I’m beyond excited to have had a chance to talk with Kaoru and Die, the guitarists of Japanese metal band Dir en grey, about the upcoming album, Dum Spiro Spero, how the March tsunami affected them, and their take on horror and its influence on the band. By now you probably realize that I’m a huge fan and I’m really thrilled that I’m able to bring you this exclusive interview. Don’t forget to check out singer Kyo’s Top 10 Horror Movie list and my review of Dum Spiro Spero.
First of all, thank you very much for this interview. I’m a big fan of Dir en grey and the new album, Dum Spiro Spero, is fantastic!
Kaoru: Thank you.
Die: Thank you.
So, jumping right into things with Dum Spiro Spero, the first several minutes of the album are incredibly creepy and unsettling. They set the tone for, what I feel, is a very diverse and very chaotic album that seems like it would be perfect for a horror movie. Was this something that you were aiming for?
Kaoru: It wasn’t intended to be particularly for a horror movie but the imagery that we were presenting was more of a, as you said, twisted and chaotic scene. Through that, we were trying to shun light and concepts.
The various guitar tones and effects are incredible! I’m wondering though how the two you are able to make them fit so well with each other to create these rich textures?
Die: Concerning the guitar arrangement, we just take a long time. Even with the effects during the recording process, we take it down to the very tiny, tiny details and we make sure that everything is fitting correctly. It’s all just time, we take a long time to do this.
How, if at all, did the March tsunami affect Dum Spiro Spero or you as a band?
Kaoru: Well, the disaster happened during the time we were recording and so when that happened, we had to stop recording for a second and we were contemplating whether to keep recording or not. However, we decided to do what we had started and complete what he had, which was the album. We also felt that completing the album was a way to bring light and definitely hope for our fan base.
Will there be a US tour in support of Dum Spiro Spero?
Die: Yes. The tour is at the end of the year.
The visuals of Dir en grey have always had a very dark edge to them. What is it about this style that appeals to you and to the band?
Die: Let’s say we were listening to pop music. There is not much of a deeper emotion that is conveyed through the music. However, we as a band like to take grotesque videos and within that art form, we want people to receive the beauty and depth of these images.
Kyo gave us his Top 10 horror movies and it was a huge hit with the Bloody-Disgusting readers. I’m wondering what are some of your favorites?
Kaoru: I was actually not able to watch horror movies before and a lot of people had said to me, “You make music videos that are basically horror movies but you don’t watch these movies?”. But recently I am able to and concerning the ones I’ve recently seen, I’ve seen a few but I can’t remember them.
Die: I saw the first Saw in movie theaters and it was quite surprising. I was moved by the first movie.
Kaoru, Die, thank you both very much! Like I say, the album is amazing and I really look forward to seeing what the rest of the world thinks of it!