DER ZIBET was formed in 1984. Its founding members were vocalist ISSAY and bassist HAL, who knew each other from their previous band, ISSAY and SUICIDES. The rest of the band included HIKARU on guitars, MAYUMI on drums and MAHITO on keyboards. MAHITO was in the band since the beginning, but in 1985 he decided to leave, though he kept on performing with DER ZIBET as a support musician. Now, MAHITO is once again a full member of the band.
A year after the band's formation, DER ZIBET went major. Their first release was a single entitled Matsu uta and before the year ended they also released their first album, Violetter Ball. In 1986, their only release was the single Girls radical dance mix on vinyl.
In 1987 DER ZIBET released their second album, Electric Moon and a single called Baby, I love you. The following year was even more successful, witnessing the release of a concert VHS, their most popular single to date, Only you only love and two albums, DER ZIBET and Garden. Garden was recorded in London, and as a result, DER ZIBET's stay was documented on the video DER ZIBET IN GARDEN.
The following few years saw the releases of various singles and albums, including Homo demens, the cover of which featured ISSAY nude. Around this time, the band changed their label from SIXTY RECORDS to COLUMBIA TRIAD.
In 1991, they released a two-part album Shishunki I - Upper Side and Shishunki II - Downer Side. Atsushi Sakurai participated in the recording of the song Masquerade. Atsushi also participated in one of DER ZIBET's following concerts, where he performed the song with them. That year, ISSAY appeared as a guest at the Extasy Summit '91, a festival organised by YOSHIKI of X JAPAN. Together with YOSHIKI, who accompanied him on the piano, ISSAY performed Lou Reed's song Satellite of love. Aside from DER ZIBET, ISSAY also participated in the side project Hamlet Machine, where he played together with Tatsuya of All NUDE. Their song appeared on an omnibus DANCE 2 NOISE 001.
In 1993, DER ZIBET once again changed labels, this time to BMG ariola. It was with them that they released their ninth studio album, TRASH LAND, two concert albums and the single Natsu no hi no typhoon no youni. 1994 saw more releases, including their last single, Nire no ki no ue. Since then the band has ceased to release singles. They celebrated their 10th anniversary in 1994 with a special concert and ISSAY released his first solo album, Flowers, which was a covers album. Among the artists invited to take part in the recording were HIDE (X JAPAN), SUGIZO (LUNA SEA), Ken (Zi:Kill) and Hidehiko Hoshino and Atsushi Sakurai (both BUCK-TICK). The following year, ISSAY sang as a guest on BUCK-TICK's SIX/NINE album and participated in the promotional tour for the release. DER ZIBET released two more studio albums, but after the release of the concert album Ari, the band decided to break up.
After the band's dissolution, ISSAY pursued his solo career as well as a few other projects, including Hamlet Machine, Phi, Issay meets Dolly, The Name of the Rose and Lynx, which he created together with X JAPAN's HEATH. He also performed in plays organized by his Nouveau Mime Project. Acting wasn't anything new to Issay; after studying at an acting school he played in a few movies, both before and during his time in DER ZIBET. In 1996, together with Ken Morioka, he participated in a tribute album for the band JAPAN and in 2001 he remixed one of the songs on Dir en grey's album KAI. In 2005, together with Lynx, he celebrated the 20th anniversary of DER ZIBET's formation with the special concert ISSAY 20th ANNIVERSARY! Lynx PLAY DER ZIBET.
At the end of 2007, DER ZIBET was resurrected and in December they played their first live since the split. In 2008 they played a total of five shows, participating in events alongside such artists as Yasuaki Honda and Black Love Fantom. During their December 7th gig, fans were able to purchase the band’s new live DVD. DER ZIBET's discography also gained a new single, Red Bitez, which was an internet release available for download from their official website. Their new album Primitive is due for release on March 6th 2009 and comments on DER ZIBET's official website from such artists as Atsushi Sakurai (BUCK-TICK), Ken Morioka (ex SOFT BALLET) and HEATH (X JAPAN, Lynx) have proven to be good advertisement for the release.
DER ZIBET's image is strongly influenced by music from the 1970s, especially David Bowie’s. This can be quite clearly seen in their photo shoots and album covers and through ISSAY's appearance and manner of singing.
One of the characteristic elements of DER ZIBET's performances was the pantomime performed by ISSAY. He was predisposed to such performance - he studied mime acting in an acting school. In the band's early years their concerts were incredibly visual. Apart from pantomime ISSAY sometimes performed wearing a mask, holding a huge clock or burning torches, and he often changed his hair colours.