Vocal: kyo (京) (gesshoku (月蝕), Visun, Masquerade, La:Sadie's)
Guitar: Kaoru (薫) (ex-CHARM,, La:Sadie's)
Guitar: Die (ex-ka.za.ri, La:Sadie's)
Bass: Toshiya (ex-Pierrot (roadie), D+L)
Drums: Shinya (ex-Siva, Ruby, La:Sadie's)
About Dir en grey
Dir en grey is a Japanese rock band formed in 1997. While the lineup has remained constant since the group's inception, numerous stylistic changes have made its genre difficult to determine (though it is generally a form of rock music) This band is known for their incredibly graphic music videos, their video styling, and their unique Gothic style of dress. Originally part of Japan's visual kei movement, Dir En Grey has opted for less flamboyant attires in recent years as well as less graphic videos due to public complaint.
1997 - 1999: Early Career
Dir en grey's roots go back to the indie band La:Sadie's which ended up including four of Dir en grey's later members before it disbanded. After parting ways with La:Sadie's bassist Kisaki, Kyo, Kaoru, Die and Shinya along with newly recruited bassist Toshiya founded Dir en grey in early 1997. A few months later, a first EP, Missa was released.
In 1998, they became the first Japanese independent band to reach the singles top ten on the Oricon music charts after the release of their first singles "Jealous" and "-I'll-". This caught the attention of Yoshiki Hayashi of X Japan fame, who produced and arranged the singles of their subsequent album, Gauze, released in 1999. Extensive touring followed; one of these early shows (filmed at the Osaka-jo Hall) became their first of several live performances to be released on VHS and DVD.
2000 - 2004: 3 albums in 3 years
In 2000, vocalist Kyo was hospitalized with hearing trouble (he remains partially deaf in his left ear). The tour in support of Dir en grey's upcoming album, Macabre, had to be postponed. After Kyo recovered, the Tour 00>>01 Macabre eventually took off later the same year. The missed shows were performed in early 2001 and shortly after the release of the single "Ain't Afraid to Die" the tour ended at Nippon Budokan.
In 2002, along with the release of their 3rd full-length album Kisou, Dir en grey gave their first performances outside of Japan, touring China, Taiwan, and South Korea. In Shanghai, fans became excited to the point that authorities attempted to cancel a planned second concert. The band and their management eventually resolved the dispute, and the concert was performed as scheduled. Back in Japan, the last dates of the tour were already in support for the band's second EP, Six Ugly. A few months later, Dir en grey performed at Akasaka Blitz for five consecutive evenings. Each show (after the first) was themed after a certain album, the last featuring songs from the then yet-to-be-released Vulgar. Further touring and two more DVD releases followed, one of them exclusively for members of the band's fan club, ｢A Knot｣.
2005 - 2006: First non-Asian touring
In 2005, Dir en grey played their first shows in Europe. Their concerts in Berlin and Paris (as part of the It Withers and Withers tour) sold out without any sort of promotion save for newsletters by import record stores and internet-based word of mouth. The band also appeared at two major festivals, Rock am Ring and Rock im Park. These events apparently inspired a change in the band's live routine. They had not performed alongside other bands since their being signed to a major label, but after these festivals, Dir en grey had a French band, Eths, open up for them at their show in Paris. Later that year, they invited Wednesday 13 and his band to play at a show in Japan. Dir en grey also performed in the Japanese leg of that year's Taste of Chaos tour. 2005 saw the first domestic European releases as well, such as that year's album, Withering to Death., which eventually reached #31 in the Finnish album charts (Dir en grey's first non-Asian chart position). The subsequent single, "Clever Sleazoid", later became #15 of the singles charts in the same country.
In early 2006, the first concerts in the United States took place, performed in Austin, Texas (South by Southwest festival), New York (Avalon Club) and Los Angeles (Wiltern Theater). All dates sold out in a very short amount of time. The audience comprised of people from several countries. Soon afterwards, the American release of Withering to Death. and the live DVD Tour 05 It Withers and Withers followed. After more shows in Germany in summer 2006, singer Kyo was again hospitalized in July, due to inflamed vocal cords. While two concert dates in Japan had to be postponed, Dir en grey was still able to join Korn's Family Values Tour. In October, the band was back in Japan to perform at the Loud Park festival, along with bands like Megadeth, Slayer and Children of Bodom. Their 22nd single, "Agitated Screams of Maggots" was released on November 15, during the Japanese leg of the Inward Scream tour.
2007: The Marrow of a Bone
In February, Dir en grey went on its first North American headlining tour, visiting seventeen cities while its sixth full-length album, The Marrow of a Bone, was released on February 7 in Japan, and in the United States and Europe in the following months. From May to July, the group opened during a United States tour of Deftones and afterwards did another European tour, which included their debut shows in Denmark, Finland, Poland, Sweden and the United Kingdom, as well as several festival performances across the continent, including Ankkarock, M'era Luna Festival and Wacken Open Air.
The group went on another international tour in September, titled after its most recent single "Dozing Green", beginning in Japan, and continuing in Europe, including their first performance in The Netherlands and Switzerland. In late November, Dir en grey opened two shows for Linkin Park at Saitama Super Arena and in December performed another Japan tour with 10 Years as support act. Commemorating Dir en grey's tenth anniversary as a band, two greatest hits compilations, titled Decade 1998-2002 and Decade 2003-2007 respectively, were released on December 19.
2008 - Present: Uroboros
At the beginning of 2008, Dir en grey announced plans to begin recording a new studio album. Their first touring of the year, in May, was another Japan tour with a conclusion of three shows at Shinkiba Studio Coast, titled Death over Blindness. Between touring, Dir en grey performed on one night of the two-night Hide Memorial Summit on May 4, alongside X Japan, Luna Sea, and others. A second Japanese tour, titled Tour 08 The Rose Trims Again began September 10 the same day as the release of their recent single "Glass Skin"
On August 1, Dir en grey announced the release of their seventh studio album, Uroboros, which was released on November 11, 2008 in the United States. The band had a tour of the United States and Canada in support of the album with dates scheduled for November and December, overlapping the release of Uroboros. Their opening act for the tour was The Human Abstract. A second touring announcement this fall was for a single show on December 29, under the moniker "Uroboros -Breathing-", at the famous Osaka-jo Hall, where Dir en grey have not performed since December 18, 1999 (as seen on 1999.12.18 Osakajo Hall).