Dir en grey was formed in 1997 with the following line up:
Vocal: KyoGuitar: KaoruGuitar: DieBass: ToshiyaDrums: Shinya
(Together with ex-Bassist Kisaki four member of Dir en grey played in the Band “La:Sadie’s” from 1995-1997)
La:Sadie’s founded 1995 in the formation Kyo (vocal) Kaoru and Die as guitarists, Shinya (Drums) and Kisaki (Bass). Kisaki left the band in 1997 and Toshiya was “kidnapped” as the new Bassist of the new band. Formed under the name “Death Mask” the 5 guys of the following band Dir en grey gave several concerts. Since the last change of the band name Dir en grey become one of the best known artists even in the western world of rock music. The first release was the mini album “Missa” in 1997. The following singles “Jealous” and “I’ll” reached top positions in the Oricon Charts. Because of the big success Dir got attention of X-Japan’s Yoshiki who became the producer of the 5 new talents. Together they released their first 3 major singles. Zan, Akuro no Oka and Yurameki - 3 singles released on one day, 1998 January 20th. The plan was successful and the singles placed at position 5 – 7 in the Oricon Charts. After their first big Tour and 2 more singles they changed their label and left Yoshiki and East West Japan and joined Sony. There they released one of their best album: Macabre.
2003 they made the first step overseas. The “5 Ugly Kingdom Tour 2003” took place in China and Korea. A big break was the album “Vulgar” in the end of 2003. Vulgar was a big change in the history of the band. The music became harder and changed a lot, so they finally left the area of visual kei and Dir became a real rock band. Even when many fans criticize the change, the band gained many new fans and became stronger. With the next album “Withering to death.” in the beginning of 2005 Dir en grey discovered new roots and finally broke up with their beginnings. They invent a new style of music.
With the new album Dir en grey made the first step out of asia and performed for the first time in Germany. They broke records with the sale of their tickets, even because the promotion was only possible via internet. 24 hours and the concert in Berlin was sold out. “It withers and withers” – 2005 May 28 – Columbiahalle Berlin – a date with an epic touch. The weather was as hot as the performance of the exception-rockers of Japan.The first steps at the international area Dir en grey made when they joined the big European festivals like “Rock im Park”, “Rock am Ring” in Germany and the Octopus Festival in Belgium.
2005 was just the beginning. After this year Dir went overseas very often. 2006 they came back to Germany for 2 lives and for the performing at RIP and RAR. But after that they made the next step and went to America again, where they had in the beginning of 2006 a showcase tour. This time the reason was the Family Values Tour where Dir joined besides bands like Deftones, Flyleaf, Bury Your Dead, Bullets and Octane and others, the big tour which was organized by the famous American rockers Korn. In fact the FVT was a big promotion for the Japanese band. The contacts they gained overseas should be really important for the future projects of the band. So they were support act for Deftones in 2007.
2007 was also the year Dir released their album “The Marrow of a Bone”. For promotion they came back overseas and gave 2 sold out concerts in London. Another Highlight was their gig at the biggest European metal festival “Wacken Open Air”. There they performed in front of 65000 people. Already in the end of 2007 they came back to Europe for their “Dozing Green” Tour. But there was no concert placed in Germany. The following years were characterized by several tours in Japan and also in the US. There they joined the hide memorial summit as headliner besides other big bands like X JAPAN and LUNA SEA in japan. Dir performed there the song “Miscast” as an X Japan cover. The 7th studio album “UROBOROS” was released in the end of 2008. For the band this album was the beginning of a new era. Especially for the beginning of the new “circle” they gave the concert “breathing” in Osaka Jo Hall. That was the first appearance after 1999 that they performed in this venue.
In January 2009 they joined the Kerrang! Tour and performed together with Mindless Self Indulgence, Bring Me The Horizon, Black Tide and In Case Of Fire in UK. And finally they came back for a big tour to Europe. With “The feast of V senses” they visited Germany, UK, Netherlands, France, Italy, Switzerland, Poland, Sweden, Czech Republic and Austria. Then it was time again to concentrate of the Japanese fan base. So they made a very long tour with the name “The unwavering fact of tomorrow” in 2010 until the start of 2011. The new released singles were “Hageshisa To, Kono Mune No Naka De Karamitsuita Shakunetsu No Yami” (December 2009), “Lotus” (January 2011) and “DIFFERENT SENSE” (June 2011).
In 2011 Dir will release a new album with the name “Dum Spiro Spero” (August 2011). The rest of the year 2011 Dir will tour through the world. There was a fanclub tour in the first half of the year in Japan and there are still more dates announced for the both tours PARADOX OF RETALIATION (Eu intern) and AGE QUOD AGIS (Japan, South America and Mexico).
In fact Dir en grey is the best known Japanese band, even when they basic was in visual kei they are accepted in the worldwide music scene now.