Heavy Metal Resource: Hello! Lets start by having you give us a brief introduction to the band. When it was formed and the band members.
Dir en grey : The band formed in ’97 in Japan to spread the pain that is caused by the phenomenon of human’s weaknesses, shallowness and ego to the world. We consist of 5 members who are the vocalist Kyo, guitarist Kaoru who is also the band leader, guitarist Die, bassist Toshiya and drummer Shinya. The concept of our band is human’s pain.
H.M.R. : What do you feel is the one thing if only one would be the reason the band rose to success in the Japanese market?
Kaoru : We have never thought of ourselves as having succeeded in any way. It is still a long way to that.
H.M.R. : How fast did the band rise in the Japanese market from the time the band was formed?
Kaoru : We don’t know yet, its something that may come in the future.
H.M.R. : I understand that the European market has been very good for Dir en grey as well. When did you attempt to get into this market and how many of the bands albums are available there?
Kaoru : I have heard since quite some time back that there are people who are interested in our band in Germany and France. We had some offers for playing a Live(concert) and appearing at the Music Fests during the production of “Withering to death.”. I think it was some time early last year. The only CD we have released in Europe is “Withering to death.”.
H.M.R. : That brings us to the American market. The band I understand really wants to have a lot of success in the U.S.. What will you bring as a band to make this happen that will allow Dir en grey to stand out amongst all of the other acts trying to break into this market?
Kaoru : Whether we stand out amongst the other bands in America is not something we, the band, can make happen or decide. We have been interested in performing in America and wanted to experience that. Of course there were talks of pressing our CDs for the American market and it was about then that we thought of playing in America. Our band is all about “human pain” and I think that it doesn’t matter where we go or which country we play in.
H.M.R. : Looking at the gallery on the official website for the band, it looks like there is a fair amount of visual aspect to the band. How big is the bands stage presentation?
Kaoru : A Live(concert) is something you watch and listen to, so to me it is not something which you can calculate or put on a scale. The ultimate goal here is to perform a Live on stage and there is no such thing as an order of things or a breakdown.
H.M.R. : Listening to the bands album 'Withering to death', it’s obvious that there is some diversity to the band’s sound. Has it always been this way (withering is my introduction to the band), and does this help quite a bit to broaden the audience?
Kaoru : I think it is great that you think of it that way. Of course we, from the production side, do not see this as a means to broaden the fanbase, we simply wish to strengthen the band’s power and that might ultimately lead to the growth of our audiences. It has always been like this to us in the past.
H.M.R. : If the band was to cite influences from other bands, who would they mention?
Kaoru : We’re influenced by different musicians. Some of us wanted to start up a band after watching a local act, and others had different reasons. It is difficult to say how and what influenced us all and everyone is diverse in this sense. But there is no particular band that we are influenced by.
H.M.R. : From the standpoint of language, what do you feel your chances are to grab a decent sized fanbase in the U.S.? Some bands such as Rammstein have had some success while sticking to their native language. Do you feel this will be a problem?
Kyo : Well, there will be problems when it comes to language but I think that there are bigger more important things that we will be able to convey and put across.
H.M.R. : I noticed that the band have some material in the form of dvd. I’m guessing that they may come out in other markets if the success is there. What exactly are these videos, live or promotional?
Kaoru : We have both Live footages and music clips. As for a future release, why don’t you tell me which you would like to see in America.
H.M.R. : I actually would like to see a combination of both as they both interest me personally. Speaking of live stuff, will there be an attempt to tour in the States or will this all be gauged on the sale of the album and how well it does. Some bands attempt to grab a slot on a package deal to get that exposure to help drive the album.
Kaoru : We definitely want to do this. We would love to make this happen but at this time nothing is confirmed.
H.M.R. : Anything else that the band would like to add that we may have missed?
Shinya : Thank you so much for your support and we look forward to seeing all of you soon.
H.M.R. : Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. Many successes to the band!
Dir en grey : Thanks.
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