Interview Exclusive

Interview with Kaoru from DIR EN GREY

20/01/2020 2020-01-20 01:00:00 JaME Author: Cecee Photographer: Cecee

Interview with Kaoru from DIR EN GREY

JaME sat down with Kaoru, guitarist and leader of alt-metal band DIR EN GREY, to talk about the group's long standing appeal.


© Christan C. (CeCeemagery)
DIR EN GREY has been pushing the boundaries of their artistry since their inception in 1997. With their latest album The Insulated World, DIR EN GREY expands into the furthest reaches of their music with a wildly dynamic and heavy sound. The band's recent North American tour, entitled This Way to Self-Destruction, featured several sold-out shows, blazing a hot trail for the band before the upcoming European leg, which will be kicking off in Moscow, Russia on January 25th.

Before the first show of the North American leg of the tour at The Regent Theater in Los Angeles, JaME sat down with Kaoru, the band's guitarist and leader, to talk about their long standing appeal.

Congratulations on selling out this show at the Regent! How does it feel as a Japanese band to sell out in international venues?

Kaoru: Of course, I’m genuinely happy. It’s been a while since the last show, so to see that it’s sold out means that people have been waiting for us, and I’m very thankful that everybody is coming today to watch us.

It's understood that each member of the band brings their own talents to the composing process. How has that evolved over the years and how does it stand out with your latest album The Insulated World?

Kaoru: Until the previous album it was always our aim to produce an album which would differ from the previous one. Always something different, something better, and that was always the way that we worked. This album is the result of 10 consecutive albums that were trying to be different from the others. Up till the previous album, the songs were more melodious but this one is heavier.


It's said that DIR EN GREY never strays from the macabre and nihilistic themes. Yet fans find joy, resonance and comfort in this style. Why do you think fans are so drawn to this?

Kaoru: I don’t think that people find joy just from happy songs, it’s not the way it probably works. I think that people actually find joy or comfort when they have something in common, something they can relate to in the lyrics or the music. That’s why I’ll see them after our shows looking satisfied, and that’s great.

As an artist, if there was one thing you want fans to remember (some words of wisdom), what would it be?

Kaoru: Of course, there are a lot of hard things that go on in your life, but we all need to continue striving in our lives.

What currently inspires you? What thoughts or sentiments guided the creation of this latest album The Insulated World?

Kaoru: I don’t know why this is the case, but right now there is nothing in particular I am inspired by. Not sure if it’s because of age, but somehow, I feel I’m not as touched by things anymore.


You've been together since 1997. What do you think is the magic glue that keeps a band like yours going strong together for over two decades?

Kaoru: Patience. Lots of patience.

Your live shows have developed bigger and bolder visuals over the years. What can the American audience expect to see for this latest tour?

Kaoru: The focus of this tour is obviously this new record, so we are mostly playing the new tracks, new songs, so you will definitely have a different, new experience.

Before you step onto the stage, what is a ritual or phrase that you use to get yourself and your band mates performance ready?

Kaoru: Usually, we just do what normal people do right up till showtime, and then right before the stage we get together, do a call and then that’s when the switch and the lights go up.

After the US and European tour, what is next for DIR EN GREY?

Kaoru: It has already been announced, so after we finish the European tour, we will go back to Japan to do a tour in the spring. Then, in summer, we’ll close the tour cycle with a final show in Yokohama, and then a new album.

JaME would like to thank Kaoru, Chummy Press and DIR EN GREY's management team for making this interview possible.

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Related Releases

Album Digital Release 2018-09-26 2018-09-26
DIR EN GREY
Album CD 2018-10-26 2018-10-26
European Edition DIR EN GREY
Album CD 2018-09-26 2018-09-26
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Single CD 2019-09-18 2019-09-18
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DIR EN GREY at Islington Assembly Hall, London © sun-krad Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Interview with Kaoru from DIR EN GREY © Christan C. (CeCeemagery)

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