Found an interview with Kaoru in Dutch:
(excuse any linguistic errors, it’s running late and I’ve got a bad cold)
Dir En Grey-guitarist Kaoru with band to Eindhoven
Japanese rock- and metal heroes to Europe with a concert-friendlier album
In homeland Japan Dir En Grey is very popular, but in the west too their highly inpredictable melange of extreme progressive metal and extreme rock are esteemed. In spite of the primarily Japanese lyrics. In March their strikingly melodious ninth album Arche was published in Europe. Before their European tour in May, Kevin Pasman spoke to guitarist Kaoru.
In the European tour Dir En Grey visits the Benelux once, on Wednesday 27 May, in de Effenaar in Eindhoven. The set will be more accessible than it was in the past. Guitarist Kaoru: “We’d reached a point where we wanted to head for a more simple direction than the late complex material. That was a turning point.”
Q: What is the audience’s reaction to that turn?
A: Many people who heard the album are very positive about it, but some people who loved our heavier previous album Dum Spiro Spero, think there’s something missing on it.
Q: Last year you gave a few concerts with all songs on your melodious debut album Gauze. Did that influence the material?
A: No. When we did those shows, the songs on the album were already finished.
Q: Besides using your regular ESP Vipers you also reached back to your old Ganesa-models. Can you hear those on the album?
A: The Ganesas are tricky to use in studio, but ESP did make a new model for me that is somewhat based on those guitars. I did use that one.
Q: Because of the travelling you can’t bring all your equipment to the US or Europe. Which things must absolutely come with you?
A: All guitars I need for this tour I’ll bring myself, I won’t leave those behind. Bedises that, I always bring my AMT E1 for distortion. With the equipment we rent there has to be a Diezel amp.
Q: Your songs can be very complex and there’s often a wide amount of guitar sounds that can be heard in one song. Is it tricky to translate this to a live concert?
A: Even if we play very complex songs, we don’t try to play everything exactly as it is on the record. If there are, say, seven layers of guitars on the record, we won’t work with samples or a backing track live. We want to keep the live feeling. That’s why we aim for what we can put on stage with five people to make sure the songs are brought to life as well as possible. In the past this has been difficult, but for the songs on Arche this has been surprisingly easy.