DIR EN GREY took to Europe once more in less than two years, making their return sooner rather than later. Near the end of its tour titled “TOUR20 This Way to Self-Destruction”, we met up with the band in London, before they hit the stage for their theatrical performance.

We sat down with drummer Shinya to talk about their latest single The World of Mercy, and album The Insulated World. Not only that, but we also find out how DIR EN GREY grows as a band through their live shows—thanks to their fans!


The tour name this time is called This Way to Self-Destruction, can you explain the meaning behind it?

When we released the album The Insulated World in Japan, we toured for it the year after, in 2019. That tour was called This Way to Self-Destruction and I guess if you’ve noticed from the setlist, you can see that we played a lot of songs from that album. So it is in relation to the release of the last album, it was also the same tour name in the Americas and now, in Europe.

It’s been just over a year since DIR EN GREY toured Europe back in 2018. What is it that keeps bringing you back to Europe?

There was a big gap from the time we last toured before coming back in 2018, even during that tour, we were already talking about the next one. That’s the reason why we came back again so quickly because we had already started planning since the last time we were here in Europe.

What song have fans reacted to the most during this tour?

When we play Merciless Cult in our set—a very old song—and when the intro plays, it’s probably one of the stronger reactions that we get from fans.

Have you ever performed a show where you felt everything was perfect? If perfection isn’t what you aim for, is there anything that comes close to that feeling?

For me, I feel close to perfection during all of DIR EN GREY’s tours.

Shinya at London gig, TOUR20 This Way to Self-Destruction.

DIR EN GREY’s recent single The World of Mercy is a 10-minute long epic. What ideas did you want to explore musically and thematically?

In regards to The World Of Mercy, we decided from the beginning that we were going to make a lengthy song. Our usual method of songwriting is that we all bring various elements and ideas to the table, there’s a lot of different aspects included actually, but this time we wanted to stick to one theme from start to finish of an over 10-minute track.

The World of Mercy goes through different phases throughout the song. Was there a particular message or emotion that you wanted to instill?

There is no particular message or anything that I would want people to understand or take from this song, but I definitely want people to perceive the song as they want by just listening to it.

How was the process of composing for your latest album The Insulated World?

Our songwriting process is always the same. The members will come up with a simple or basic idea, and then we make a mess of it together.

Is there a particular song from The Insulated World that you feel especially proud of or satisfied with?

Personally, I like the drums part of the song Aka. I feel like I was able to reveal myself within each phrase of the song.

Are there any music philosophies you stick to when you’re drumming or does it change on an album to album basis?

There’s nothing fixed for me and it’s not really per album, it’s more like I have to adapt my style to each song.

Each work that you release has a certain atmosphere. Do you use this as a basis on how to direct your stage performance?

For sure, the songs are continuously moving and changing as we perform it live. Because there are a lot of things you wouldn’t discover by yourself when writing an album or recording it in the studio. These things are only realized when playing in front of an audience. Even parts of a song that for us was a low part, people react to it and it makes us realize it’s a high part thanks to the audience’s reaction. As we perform it more and more, we think of new ideas and this is then transferred into the next live performance.

Is this planned beforehand or done suddenly?

It’s definitely in real-time. It comes to us as we perform it.

Do you do this often yourself?

As the drummer, I simply can’t do that.

Back in 2018 here in London, you ran into unfortunate technical issues but still managed to present the best qualities of DIR EN GREY. How do you usually cope with these kinds of situations?

Actually, we were quite shocked as we normally don’t face a lot of problems. But when something goes wrong, everyone becomes more fired up and wants to make the most of the situation, that’s why we are still able to enjoy our shows despite these difficulties.

DIR EN GREY has accomplished a lot over its extensive career, but are there any goals or achievements that you are still aiming for?

Absolutely! In spite of how lengthy our career has been—Japan or overseas—there are still people who don’t know DIR EN GREY. As such, there are always new goals and dreams to chase. To get all those people who still have no idea who we are, we definitely have to continue chasing new goals and we would be happy to see these people come to our live shows.


Even though the tour has already finished, we sure hope that they’re already planning their next trip to Europe. We simply can’t get enough of them!

The World of Mercy

Regular edition
CD
  1. The World of Mercy
  2. DOZING GREEN (Acoustic Ver.)
  3. GRIEF [Live Take at SHINKIBA STUDIO COAST on April 16, 2019)
Buy at CDJapan HMV Amazon
Stream on Spotify Apple Music Google Play Music

The World of Mercy

Limited edition
CD
  1. The World of Mercy
  2. DOZING GREEN (Acoustic Ver.)
  3. GRIEF [Live Take at SHINKIBA STUDIO COAST on April 16, 2019)
Blu-ray
  1. Keigaku no Yoku (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
    谿壑の欲 (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
  2. Ningen wo Kaburu (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
    人間を被る (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
  3. Wake (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
    理由 (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
  4. Ash (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
    Ash (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
  5. Aka (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
    赫 (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
  6. Ranunculus (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
    Ranunculus (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
  7. Keibetsu to Hajimari (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
    軽蔑と始まり (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
  8. Values of Madness (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
    Values of Madness (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
  9. Kigan (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
    鬼眼 (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
  10. THE DEEPER VILENESS (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
    THE DEEPER VILENESS (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
  11. The World of Mercy (Scenes From Recording)
    The World of Mercy (Scenes From Recording)
Buy at CDJapan HMV Amazon
Stream on Spotify Apple Music Google Play Music

The World of Mercy

Limited edition
CD
  1. The World of Mercy
  2. DOZING GREEN (Acoustic Ver.)
  3. GRIEF [Live Take at SHINKIBA STUDIO COAST on April 16, 2019)
DVD
  1. Keigaku no Yoku (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
    谿壑の欲 (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
  2. Ningen wo Kaburu (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
    人間を被る (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
  3. Wake (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
    理由 (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
  4. Ash (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
    Ash (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
  5. Aka (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
    赫 (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
  6. Ranunculus (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
    Ranunculus (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
  7. Keibetsu to Hajimari (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
    軽蔑と始まり (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
  8. Values of Madness (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
    Values of Madness (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
  9. Kigan (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
    鬼眼 (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
  10. THE DEEPER VILENESS (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
    THE DEEPER VILENESS (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 Shinkiba STUDIO COAST)
  11. The World of Mercy (Scenes From Recording)
    The World of Mercy (Scenes From Recording)
Buy at CDJapan HMV Amazon
Stream on Spotify Apple Music Google Play Music

The World of Mercy

Limited edition
CD
  1. The World of Mercy
  2. DOZING GREEN (Acoustic Ver.)
  3. GRIEF [Live Take at SHINKIBA STUDIO COAST on April 16, 2019)
DVD
  1. Ningen wo Kaburu (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 SHINKIBA STUDIO COAST)
    人間を被る (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 SHINKIBA STUDIO COAST)
  2. RANUNCULUS (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 SHINKIBA STUDIO COAST)
    RANUNCULUS (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 SHINKIBA STUDIO COAST)
  3. Kigan (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 SHINKIBA STUDIO COAST)
    鬼眼 (TOUR19 The Insulated World 2019.04.15 SHINKIBA STUDIO COAST)
  4. The World of Mercy (Scenes From Recording)
    The World of Mercy (Scenes From Recording)
Buy at CDJapan HMV Amazon
Stream on Spotify Apple Music Google Play Music
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