"This year is 30 years since I first went onstage with a band called The Cure and 2009 will be 30 years since our first album," says proto-goth Robert Smith, speaking via telephone on a suitably ghoulish Friday the 13th.

Headlining this weekend's Fuji Rock Festival '07 will be the first time The Cure have played in Japan since 1984. Focusing on his past has given Smith time to reflect on his band's legacy.

"I've been involved in the reissues and, listening back to things like (The Cure's 1979 debut album) 'Three Imaginary Boys,' it feels like I'm listening to a different person," he muses. "It's totally different to singing the old songs onstage. I really get a sense of how long I've been doing it."