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INTERVIEW - DIR EN GREY speaks out as his European tour approaches!

A few weeks before its return to the European stages after four years of absence, DIR EN GREY confides in an interview conducted by Die (Gt.)!

groupe japonais DIR EN GREY

KYO chanteur du groupe japonais DIR EN GREY

KRM – This new year marks your twenty-five years of career under a major label. Congratulations on the journey so far! When the DIR EN GREY adventure began, did you envision having such a long career? Was it more of a dream or a goal?

Die – To be honest, I didn’t really think we would make it this long with the same band members. I think we came to where we are today as result of always giving importance to every single thing.

That won’t change from now on either.


KRM – Over the years, DIR EN GREY has constantly evolved. Die mentioned in a previous interview with a media outlet that the band always sought not to be like others. How did you manage to maintain this direction over all these years? What has been the evolution of the band to always have its own identity?

Die – We have always pursued what is exciting and stimulating for us.

Our sound has changed quite a lot until now, but I think DIR EN GREY’s main message has stayed the same since when we started the band.


KRM – The essence of DIR EN GREY, long before its music and its universe, remains your distinct personalities. How have you evolved along with the band?

Die – Since the five of us started DIR EN GREY, we came a long way sharing a lot of both happy and hard moments together.

I want to keep going on towards the future while respecting and inspiring each other as we have always had.


DIE guitariste du groupe DIR EN GREY

KRM – What do you think is the secret to maintaining your relationship with each other for so many years?

Die – Respect!


KRM – During these 25 years, you have released no less than eleven albums and over thirty singles. Is there a particular song that has marked you the most? And why?

Die – There’s “DUM SPIRO SPERO” album among the releases of 2011.

The Great East Japan Earthquake happened while we were producing it, and we continued with the recordings also after that.

Actually, I can still remember very clearly those days, how I was playing the guitar with fear as we faced many big aftershocks while in the studio.

I don’t think I could ever forget this no matter how many years may pass, as it’s an album we made while all of Japan was in such a dark era.


KRM – Your new single “19990120” was released some days ago. Its title and content are symbolic as they highlight the first three songs you created under a major label. How did the creation of these new versions unfold?

Die – These three songs are songs we made 25 years ago, but we faced each one of them with a very different feeling this time.

Those 3 songs have a very simple structure when we compare them with the ones we have been composing lately, so we worked on them paying a lot of attention to every single sound, even more than usual.


TOSHIYA bassiste du groupe DIR EN GREY

KRM – When we look at your discography, there is an interval of about 3 or 4 years between each album. “PHALARIS” was released in 2022, but will 2024 be an exception with perhaps the release of a best-of album?

Die – We are not thinking about doing that right now.


KRM – In your biography, you mention Europe and the US in your very first sentence. You are also increasingly present on social media, creating content for your international fans. What does Europe and the US represent for you? In the next 25 years, will DIR EN GREY turn even more towards the international scene?

Die – We couldn’t even imagine performing in Europe or America when we started DIR EN GREY.

I think performing overseas has given us new inspiration and made us stronger, and I would like to keep on leaving Japan as our main scenario while planning overseas shows in the same way we have been doing up until now.


KRM – Let's transition to the recent announcement of your return to Europe with the “EUROPE TOUR2024 FROM DEPRESSION TO ________ [mode of Withering to death. & UROBOROS]”. Your last visit was in early 2020, before the global Covid-19 pandemic. This period has been particularly challenging for many artists. How did DIR EN GREY and its members experience it?

Die – We even thought there was a possibility that we wouldn’t be able to go back on stage as a lot of shows were being postponed or canceled and we couldn’t perform for a while because of COVID-19.

Now that we can perform again as before, we felt and reaffirmed how important all the things we used to take for granted are.

Even though 4 years passed since the last European tour, I’m very happy that we can share the same space and time with all our European fans again.

KAORU guitariste du groupe DIR EN GREY

KRM – During these two years, you still produced two singles. What was the creative process?

Die - Even when we didn’t know how the world would be from there on and we weren’t able to perform live because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we kept on working on the new album as all the members had the feeling that we shouldn’t stop the band from moving forward.


KRM – Let's return to the present and even the future with this new tour! It was presented with a particularity: offering double dates for most of the chosen cities with two distinct themes: your albums “Withering of death.” released in 2005 and “UROBOROS” made in 2008. Why did you choose these two albums?

Die – They are the albums everyone wants to hear live, aren’t they?

We have never done any tours featured old albums when going overseas until now and, being a while since the last time we had a European tour, we thought about making a conceptual setlist for this tour only.

KRM – Without revealing the songs in the setlists, can you tell us how the selection process went? As we mentioned earlier, your discography has many songs. Will each night have a different atmosphere?

Die – You will surely feel a different kind of DIR EN GREY each one of the two days.

SHINYA batteur du groupe DIR EN GREY

KRM – At a time when many Japanese bands are performing on the stages of European festivals, is performing with international artists in front of people who may not know you yet something that might interest you?

Die – I think our band doesn’t really match the sunlight, so it’d be a possibility if we could play once the day gets darker.


KRM – It's the beginning of the year, and the time for New Year's resolutions for the months to come. What are your resolutions for this year, and what are your wishes for this year?

Die – Since this year marks the 25th anniversary, a new tour is waiting for us, a totally different one from what we did last year.

We want to treasure every tour, each one of the shows, and for this tour and come even more energetic and vigorous than the previous year.


KRM – Do you have a final message for your French and European fans, who are eager to see you again in a little over two months?

Die – Ever since we first performed in Europe in 2005, we have been able to meet and spend time together with our many European fans as we toured Europe almost every year.

We couldn’t visit Europe for a while because of the influence of COVID-19, but now we can go to see our European fans for the first time in 4 years.

All the band members are looking forward to it already.


The entire KARAOME team would like to thank Die, DIR EN GREY and its management for making this interview possible.

All the information on this tour: HERE!

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