat with James #1: Tokyo

Earlier on, we called up James in Tokyo, Japan for the first in our new series of chats. Listen to the audio above. And read the full transcript below:

JM: Hey man

Hello, how are you?
Yeah, I'm good. Very good.

Glad to hear it.
Enjoying being in Japan again.

I can imagine, it's a lovely place to be in. So what are you up to right now?
I'm just working on something that I was jamming actually. I've working on a little tune for about three months and now I'm just jamming away at that. I'm just waiting for the gig to begin later on, so I've got a lot of time to kill at the moment. But it's all good.

Is that something you often do, write songs while you're on the road?
Well recently, yeah definitely. I've just been trying to get some little bits and bobs together for when I finish really. But yeah, there's a couple of things that I'm quite pleased with. I just need to keep chipping away when I feel that sort of space in my head to be able to work on them.

So you're in Japan now. And you were in Singapore last week?
Er yeah, last week we arrived in Singapore. Singapore was great actually, it was absolutely boiling hot and we arrived in like a lightning rain storm which was pretty cool. I'd never seen rain and lightning like that before, so yeah that was pretty cool. And we were staying on Sentosa which is like a fun park island in Singapore. It was a bit of a weird place to see Singapore from for the first time, but it was pretty cool. We checked out some of the rides and, yeah, it was good.

Are you a roller coaster kind of person?
I am indeed, definitely. I love all that stuff. Anything that makes you a little bit scared, I'm well up for.

What were you doing in Singapore, why were you there?
Basically just sort of, the main reason was to do some interviews and show is it Singaporeans? Or Singapori? The plural! Haha. Yeah, just to show them what I'm about really. I'd never really talked to Singapore before, so I did some interviews for MTV and I think the main reason was to do a little showcase gig and that went down really well. Apart from it being 100 degrees, it was good. So yeah we left on a good note.

So it's a country you've not been to before, Singapore?
Yeah I've never been there, no. Well I've been there once and that was a halfway stop between England and Australia when I flew to Australia last time. So we arrived in Singapore, changed all our bags over and carried on. I remember the heat from last time, actually - thinking, 'I'm glad I'm not staying here for a while'. And you don't actually get used to it at all either. There was an American guy and I said to him, 'Have you got used to the heat yet?' And he was like, 'No. It's still really hot!' So it was nice to arrive in Japan and get a bit of a breeze, man. It was a little bit too much the heat.

So is Japan a long way from Singapore? Is it a long flight?
Yeah, it seemed long. Saying that, I was asleep. But it was a seven hour flight. So it's like halfway really. To me a long flight is like 12 or more hours. Anything less is quite doable for me.

Are you generally a sleeper on aeroplanes?
I can pretty much sleep anywhere. And I'm always a little bit tired, so I can sleep anywhere anytime most of the time. Apart from the last couple of days I haven't been sleeping too good, because of the jetlag kicking in and knowing that I've got quite a hectic schedule, it's hard to turn your brain off. But I slept good last night. I had three hours sleep the night before, so I was quite spaced out yesterday!

So you're in Japan for a similar sort of thing?
Yeah.

And how's that going?
Good man. First night we got here I went out for yakitori, which is like anything grilled basically. So we had some chicken and some beef and some vegetables and some sake again for another time. I love saki actually. It gives you weird dreams though. If you've never had sake, prepare to have like weird nightmare dreams.

Did you have weird dreams?
Well I've had saki two nights in a row and two nights in a row I've had really weird dreams.

Can you remember them?
I woke myself up shouting "get off me!" I don't know what the hell they were about. But I remember waking myself up shouting last night! But yeah it's been good man. We just had a little wander around Tokyo and went to the… apparently April in Japan is an amazing time to come here. It sounds a little bit arty but if you come to Japan in April you see all the cherry blossom trees which is obviously a symbol of Japan.

That's not arty!
Yeah, we had a walk around one of those parks. It was amazing.

That sounds lovely. You see, you're showing your softer side with your love of flowers.
Haha! If I was in a rock band, everyone would be like, "What the hell are you talking about?!" I'm just saying it's a beautiful time of year! But it was really cool, man. Nice to see that kind of stuff outside of all the gigs and all the chaos that is promo. It's nice to actually lock down some things that you can remember.

Is Japan somewhere you've been much before?
I've been there technically twice. The first time was a proper trip and the second time was just an in and out for a day to do a TV show which was pretty crazy. It's the first time I've had a bit of time off in Japan. It was nice to come and enjoy it.

Does it feel like you've got fans in these places?
Well I've come out of the lift the last couple of days in the hotel and there's been people waiting for me with autographs. I don't know how they know I'm staying there or what time I'm leaving the hotel. They're all ready for me, though. But I think I've got to do a bit of work over here, I haven't been here for five years. So I think I'm gonna try and make an effort, just post them some little videos every now and again just to keep in touch with them, I think. People over here are very loyal, so I want to kind of make an effort to keep them on board. Not leave as long as five years. It's a long time to be away.

And so you're going to Australia after Japan, is that right?
Yeah mate! Australia next! Sydney! That was a bad accent. Yeah, I go to Sydney next, so it feels like a crazy little tour. But yeah it's good to be over in these parts of the world man. I didn't take for granted that I'd be coming over to this part of the world for a while. So it's good.

And I guess as a lad who grew up in Cornwall, you probably like Australia.
Yeah. I remember Melbourne and Adelaide and I've been to Sydney a few times and I kind of enjoy the parts of the country where you really feel like you're in Australia. I'd like to see a kangaroo at least.

Maybe you can demand one on your rider.
Yeah! Right. I might get a little Joey in there. They're quite dangerous, though, kangaroos, so I don't think that would be a good idea. So yeah I'm just glad to be going back over that side of the world.

And then before very long you're out in America.
Yeah, I know, it's all pretty hectic. It feels really good, though. It's a nice feeling to feel like I'm seeing the world and travelling with my music doing something that I enjoy. It can get quite hectic at times, but when I start acting like a bit of a diva, like "Oh it's too much, there's a lot of work to do and it's really hectic" I kind of realise actually I've got an opportunity that not a lot of people get to experience. So I just kind of stop crying about it and get on with it really and enjoy it!

Brilliant, well thank you very much for that. We shall stick that up on the web and do another one with you very soon.
Alright, nice one.

Look after yourself mate.
And you too. Take care, see you later man. Cheers!

Look out for another chat with James soon!