Dir En Grey/1997

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La:Sadie's after their last live.
  • 04. – La:Sadie's performs at 江坂BOOMIN HALL.
  • 06. – La:Sadie's performs at 名古屋MUSIC FARM.
  • 07. – La:Sadie's performs at 名古屋MUSIC FARM.
  • 08. – La:Sadie's performs at 名古屋MUSIC FARM.
  • 09. – La:Sadie's performs at 名古屋MUSIC FARM.
  • 10. – After La:Sadie's is done rehearsing for that day's live, Shinya goes to meet Toshiya at KFC Umeda HEP Street.[1] After talking for a while, they go to meet Kyo, Kaoru and Die, making this the first time all five future members of Dir En Grey got together.[2]
  • 10. – La:Sadie's performs at 梅田GUILD.
  • 12. – La:Sadie's performs at 広島NAMIKI JUNCTION.
  • 15. – La:Sadie's performs at 大阪amHALL and disbands after the show.
  • 15. – Toshiya attends the coming-of-age ceremony.[3]
  • 23. – Kyo, Kaoru, Die and Shinya travel to Nagano and meet up with Toshiya in a parking lot. From there, they drive to his parents' place, where they spend the night.
  • 24. – In the morning, Kyo, Kaoru, Die, Toshiya and Shinya book two hours of studio time to practice. At the event, they cover around four songs by 黒夢 (Kuroyume) under the name "DEATHMASK". Toshiya also performs with D†L as their support guitarist, most likely for the last time.
Dir En Grey at their first live as DEATHMASK.
Lives in January
Date Venue Tour/Event
1997.01.24 長野LIVE HOUSE J Unknown event


  • 02. – Kyo, Kaoru, Die, Toshiya and Shinya form Dir En Grey (then stylised as Dir en grey, since 2006 as DIR EN GREY).

The exact date was provided in the magazine Dir en greyやろうぜ (Dir en grey Yarōze) in 1999. The band name is a combination of the German word "dir", French "en" and English "grey" and, according to an interview in Apres Guerre #19 (March 1997), was thought to mean "Grey Silver Coin" (灰色の銀貨 (Haiiro no Ginka)). It was supposed to convey a music and an image that wasn't caught by neither black nor white, so they picked "grey".

The band took their name from a song on a demo tape released in 1995 by the visual-kei band Lareine. The song is called "Dir en gray" and opens with the line 灰色のあなたに dir en gray (Haiiro no anata ni dir en gray), which both means "To you in gray" and would actually fit the intended meaning of the words, as opposed to "Grey Silver Coin". In the aforementioned interview, Kyo mentions that he knew the phrase before and during a live from Lareine's former vocalist Kamijo in 2015, Shinya explained that they took the band name from the song name and simply changed the letter "a" to "e".[4] This was further corroborated by Kaoru in the WOWOW Special interview in 2020, where he explained that they took the name from the song of a band that was famous at that time. Why Dir En Grey thought that "dir" means "silver coin" remains unclear, but they would later become aware of their mistake.

In turn, Lareine got the name "Dir en gray" from a band called Dir & Gray, a visual-kei band that was active around 1991. The original meaning behind the name was "dill of grey colour" (dill is usually white) and was coined by guitarist SHOW. Interestingly, their name was written with the same Katakana as Dir En Grey, ディル・アン・グレイ, even though "and" would be written as アンド (ando) in Japanese.

According to an interview in Shellruby #1 (1998), the band had around 20 possible names and decided on "Dir En Grey" at a family restaurant. At first, Kyo and Toshiya didn't like it, they thought it sounded uncool and too similar to "GLAY". According to Toshiya on the radio show Nack5 FM Triangle Super Audition, one of the other names the members had in mind was "如月 (Kisaragi)". It was the name of one of Toshiya's high school bands. On The Freedom of Expression, Kaoru mentioned that the alternate band name was a two-kanji word. According to Kyo in the aforementioned WOWOW Special interview, they narrowed it down to two names, with three people voting for "Dir En Grey" and Kyo and one other member voting for the other name.

  • ??. – Dir En Grey records their first demo tape, titled 業 / 蒼い月, at M4 Studio in Osaka.
Lives in February
Date Venue Tour/Event


Dir En Grey in March 1997.

In March 1997, Dir En Grey joined their friends in 覇叉羅 on their tour, performing their first live as Dir En Grey on March 31.

Lives in March
Date Venue Tour/Event


In April 1997, the tour with 覇叉羅 continues. Later, Dir En Grey performs a secret live at an event at 川崎CLUB CITTA'. According to Kaoru in Shellruby #1 (1998), the band had created five or six songs by April 28, 1997, four or five of them being on MISSA. Three of these songs were 「S」, Erode and 秒「」深, which have been performed as early as April 1, as well as GARDEN, which was performed on April 24. The other songs might have been 蒼い月 and , which were also performed on April 1. However, it's unclear if Kaoru meant either of them as they had already been recorded in February. The last song was most likely 惨劇の夜, which would be included on MISSA as 霧と繭. In an interview in ARENA37°C (February 1999), Kaoru mentions that 新曲1 was already being written in April as well, but only debuted at their formation live in May.

  • 04. & 05. – Two-days session event 擬物空間 ARTY SQUARE (Gibutsu Kūkan ARTY SQUARE) takes place at Shinsaibashi BAHAMA on April 5 and 6. Kyo, Kaoru, Die and Shinya participate as "ex-La:Sadie's", as Dir En Grey had only performed three times in secret at this point. Nevertheless, Toshiya also participates, along with YOSHIKI (ex-CHARM) and other band members of various bands, such as STELLA MARIA.
Lives in April
Date Venue Tour/Event
1997.04.01 難波W'OHOL JENOSIDE ZONE Vol.5
1997.04.05 心斎橋BAHAMA 擬物空間 ARTY SQUARE
1997.04.06 心斎橋BAHAMA 擬物空間 ARTY SQUARE
1997.04.24 渋谷ON AIR WEST JENOSIDE ZONE Vol.5
1997.04.27 川崎CLUB CITTA' クラブチッタ川崎主催イベント


Dir En Grey in May 1997.

In May 1997, Dir En Grey officially made their live debut. According to Kaoru in Shellruby #1 (1998), they recorded their debut EP MISSA in the first ten or so days of May and created four or five new songs until their debut live. Two of those were most likely 新曲1 and 刹那, as these two songs were performed on May 31. The other songs were most likely 新曲2, 新曲3, 新曲4, 新曲5 and 新曲6. Most of these songs would not see live play until later in the year, though. According to Toshiya in the same magazine, they spent three nights in the studio.

  • 16. & 17. – Dir En Grey has photoshoots for the MISSA booklet.
  • 30. – Kaoru appears on the radio show PowerRockRevolution. The 業 / 蒼い月 demo tape can be heard in the background. You can listen to the interview here.
Lives in May
Date Venue Tour/Event
1997.05.30 難波ROCKETS HYPER MIX
1997.05.31 難波ROCKETS 結成記念ワンマン


In June 1997, Dir En Grey only played three shows, one of them a secret live at an event. At each of the other two shows, they distributed a special message tape.

Lives in June
Date Venue Tour/Event
1997.06.13 目黒鹿鳴館 NEO Behind the Mask
1997.06.14 目黒鹿鳴館
1997.06.27 大阪COWBOY WORLD


An ad for the instore event on July 13.

In July 1997, Dir En Grey released their debut EP MISSA in Japan. They also appeared on various TV shows, at instore events and participated in the SHOCK WAVE'97 Vol.2 tour. The live on July 26 was postponed due to a typhoon.

  • 03. – Instore Event at Osaka DEAD ONE.
  • 04. – Instore Event at Kyoto JEUGIA Sanjo Main Store.
  • 13. – Instore Event at Shinjuku LIKE AN EDISON.
  • 18. – Instore Event at Shibuya INDIES HOUSE.
  • 20. – Instore Event at Harajuku ROCK LOVE.
  • 25. – Release of MISSA.
  • 25. (earliest) – Kyo, Kaoru and Die appear on the TV show Jee Jee Trap. You can watch it here.
  • 26. – Instore Event at Osaka JEEZ Shinsaibashi Store.
  • 27. – Instore Event at Osaka Miyako Shinsaibashi Store M-Cube.
  • 29. – Instore Event at Tokyo Shinseido Quartier 5 Shinjuku Store.
Lives in July
Date Venue Tour/Event
1997.07.26 難波W'OHOL SHOCK WAVE'97 Vol.2
1997.07.31 川崎CLUB CITTA' SHOCK WAVE'97 Vol.2


  • 01. – Kaoru and Toshiya appear on the radio show PowerRockRevolution. You can watch it here.
  • 02. – Dir En Grey appears on the TV show ROCK STREET. The GARDEN performance was most likely filmed on June 27. You can watch it here.
  • 10. – Instore Event at Shinjuku Teito Radio.
  • 15. – Kyo, Kaoru and Die appear on the radio show PowerRockRevolution. You can watch it here
Lives in August
Date Venue Tour/Event
1997.08.02 大阪COWBOY WORLD ~MISSA 発売記念LIVE~
1997.08.03 大阪COWBOY WORLD ~MISSA 発売記念LIVE~
1997.08.07 新宿LOFT ~MISSA 発売記念LIVE~
1997.08.08 新宿LOFT ~MISSA 発売記念LIVE~
1997.08.21 市川CLUB GIO SHOCK WAVE'97 Vol.2
1997.08.23 上野水上野外音楽堂 Neo Behind the Mask / SUPER FEVER BATTLE
1997.08.27 川崎CLUB CITTA' Behind the Mask
1997.08.30 心斎橋MUSE HALL Dir en grey Presents


In September 1997, Dir En Grey continued the tours they had begun a month earlier. They also played on the EXPERIENCE EYES'97 event. Most notable is the show on September 15, one of the shows where they performed with and covers of other bands.

  • ??. – Dir En Grey appears on the TV show Hot Wave. You can watch it here.
Lives in September
Date Venue Tour/Event
1997.09.01 難波W'OHOL SHOCK WAVE'97 Vol.2
1997.09.07 名古屋HEART LAND STUDIO Dir en grey Presents
1997.09.14 目黒鹿鳴館 Dir en grey Presents
1997.09.15 目黒鹿鳴館 Dir en grey Presents


  • 09. – Kaoru and Die participate as support guitarists at the distribution live of SHUN's (ex-VASALLA) demo tape SHUN SOLO PROJECT EPISODE:00. Rumour has it that one or more members of Dir En Grey participated in the recording of this demo tape, but according to SHUN, he recorded it on his own.
  • 30. – Dir En Grey leaves FRONT MISSION and joins the newly-formed label sun-krad.
Lives in October
Date Venue Tour/Event


  • ??. – The band shoots the music videos for 「楓」~if trans.
  • ??. – The band had a meeting in the morning and an interview in the afternoon. Later, Shinya and Kyo went to Toshima-en, an amusement park in Tokyo.
  • 25. – Release of the omnibus album Behind the Mask vol.2 1997 -SOL'FINSTERRE-. Dir En Grey participates with Ash.
Lives in November
Date Venue Tour/Event


  • 15. – Release of the mail-order version of 「楓」~if trans CRYSTAL VIDEO BOX.
  • 31. – Die attends X JAPAN's disbandment live at Tokyo Dome.[5]
Lives in December
Date Venue Tour/Event
  1. TOUR14 PSYCHONNECT -mode of “GAUZE”?- bonus disc
  2. DIR EN GREY BASS & DRUMS BOOK feat. Toshiya & Shinya
  3. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named ARENA0101
  4. https://twitter.com/manatsunatsu820/status/627806792123154433
  5. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named SHOXX1298