DIR EN GREY
Two Decades of Pushing Musical Boundaries
A Japanese metal band with nine full-length albums under its belt, DIR EN GREY has nearly 20 years of experience in the music industry. Drawing on inspiration from different genres, from the strong presence of visual kei at the inception of their career to current influences like alternative metal, DIR EN GREY continues to evolve and push boundaries. The five-member band showcases a masterful combination of music and lyrics. Formed in 1997, they caught the attention of one of their idols early on — X Japan’s Yoshiki, who produced five of their singles in 1999. The Los Angeles Times wrote that the lead singer, Kyo, “is a staggering vocalist” and “has stockpiled an extreme range of vocal in ections, from a guttural mutter to a tonsil-ripping scream — no electronic effects needed.” DIR EN GREY is set for an exciting summer. Their recent releases include a July 27th new single, “UTAFUMI,” in collaboration with renowned X Japan / LUNA SEA guitarist SUGIZO, as well as a June 29th Blu-ray/DVD of the band’s live performance of ARCHE on the legendary Nippon Budokan stage from February 2016. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie talked to Kyo (voice), Kaoru (leader/ guitarist), Die (guitarist), Toshiya (bassist) and Shinya (drummer) about the band’s journey and their plans for the future.
TJ: How did the band get started?
SHINYA: Everyone, except for Toshiya, met in Osaka while playing in different bands. Then we met Toshiya in Nagano, and we started DIR EN GREY.
TJ: How did the band come with up the name? Is there a special meaning behind it?
TOSHIYA: We decided on the name together and focused on how it would sound. Each word is from a different language, so our name expresses freedom, especially in regards to the name’s connotations.
The complete article can be found in Issue #278 of the Tokyo Journal. Click here to order from Amazon.