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Posted 10/16/08 , edited 10/17/08
11 months after Dozing Green, comes GLASS SKIN. The new single that you have been systematically playing on the Tour 08 Death Over Blindness since May.

Kyo :
Yes. But, frankly, I do not really remember.

What do you mean ?

Kyo : I do not keep many memories of this tour. It is however the tour with the highest average in terms of quality (achievements) in my opinion, but as it ends, I am already in a state of mind where I want to move forward. Right after, my mind was already full of ideas for the next album. Essentially, I am not the kind of person to go back to the past (laughs). Well, at first, it’s a song that is “easy to get into”. It is easy to understand. It’s simply that it passes effortlessly and, little by little, some parts of the song will reveal a whole other aspect of it.

Toshiya : And when we play it on the stage, it’s a pleasing track. The parts that are different to the rest, or even the parts that do not evolve that much. On that point, there is no particularly exciting part but everything originates from a completely natural feeling.

In all the history of Dir en grey, isn’t it the song that is the easiest to attribute to a category ? Strangely, wouldn’t it be the decision to “compose inversely” (compared to the usual), or to break the expectations ?

Toshiya : No, we wanted this song to be of a ‘natural movement’. It wasn’t even a track that we did with the intention to have it become the single.

Shinya : When we had to decide what song would become the single, everybody was able to give their opinion. And at that precise moment, we could not even call it a song (because of its incomplete state). But coincidentally, everyone thought : “what if we gave this one a chance?”

Toshiya : Back when I was already thinking “It really is a good song”, I was not even thinking about composing unlike what we usually composed. I just worked on it with total frankness (natural). In truth, it is often difficult to get inspired by/for a song with such simplicity because of the timing (laughs), but, in my opinion, this time, everything felt so natural, so simple.

Kyo :
I really don’t think “If we did that, it would be new, right?” or “let’s release a song that would have nothing to do in a single at all!”. I hate that kind of bad thoughts … Now, we only wanted to present the sound that we felt like doing, we were able to create a whole new atmosphere so we want people to listen to it. And that is really all that counted.

The title “GLASS SKIN” is a symbol. A symbol of fragility, of ephemeral. Is that kind of interpretation possible ?

Kyo : Yes. Something easy to break. Something totally human. To give a short explanation, the theme that I am singing is the destruction of the environment. It is not a love song. Usually I do not explain, but whatever (laughs). I do not like to tell people what to do or think, or to explain.

Shinya : I think that the title in itself tells the atmosphere of the song quite well.

It really completes the music. There is also a new version of “Undecided”, from Kimon. Then, a piano-vocals version of AGITATED SCREAMS OF MAGGOTS unplugged … And in the limited version, there is also a live version of Ryojoku no ame.

Toshiya : We already had the opportunity to play Undecided unplugged in 2007. And we all thought : “if we had to this song now, that is what it would have become”. During the recording session, we wanted something simple.

Shinya : About the live version, it was possible that we forgot some notes and that might be a problem. There is nothing else to say, we wanted to put something new.

And for the completely shocking version of ASOM ?

Toshiya : Simply big (laughs).

Kyo : Well, you really have to listen to it to know. All those that have listened to it asked me the same thing : “how did you do it?” (laughs).

So ? It’s production secret ?

Kyo : Yes (laughs).

So, during the Tour 08 The Rose Trims Again, there is the release of UROBOROS on November 12th

Toshiya : Truthfully, until the tour has really begun, I will not be in the right state of mind. Between the pile of things that remain like the last touches to make to the album, and all the other incidents … (laughs). Anyway, I am still impatient to start it. As well as the tour in the US in November.

Kyo : Once again, we have something new to present. I think we did something that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. So come see us.

Translated by Kai-V


KYO's GiGS OCT 08 interview

-After overcoming many oversea tours, I think you're changes have definitely started to show up. Before, it seemed like you were trying to hold in your feelings from coming out but since last year, those feelings seem to have started to go outwards.

K: No, I think that hasn't changed much at all. My conscious isn't even focused on trying to convey these pains. I just do whatever I want so it's up to the people to come watch or listen. I think I'm more into the atmosphere now than a couple years ago. I don't think on stage as much as I used to and I just try to be myself, taking in the atmosphere of that place at that time and describe that with my voice. To me that's fun, and to get completely synchronized is challenging for me.

-When you challenge for these kind of shows, i think the reactions of oversea fans and people from places that have never seen you guys can become a motivation.

K: No, I'm just doing it from myself. It depends on the places, whether it's Japan or overseas, but when people come and watch, I just want them to feel something from that, and if they don't it doesn't matter. It all just matters on how each person reacts to certain thing so it's no use try to explain to each person what they should feel. So I just let the fans be. But, I think the conditions in oversea tours are better than japan's.

-REALLY?! I heard that life on the road overseas is much more difficult than in Japan.

K: If you look at Japan's as a standard, maybe it is hard, but over there it's normal. So I think it's stupid to say it's "difficult". I hate how the Japanese think that 20 shows in one month is a lot. Saying that is hard is weak. If you go to different countries, people don't have money to buy instruments and their equipment is beat up. But, still there are bands that scream, and if you look down there's a lot of people watching. I'm think those bands are much more great(sugoi). Knowing that, I don't want to say that touring in a bus with a bed for each of us or performing 20 shows in a month is hard. I don't even want to depend on that. That connects to a weakness and makes a hole in your heart. That's why on a day where there are no shows during a tour, I don't go out to look around, so I just stayed on the bus. I there to make a appearance on the stage and I just want to concentrate on that 100%. Other than that, I don't really care. As long as I can take a back/shower(laughs).

-So, it's how much you can polish yourself. When you are able to bring yourself through that, do you feel like you have achieved something?

K: Not a achievement but a goal of not losing to yourself. Well, it's kind of weird to set up a goal. When I'm in a more difficult position, I'm able to perform better. The more difficult, more of a bad mood I'm in, it's a better show. I just want that "Today I was able to perform well in the show" feeling. That's the only reason why I push myself in a difficult position.

- So the explosion of your anger and negativeness is the description of yourself on stage.

K: That's all I've hot. If I had something else I'm good at, I wouldn't do this much to myself. I can put 100% into this because this is all I have. I don't want to do something incomplete and regret either. In the past I was way too easy on myself. I hate how I used to be and if I can I want to delete that from my past. So I don't want that to build up anymore. Whatever I'm able to do, I do. And, if I have something I left undone or one thing is on my mind, my heart starts to hurt. Recently, I get these pains a lot. During recording, I get annoyed by a 1/8 sound gap and want to rerecord. The other members don't even know what I'm talking about, but to me, this causes a pain to my heart.(btw when he says heart, he literally means heart. its not the emotional, feeling heart)

-When you do that(rerecord if its off timing), do you think of yourself as a professional?

K: No, that's not a professional. Say you have a artist you really like, and that person wants to get hyped up for the show. When you watch those kind of people on stage, you don't really get anything from them. It only seems "eh", when people sing sad songs professionally. The concert begins from the rehersal, not the actual show. If you go deeper, it starts from how you live. Including all that, nothing with lies and regret, I want to fill myself up with that.

-When you push yourself into a difficult position, for example the pain described in your lyrics, does a different feeling come up than what you intended when you wrote the song?

K: I don't think the pain I mainly wrote about will never change. But when I'm able to get more into a song, new things are born or I get into a different world sometimes. That's when the lyrics or melody changes during shows. When I stand on stage, I feel that I'm losing unwanted things. I am challenging myself to only be able to represent myself with my body.

-I was informing that you guys are working on the album, but in the means of getting into songs, are shows and studio work different?

K: There's a world in each song that you look into right? I think about how I can shape that, bring it to the closest of my image in my mind and how I can put my feelings into it. On top of that, something that no one else has done. When I am facing a new song in the studio, this is how I think. When I write new songs, I think about how they would turn out if we performed them in front of audiences, so you can only probably understand about 60-70% of the song on the CD. But then we make songs on the CD that can't be recreated on the stage. In that way, shows and recordings are different.

- The new song "GLASS SKIN" has already been performed live right? After you've performed it, were you able to see a more clear color of the song?

K: Every time we perform it, I understand it better.

-I think that color isn't just one color, but many differ colors and tones. I think the emotions are all heading to one place.

K: You might be right. Ever since "DOZING GREEN". The pain hasn't changed, but the how it comes to me is very different, and that changed the color and my expressions. I think the way the song is changes too.

- Is it from the experience that you've had in the past few years?

K: Yea. My songs and lyrics doesn't mean music, but it's coming from what I naturally feel. If I can become a better person, my expressions changes. After each experience my thoughts cement more and more or more flexible. I think that's the biggest change inside me.

-Seems like you haven't done much communication on the road over there with other people. During that, I'm guessing that you were able to think a lot and polish yourself naturally.

K: yea. But, not only overseas. I think a lot even if I'm in Japan. I sometimes hate how nice the conditions of the tour can be in Japan.I think May's tour had a tighter schedule than before but i think it can be harder. But I'm guessing there aren't that many people that understands me...(laughs)But I never bend my thoughts and think that I'm just being myself. Things like that gives me ideas for lyrics. Everything from my everyday life to my smallest thoughts comes out as lyrics.

-The second songs is "undecided" which was also played in some shows. There was a time when you guys wrote very aggressive songs but do you guys actually like more quiet, melodious songs?

K: No, I actually don't like them that much(laughs). No, really. Its just, theres some songs that I really like. The second song was actually going to be a different accoustic song. And a live version of that. But there weren't any good takes on it so we asked if we can do "undecided". And we really had trouble choosing what to do for the unplugged song but I wanted to try a aggressive song. So I chose "ASOM". But then I couldn't make it to the piano recording so I didn't know where the first verse started and ended. I thought it was pretty interesting. And I wanted to give it my best shot at it and that's how it ended up.

-"ASOM" sounds like its gonna possess you.

K: But I really like it. The image the song originally had really went together with the image and atmosphere the piano track had so I thought this could work. I finished the recording of these 3 songs in one day.

-You really need to be into these songs in order to sing these. But after listening to the first to songs, it sounds like you not liking slow songs sounds like a lie. And you've said before that you don't consider yourself as a vocalist but I think that's a lie too.

K: No, it's not(laughs). I consider myself a voice-craftsman more than a singer. I can't really explain but I don't think of myself as a singer. A person who makes something with the voice. But in shows, I also use my body so I guess that's not it.

-I was just awed.

K: Oh, I see. You know how people have some kind of habit when they sings? I've been trying to kill that since "Dozing Green" so I have a lot of fun. Actually it was really hard for me to set that rule while I was singing. But when I was able to overcome that, I was able to ask myself, "What kind of new world is this?". I didn't write another melodious song to make a part 2 of "DG". This may sound weird, but I think "GLASS SKIN" doesn't really have a catch. It's not like the chorus really hits on you and it's really hard to tell if it's actually there or not. But that's whats good about it. We've never had this smooth sound, and I thought it was really cool. I wanted it to be a song where you can listen to it over and over. I've been in that mode since "DG". "DG" also doesn't have a chorus that just comes at you. You know, anyone can make a song like "OK heres the chorus, listen to it." I don't mind listening to it, but making it on my's no fun.

-Does the album have the new approach?

K: Some of it yes. Some of it I did it on purpose. We've really emphasized that we wanted to make songs that doesn't exist anywhere. It's hard to say "it sounds like...". I'm guessing theres a lot of people imagining how the album might sound based on "DG" and "GS". We'll go past satisfying you and take you to a further level. At this point, we have something that brings this much confidence.

- Do you aim for a different place for your emotions in the lyrics?

K: Some songs, I've written based on how it sounds and some go even deeper than "DG" or "GS"

- The better you get, the more higher the hurdle gets to get into these songs?


-Do you have any goals built from how much you've grown?

K: No. The closer I get to the image of myself I want to be, the further I want to go. So I'm basically chasing myself eternally. But I do see where I want to go. It just keeps moving. I think it's "how far I can go with this body". It's easy to just make things from looking at examples or relying on things. But it's to start with a blank sheet of paper. My goal is to keep on doing that and making more amazing things. More like what I want than a goal.

-You might end up becoming more flexible.

K: The more I push myself I question myself, "What is strength?"Overcoming what you think it the hardest thing in your life, I think, is the strongest thing. I think that thought is making up the core in me. And for a long time, if something really annoying happened, I really hated it. That's where it ended. If you can forgive that, it's really hard but, if you were able to forgive that, that would be really strong. I want that strength. "GS"'s lyrics looks like a love song but it's nothing like that. It actually about environmental problems. I didn't want to write what right or wrong...well it's kind of hard to get that but.

-There's a message beyond the lyrics?

K:Yea. I wanted to tell that i want to make a change, that something crazy is happening. I'm not trying to make society a good place but there's standards for certain things right? I'm not set up to the standards so maybe that's why I'm mad everyday. I want to lose that. I ask if anything is going to happen if I sacrifice myself. That's where my anger comes from sometimes. That's that difference before "DG" and now. Exploding with angers a easy thing to do. But I'm trying to obtain strength from taking in things. That's the me nowadays.

Translated by: knosuke


Interview with Kaoru in Rockoon! 2008.10.08.

“That’s why we wore leather jackets in studio even in the summer…”

The single GLASS SKIN just came out in Japan and the first reaction was a storm of excitement. Especially since the title song is a ballad. Nobody expected Dir en grey to come out with a ballad this time, nonetheless it’s very nice that Dir en grey can still surprise their fanbase with something new. Kaoru, the head of the band, gave us a little insight to other news.

R: Are you (the band) satisfied with the new material?

K: Our new album is almost ready, it just needs some fine touch up, and all I can say is I think we have given our best and made a complete work this time.

R: When does Dir en grey plan to come back to Europe?

K: We’ll see each other next year.

R: Did you guys plan something special for the shows?

K: I hope that we’ll be able to express various aspects of UROBOROS.

R: This is going to be the band’s first release that comes out simultaneously all over the world. Is this meant to be a sign left behind for the future, saying we made it in the international Rock community?

K: To tell the truth I didn’t think about it this way, but nevertheless I think it’s something hilarious! When I first began playing the guitar I never thought I’m going to come this far. We never had this as a goal in mind, but I think it’s going to inspire us to give our best in the future.

R: Do you mix Japanese and English lyrics again or are all lyrics in Japanese?

K: About 80% of the lyrics are in Japanese, the rest is in English. Also, the album version of DOZING GREEN and GLASS SKIN comes with English chorus. You will get a new idea of understanding both songs when compared to the Japanese versions.

R: Is there any interesting story from the studio?

K: Our tone mixer/engineer Koni-young (alias Yasushi Konishi) likes to work in a very cold studio; he uses the air conditioning system to achieve that. That’s why we wore leather jackets in studio even in the summer.

R: What kinds of themes and ideas are getting expressed on the new album?

K: From the musical point of view this album is recognizably harder, heavier, and also crazier than our previous work. It gives you a certain drive and leaves you to rest only a few times. Even so there are beautiful melodies to be discovered, and I must say that although this album is heavier in sound, it’s also very pleasant to listen to. The whole thing is about “the past, the present, and the future of Dir en grey.” This is a somewhat dark but very much approachable work.

R: What kind of meaning does the “UROBOROS” – the mythic “world snake” that devours its own tail – carry for you guys?

K: We chose this particular name after we have collected several suitable ones for the album. All in all we were looking for something that carries a godly atmosphere. The theme “infinity” made us very interested and excited.

K: Kao
r: Rockoon

Translated by: in_monochrome

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Posted 10/27/08 , edited 10/28/08



 9月リリースのシングル「GLASS SKIN」に引き続き、11月12日に通算7枚目となるアルバム『UROBOROS』を発表するDIR EN GREY。1年を超える制作期間を経て完成した本作は、緻密に構築されたスピリチュアルな世界観がダイレクトに脳裏を刺激する傑作! 本作についてメンバーの京(vo)、Die(g)の2人に話を訊いた。


――DIR EN GREYを結成するとき、どんなバンド像を思い描いていたんですか?

京 「そのときなりにやりたいこと、自分らがカッコいいと思うものをやるバンド。単純にそれだけですね」


京 「年々変わってくるのでわかんないんですけど、僕がいいなと思うものは一般的には受け入れられないことが多いです。まぁ、日本で売れている音楽はほとんど嫌いなので……それだけ言えばわかると思うんですけど(笑)。明るいものは基本的にすべて……前向きとかすごく嫌いです(笑)。キレイ事は好きじゃないし、基本、僕は後ろ向きなんですよね。大丈夫って言われても、“大丈夫かなぁ?”って思うタイプなんで。あとは白っぽいイメージとかも嫌いですね」


京 「実際にあえてされると好きではないんですけど、何か人間っぽい感じ、生々しい感じは好きです。現実っぽい感じですね。たとえばニュースとかで言ったら、パンダの子供が生まれたという話よりも、どこどこで戦争が起こったという話のほうが惹き付けられる。観たときの重さというか、イヤな気分というかね」


Die 「やっぱ単純に音楽性は決めてやってなかったし、何でもやってみようっていうスタイルではありましたね。その時々の自分たちに素直なことをしたいんですよ、ライヴにせよ、曲にせよ。そうやってきて今があるんですよね」


Die 「俺は基本的にメジャー・キーは嫌いですね。メジャーのコード進行というのは俺の中にないです。暗くて悲しいのが好きかな。でも、そういう音楽をやっている人たちはあんまり売れてないし……そういうものなのかなとは思いますけどね。ただ、メジャー・キーの中で泣いているものなら、好きなものもありますけどね。太陽みたいな明るい色だけというのは、俺の中ではダメというか、まったく共鳴しないです。ああいうコード進行を聴くと、キモすぎて鳥肌が立つんですよ(笑)。自分がギターを弾くときも、メジャー・コードは恥ずかしくて押さえられないというか(笑)。そういう音を俺がもし出すとしたら、相当自分が変わったんやなぁっていう気がしますけどね(笑)」

――もちろん、他のメンバーがもたらす要素もありますが、二人の好みはDIR EN GREYの音楽に面白いように表われている気がしますよね。ただ、今の話を総合すると、メジャー・キーでもなく、明るくもないDIR EN GREYは、売れないはずの音楽になりますよね。しかし、現実は異なる。そう考えると、すごく面白い現象だなとも思うんですよ。

京 「正直、僕はわからないです。売れるためにバンドをやってるんじゃないんで……何なんですかねぇ。人それぞれ感じ方も違いますからね。たとえば、歌詩をあまり(ブックレットに細かく)載せなかったりすることもありますけど、載せないということに意味があるわけじゃないですか。それがわかる子はわかるし、わからない子もやっぱりいる。そんなことをこちらがいちいち考えてもしょうがないんで、やりたいことをぶつけるだけなんですよね」

Die 「これだっていう理由はわからないですね。だからいいのかなって気もしますけど。そういう言葉じゃないところで、やっぱ何か感じた人間がライヴにも来てくれるんだろうし。それは自然なことやし、素直でいいんじゃないかなって。俺らも素直やし。それだけかな」

――魅力の一つが激しい音なのであれば、すごくわかりやすい面だと思うんですよ。実際にDIR EN GREYのライヴを観てみると、暴れている人もいるし、じっくりと聴いている人もいる。そこまでは説明がつくんですね。だけど、歌っている人もすごく多いじゃないですか。とはいえ、カラオケで楽しく歌うような曲が奏でられているわけではない。そこに何かヒントがあるのではないかとも思うんですね。

Die 「でも、たとえば激しいだけ、歌うような曲だけだったら、自分たちも面白くないんですよね。自分たちにも刺激があるライヴなり曲なりをやってるだけなんですよ。そこはすごく追い求めているし、それがなくなったら、やっぱりこのバンドは終わりだと思うし」
京 「何で歌うんですかね(笑)。でも、単純に嬉しいですよ。頭から最後まで歌ってくれててもいいし、頭を振ってくれててもいい。ただ何か共鳴してくれている部分があれば、それだけでいいんですよ。変な深読みとかもされたくないし、自然なままでいてくれたらいいなって。でも、アンコールの最後の曲とかって、特に盛り上がったりするわけじゃないですか。それってすっごい腹立つんですよ」


京 「というより、力を取っておいてるんですよね。こっちは1曲目から100%でやってるのに、最後の曲だけ明らかに違う。どうせ帰るときにはグチャグチャになるんやったら、始めからそれでええやんって(笑)。こっちは死ぬ気でやってるのに、何をじっくり……まぁ、じっくり観てくれるのはいいんですけど、だんだんっていうのがイヤなんです、僕は(笑)」

Die 「むしろ、ヘタったほうが普通じゃないですか(笑)。最後の最後はみんなくたびれてたほうが、こっちも見てて面白いですよね(笑)」


京 「そういうのだったらいいんですけどね。でも、明らかにそうじゃないんで(笑)」


――ははは(笑)。ただ、常に手加減しない臨み方は、メンバーも自負しているDIR EN GREYの個性であり、あるべき姿なんでしょうね。ところで、最新作『UROBOROS』が完成しましたが、新しさも踏まえつつ、その時々でやりたいことをやってきたDIR EN GREYのすべての要素がわかるようなアルバムに思えるんですよ。

Die 「俺らからするとすべてとは言えないし、わからないところですけど、そう感じるならそうなのかなと。DIR EN GREYのイメージとしてね。でも、それを意識してやったわけではないですけどね。アルバムの全体像が浮かんできたのは7月ぐらいかなぁ。単純に曲が出揃ったときに、俺ららしいなぁとは思いましたけどね」


Die 「それは難しいなぁ。すごく曖昧なものなんで……。多分、そう思えるものが、自分たちの中では正解なんだと思うんですよ。毎回そうですけどね。そうじゃなかったら、自信を持って出せないですし」


京 「1曲ずつもあるんですけど、それが完成ではなくて、アルバムを全部聴き終わった後に、何が自分の中に残っているか。そこが本当の意味です。だから、“この歌詩はこうだから、こういう意味で、こういう歌だよね?”と言われると、すごく困る。あえて答を書いてない歌詩ばっかりなんですよ。ただ、どこか一色で、聴き終わった後に何か重いものだけ残っている、そんなニュアンスのものが書けたらいいなぁと思ってて。それは今までのアルバムにもあるんですけど、より一層ですね」


京 「うん。僕はわかりやすい前向きな感じがいやなんですよ。みんなで頑張ってどうたら、とかね。個人個人が絶望を目の前にしたときにどう思うのか。そこで自分の中で沸き上がってくる前向きさ、闘争心というものは好きです。それを感じるところはあると思います」


京 「だとすれば狙い通りです(笑)。イヤなことに目を向けず、上辺だけで生きる感じがするものが嫌いなんですよ。もっと底辺を見て、ちょっとずつでもいいから、ボロボロになりながらでもいいけど、進んでいくという人間が僕は好きなんで……それは歌詩にも出ているかもしれない。バンド・コンセプト的には痛みというところだったり……誰も見ないところを、あえて出していきたいんですよ。そこに俺らの意味があるというか」


Die 「自分たちが思う、聴いたことのないサウンド。普通に感じるものって、いくらやっても自分たちに刺激がないんですよね。だから、クリーン・サウンドと言っても、単純にエレキでいう“ド”クリーンの音とか、そういうところじゃないんですよ。もっともっと深いものなんですよね。自分の理想、求めている音を作り出すのには、やっぱりすごく時間がかかったし。それは作るたびにありますね」


Die 「うーん……昔はここを優しく弾くとか、そういうメンタル的なものを意識してたときもあったんですけど、逆に今はそういうことをあまり考えなくなりましたね。もっと自然に任せて曲と向き合うというか。むしろ意識するのも違うなぁみたいな」


京 「どうなんですかね? 自然な流れなので、僕の中では。まぁ、曲が呼んでたと(笑)。ただ、出したくなるところもあるんですけど、今回、それでもかなり抑えたんですよ、ハイのところは。90%ぐらいは自然な流れで曲に呼ばれたと思うんですけど、誰にも歌えないオリジナリティのあるもの、俺しか歌えない、絶対的なものじゃないと意味がないと思うんですよ。それが残りの10%ですね。僕は自分の声を音としか見てないんですよ。だから、ギターの音色が変わるかのように、ここの場面はこのほうがいいと考えるんですね」

――シングルで先行リリースされた「GLASS SKIN」と「DOZING GREEN」は、アルバム収録に際して歌詩が英語になりましたよね。

京 「シングルの曲だけ英語にしたら、何か変なふうにとられそうでホントはイヤだったんですけど、実際ちょっとやってみたら、すごく新鮮で、単純に面白いなって部分が大きかったんですよ。新たな挑戦でもありましたしね。〈GLASS SKIN〉のほうは歌詩も違ってるんですね。元の歌詩とテーマは一緒なんですけど、角度が全然違うんで、よりわかりやすいです、その核の部分が。〈DOZING GREEN〉はただ英語にしただけなんですけど、日本語特有の空気感、雰囲気を英語で表わすのは難しいんですよね。その意味では〈DOZING GREEN〉も、もうちょっとわかりやすくはなってる。歌詩を両方とも見てもらえると、すごく楽しめるかなぁと」


京 「うん。売れたいという気持ちは全然ないですけど、アンダーグラウンド過ぎるのも、ちょっと違う気がするし。でも、何かすごく(表に)出たいという気持ちもない。ちょっと難しいんですよね、言葉ではなかなか言えないバランス感覚っていうか」

――DIR EN GREYに初めて触れる人にも、『UROBOROS』は最適なアルバムと言えそうですか?(笑)

京 「どうやろう? 〈GLASS SKIN〉を気に入ってアルバムを買ってもらったら、多分、“え!?”って思う部分が結構あると思うんですよ(笑)。すごく壁が厚くて、入りにくい感じがすると思うんですよ。でも、それを越えてしまうとすごくわかりやすいし、ハマりやすいんですね。すごくキャッチーです。だから、多分、一回聴いただけでは、このアルバムはわからないと思います(笑)」

Die 「こんなアルバムは聴いたことないだろうなと思いますね。でも、意図として難しくしようというものはまったくないんで……。俺らからすると聴きやすいんですけどね(笑)」

――しかも聴く度に発見がありそうですしね。さて、11月からの北米ツアーを経て、国内では12月29日に“UROBOROS -breathing-”と題された大阪城ホール公演が決定しています。こういった作品を携えてのライヴだけに、どんな内容になるのか楽しみですね。

京 「『UROBOROS』を初めて100%出せる場所なので、すごく自分らも楽しみですね。『UROBOROS』の世界はライヴのほうがもっと深いと思うので、もっとドップリと浸りたい人は来てもらえたら嬉しいです」

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Posted 11/1/08 , edited 11/4/08

„Uroboros“ The strangest album of the strongest band Dir en Grey now, here….

The beauty in the wild…, the softness of power… .To know them and to be able to meet them, who would have known that these would heal to such an extent? All these years I misunderstood Dir en Grey. It’s just the image of an extreme band with a loud and heavy sound that let me pronounce an arbitrary jugdement. Until that particular day… It was the first concert I saw of them. Those five who surprisingly express not that wildness but an “art”-like world through the “spirit” called sound. Seeing this “world” the trembling wouldn’t stop and somehow I was moved. Now I want to tell all those who don’t know the real Dir en Grey and I want them to listen and feel. To get to know the real people…

The release of the new album Uroboros is now roughly 2 years after the album The Marrow Of A Bone. So are the experiences of that 2 years part of that album? Also, what is the concept of it?

Die: We did lives all these 2 years so the “colours” and the feelings of the recent concerts are in there.

Kyo: Pain, the usual, the things that everyone wants to hide, things that you can’t touch, those things that refer to the bands concept and that we are trying to express in music, lyrics and concerts. We had the feeling that we wanted to express all that in an even deeper way on the album.

Die: It’s totally that way.

The first thing that came to my mind while listening to Uroboros (*1) was, that Kyo-kuns voice has become even more wide-ranging and even more capable of variations. Is it possible to say that the new album concentrates on that aspect more than the others?

Kyo: Until now I thought of our songs as a whole. If possible they should hit you like one single punch. But this time we did it with the thought that we should do everything possible. So the melody was made all at once and so did I with the lyrics. [Maybe it’s like not too much thoughts and no restrictions? ..I didn’t really get what he tries to say ^-^;] Compared to everything before, the atmosphere and the feeling of the songs may be completely different.

The part of the vocalist is natural, but even the presence of each of the other members was surprisingly strong. So isn’t the fact that each member is present in the music that what appears in it? Just like a reaction in the music?

Die: You mean the feelings of each of us are present right? How much we concentrated on that? If we went too far in that direction, it could destroy everything, like “That’s not right, there’s something strange”. But because everyone of us simply wants to make good music we think about those things a lot.

Now to your songs. Dir en Grey has a very particular style in the titles of album and songs. They are not only English and not only Japanese but they have a strange, occult-like feeling. I wonder where this comes from. For example, the word “Sa Bir”. What language does it come from and what is the meaning behind it? I’m really curious about that.

Kyo: It is no strange obsession of mine. But aren’t the titles all usually in Japanese or English? For the song and the feeling of it every language is ok. So I choose the titles based on the feeling of the songs and if the words fit then it is all right. It may be the sound of the word or its meaning.

Because if it’s Dir en Grey sometimes the message can reach you even without words, right? For example in “Sa Bir” just like the meaning which is about the movement of the earth, the sound crawls through the body like it comes from under the earth [something like from the earth’s core or so..]. Then it goes over to “Vinushka” (meaning “sin”) and gives me the creeps. How do you get your ideas for the melodies?

Kyo: Well, I start with a rough idea of the melody and then slowly I fill that “vision” I had first.

Is there a message in your lyrics, you are trying to get across?

Kyo: For example in “Glass Skin” the lyrics can be understood as a love song, but that’s not it. I tried to express the transience through a landslide, meaning the ecological problem in a way that’s not like preaching. Somehow I detest that stupid preaching and I don’t want to sing anything like that positive forward-looking things either. It’s not like that in reality. That is the basis of my thoughts. The thoughts that come from that “no problem” attitude and those from inside the destruction have a totally different feeling to them.

I see. The positive in the negative… . Listening to what you say makes me see those things more clearly.

Kyo: The last album “The Marrow Of A Bone” also may have the expression of despair, pain and destruction to it, but that’s not all. But that “woah” feeling that stays after you finish listening to it…that’s it.

On the album “Dozing Green” and “Glass Skin” are in the English version right?

From the beginning I was often asked by labels from outside if I wanted to write songs in English, but it has nothing to do with that. “Dozing Green” and “Glass Skin” simply have a new feeling to them if I sing them in English. Also the way to look at things changes, so for me that is very interesting. With that I think it is okay to do so.

That’s true. With English lyrics the way to express things and the atmosphere is very different to the songs with Japanese lyrics.

Kyo: The main statement of the song may be the same, but the perspective is totally different and the English is way easier to understand, isn’t it? Also because with the text of “Dozing Green” completely in English, there isn’t the ambiguity like in the Japanese text and so the statement is pretty clear. So you can enjoy the song twice, with changed atmosphere. I thought that would be interesting.

In all the songs on the album there’s a kind of hovering [sorry. I got no good word for it -_-] atmosphere. Like if you suddenly see light in the darkness. When I first went to a Dir en Grey concert I felt a shock, an impetus not possible to say in words. I thought “ That’s real art”. I also felt that, when I heard the album. Like in the concert, or even more so. Kyo-kun, on the album and in concerts you fully express the songs (with body and soul) through your voice and your performance. That’s really great! (laughs) It may sound strange, but it feels like I’ve been healed inside… Huh? I am weird!!(laughs)

Die: You really got into it right? (laughs)

Kyo: There are people who say that the fact that our fans shout and sing with us at concerts is great too. Because the message I sing appeals to the fans, that I sing it as a kind of deputy or so. I think that’s the meaning of it. There are many heavy bands that go screaming all the time. I am definitely not interested in that. It doesn’t touch my heart.

People that misunderstood you the way I described earlier are many, I think. But you do little against it, like explaining yourselves.

Kyo: Well, somehow even explaining that… . It would be best if they could feel it for themselves, but it’s not right to say, that we wouldn’t do anything like explaining ourselves, either. It’s difficult.

Now that “Uroboros” is finished, what do you think about Dir en Grey’s past, present and future?

Kyo: Every time we release an album I think of it as a new start. With “Uroboros” now we left many things behind and I am totally satisfied. Because we did something that brings out everything that is Dir en Grey more than anything we did before. As if we went a level higher.

It seems like Dir en Grey is not so fixed on the past.

Kyo: Seems so. Although it is not like we think of the past as something negative, and we have good memories of course. But we can’t express our thoughts perfectly and there is so many we didn’t try yet. And now after we finished the recording for “Uroboros” I have so many ideas for the next releases in my head.

But now after you finished the album with all the difficulties there are, isn’t there any free time?

Kyo: Of course there is, but I have all these vague ideas like how we could do the next things and how I would like to do them and so on. Now I want to perform “Uroboros” live and give it more than 100%, 150%, up to 200%. Then I have new emotions and things I want to tell everyone.

Well, the future of Dir en Grey is unknown.

Kyo: Right.

It’s like you will always proceed and get better right? You won’t stay at one place forever. You want to find out what the next one, say the next level is going to be. It may be that you push your luck with the fans.

Kyo: We’re a band that undergoes especially great changes. Although there are bands like that in Japan and Overseas, you may hear their special sound on every album, but with our music it sounds different from album to album.

Die: For every member it is like we want to do things more extensively to some point that there is only us in the music. Things that only we can do. Even though we might not speak it out loud, I think that feeling is getting stronger in each of us.

Kyo: The things we want to express are not blurred and the balance is different from normal bands.

By the way, what are the musical roots for you two and what was a big influence?

Die: Well, the reasons for me to make music were Japanese bands. I didn’t listen to any bands from overseas.

Kyo: I listen to many different bands, but there are no special bands that have influence on the music of Dir en Grey. The feelings you have in live…it could be pain, or something I heard on the news, things that you experience naturally in normal every-day live. I think these are the things that have influence on the music and the lyrics….ah, but I totally love hardcore, which may have influence on it, too. Like the attitude.

In 2006 you played as guest with Korn on the “The Family Values” Tour, together with bands like the Deftones and Stone Sour and in 2007 you took part at the huge german festival “Wacken Open Air” with Nine Inch Nails, Tool and so on. Don’t you think that these experiences could have any influence on your music?

Die: No, I don’t know anything that could’ve had influence.

For example anything that was easier or more difficult?

Kyo: It doesn’t matter if it’s Japan or Overseas, there is no difference.

Beginning the 5th of November you will do a special tour through all of America, visiting 22 cities, for at least a month. Give it your Best!

Kyo: Right. I’ll give it 100%. And the live doesn’t really differ. It’s the same set list we have in Japan.

After you come back you will do a concert the 29th of December (Monday) in Osakajou-hall with the title “UROBOROS-breathing-“. But there are two concerts in Osakajou-hall right?

Die: Since 9 years now.

Kyo: There are not so many people who do lives at Osakajou-hall nowadays. [Sorry don’t understand the next sentence. Something like he individually didn’t like one concert he did there or so. Need help there T-T]

Also the title has a deep meaning. It seems to be a special Live.

Die: There we will present the new album the first time, so there will be things that we can only feel at that concert. The feeling to play the new songs for the first time. That’s something we can only have that special day at Osakajou-hall.

*1: (Uroboros) An ancient symbol. Two snakes that bite into each others tail. Or otherwise stylized as dragons. The model of the symbol for eternity ∞ .

Interview & Text: LIMO HATANO, Translation: Colour-ize_NoX
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