Originally a visual kei band, the band has dropped that style since around 2005 when they released their fifth full-length album, Withering to death.. Their musical style is difficult to determine; throughout their releases, they have played styles ranging from pop to death metal. Today, their style can be considered generally a version of metal or, more specifically, progressive metal/alternative metal.
Their fifth full-length album, Withering to death., was the band’s first to see distribution outside of Japan. It was released in Europe by GAN-SHIN and the United States by Warcon Enterprises. The band has been signed to FIREWALL DIV., a subdivision of Free-Will under Sony Music, for its entire career so far. They’re currently signed to Okami Records for European distribution and The End for United States distribution.
DIR EN GREY, in its earliest form, began as the band of vocalist 京 and drummer Shinya - 廃人黒薔薇族 (haijin kuro bara zoku “Invalid Black Rose Family”). Members and associates of this band formed La:Sadie’s, which eventually included four of the band’s five current members. La:Sadie’s disbanded in 1996. All but the bassist, Kisaki, and former lead guitarist, Shio (replaced by Kaoru), came back together to form Dir en grey. They recruited Toshiya, a bassist from Nagano and previously in the band D†L, and officially formed Dir en grey in February 1997.
In 1998, the band gained major attention by becoming the first indies band to have a single place in the top ten on Japan’s Oricon music charts. They played a sold-out performance at Osakajo Hall on December 18, 1999. This remains one of the band’s most memorable solo performances to date.
In 2002, the band’s『「××」A pilgrimage capsizing the Islands 2002 ASIA THE JAPANESE FXXKER FAMILY』tour brought the band their first international performances. The tour took them to several countries in Asia, including China and South Korea. In Shanghai, fans became so excited that authorities attempted to cancel a planned second concert. The band and their management resisted, and the concert was played as scheduled.
The year 2005 was a very significant year in the band’s history. Dir en grey played their first non-Asian shows in the spring and summer of that year. TOUR05 It withers and withers was the one that brought the band from Japan to Europe. The band played shows in three European countries - Belgium, France, and Germany. Two of these performances were MTV’s Rock im Park and Rock am Ring festivals. Dir en grey also played a solo live concert in Germany on May 28 which sold 3,500 standing-room tickets to Berlin’s Columbia Hall in approximately 6 weeks (also rumored as 3 days). The band’s album Withering to death. reached #31 on the Official Finnish Album Chart, and the single “CLEVER SLEAZOID” reached #15 on its Singles Chart. These were the first times Dir en grey had placed on a non-Asian music chart.
The band’s 2011 album, Dum Spiro Spero (meaning “while I breathe, I hope” in Latin) is released August 2 in the United States, August 3 in Japan, and August 5 in Germany. They’ve scheduled TOUR2011 AGE QUOD AGIS which will start in Japan and continue through South America, Mexico, and North America. Support for the S. American leg is 10 Years and for the N. American leg The Birthday Massacre except the last two shows in San Francisco and West Hollywood, California.
Visit www.direngrey.co.jp for more information, and news.
Edited by IRONICtypo on 28 Jul 2011, 21:38
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