The Root Series ｜ Die
Die. I always got the feeling that Die was the least Dir En Grey-ish of the Greys. He has a new wave vibe to him, even if he tries very hard (and succeeds) to headbang like a proper metalhead. Die kind of belongs in Buck-Tick, and coincidentally, Die is also a song by Buck-Tick. But the long-haired guy in it is not Die.
Actually, and since this series is all about music influences and who stans who, let me tell you that Die has a history of stalking people he likes. Copying their hair. Copying their tattoos. But no band has been as personally victimized by this man as Buck-Tick.
They're getting a restraining order as we speak.
Anyway. Here's Die and what he has to say about who and what he stans, as per the Dir En Grey Guitar Book (2009):
Amen, Amen, 1999
D: If I'm not mistaken, their producer was Ross Robinson and he also worked with Slipknot. So I figured they'd sound like Slipknot, but I was completely wrong. They don't, and despite their rough performances, they sit well with me. I find this record catchy: it's packed with energy.
Body, Flame, 1994
D: When I got into D'Erlanger, they were't active anymore, and Cipher had retired from music. Eventually, he made his comeback with Body. I was thrilled, I used to listen to them all the time, and also covered them quite a bit when I was nineteen and began seriously considering a career in music. When I listen to this record, I get thrown right back to those days. Unfortunately, Body disbanded too soon after they were started.
Buck-Tick, Taboo, 1989
D: When I first started playing in bands, I listened to this record a lot. I wanted to try and copy their riffs, and when I did, that's when I realised the real thrill of playing guitar. They were my textbook.
The Cranberries, To The Faithful Departed, 1996
D: I was listening to this one a lot when Dir En Grey first blew up. The way they produced the music, sound and chord progressions felt just right, and I wondered how I could introduce that to Dir En Grey. My approach to guitar is all about colour, feel...
Craze, Be Crazy, 1995
D: After he dropped Body, Cipher (of D'Erlanger) started another band, and I got to see him live for the first time. I was thrilled to see him with his guitar, I was on cloud nine. Best feeling ever.
D'Erlanger, La Vie En Rose, 1989
D: D'Erlanger is a huge thing for me, Cipher being at the centre of it. I just can't explain it, this album paved my way.
D'Erlanger, Basilisk, 1990
D: The entire atmosphere of this record is amazing. The songs and guitar game are super cool. I have no idea how they managed to create such a sound. When I listened to this, I started buying and collecting sound effects, as well as educating myself on how to produce different sounds on guitar.
Fair to Midland, Fables from a Butterfly, 2007
D: Fair to Midland toured with us during our headlining tour in 2007. Their melodies are very elegant, and their guitar game is great. I wish more people would listen to them, I'm seriously considering becoming their promoter in Japan!
Girls Against Boys, You can't fight what you can't see, 2002
D: This has been on heavy rotation on my player recently. In 2007, we toured with the Deftones and Chino used to put their music on while we drank. He recommended this album to me. Something about it is just warming, the rhythm feels cozy. Especially if you're drinking as you listen.
Antonio Carlos Jobim, Wave, 1967
D: When I got into Bossa Nova, I listened to this one often. Someone once told me that the very essence of Bossa Nova is Jobim. It's an important record for me, it taught me a lot about chords and acoustic guitar playing.
The Michelle Gun Elephant, Rumble, 1999
D: This influenced me when it comes to the chord-cutoffs. They do them very differently from Cipher, Cipher is a lot rougher. Their chord progression is very intricate too. I find it so cool that a four-people band can produce such a sound.
My Bloody Valentine, Loveless, 1991
D: I discovered this when I was about twenty, I think. I had never heard such a sound coming from a guitar. I had to ask myself if it was even a guitar at all, it's astonishing. This type of sound slowly grew on me. I don't think I could make this type of thing work in Dir En Grey, but I like it.
My Vitriol, Fine Lines, 2001
D: You can tell that these guys are also My Bloody Valentine fans, but they gave their sound a modern twist. I'm a fan of the guitar melodies, as well as how the songs sound as whole. This was their first album, so it's brimming with energy.
Nirvana, Nevermind, 1991
D: I used to listen to this album at my part-time job when I was around eighteen or nineteen. If Kurt Cobain had never been in a band, he'd still be Kurt. It's crazy how much of a presence he had. His image was also interesting. The songs are great, but Kurt's person shines through them stronger than anything else.
Radiohead, OK computer, 1997
D: I used to listen to this album right before Dir En Grey blew up. Radiohead has this crazy atmosphere to it. The guitars are fast, their approach to playing them is also nice.
Rage Against The Machine, Rage Against The Machine, 1992
D: When I first listened to this as an established guitarist, I found that their technique was worth looking into. They use innovative methods, they strip guitars of their instrument status. The rhythm is also nice.
Refused, The Shape of Punk To Come, 1998
D: I first got into this record because someone recommended them to me. I instantly liked their sound, I find that they're easy to listen to. They guitar game is cool, but I don't think I consider them punk.
System of a Down, System of a Down, 1998
D: I began listening to this album while we were recording our first single in LA. There was this thrill of things going astray if only they were not done exactly as they did. Plus, no-frills songs, right in your face, good stuff.
Tool, 10,000 days, 2006
D: We were with Tool in 2007, at a festival in Poland. I got to see Tool live for the first time, right from the mixing stand. That was the best live I've ever seen. They go way beyond rock, they're like a musical or a film, an art form that just has it all. The sound of the guitars is unbelievable. They're innovative and very creative.
Ziggy, Kool Kiss, 1990
D: During my freshman year of high school, I saw a senior student cover Ziggy, and many of the songs he played were from this album. That prompted me to look it up, and I tried to cover the drum bits. After I switched from drums to guitar, I still went on to cover certain songs. Listening to it, I go right back in time to when I first dreamed about being in a band.