THE MARROW OF A BONE (2007)/Liner Notes
These are the liner notes that were published on the album's special site. There are also comments about the Unplugged Disc, but they're only in Japanese. Furthermore, the translation of the notes for THE FATAL BELIEVER was also mistakenly used for AGITATED SCREAMS OF MAGGOTS. The translations of the Japanese notes were made with DeepL.
The song was performed as the opening of the “INWARD SCREAM” concert at Nippon Budokan on August 1, 2006. This is an emotionally-heavy-weighted-song that can not be easily defined as a ballad song. Surely, many have been looking forward to listening to this song. To tell you the truth, this song was originally written some time ago and the band had just finished recording the rhythm sections before the Budokan show.
- We had this song‘s basic idea since we worked on Withering to death. Unfortunately, we were never able to complete the song at that time. When we finally finished this song this time, I knew it immediately, that this would be our first track. Well, I guess there is no other suitable place to put it except for the opening. (laugh)
- It’s not exactly a song that is suitable for somewhere in the middle of the album. Just by changing a tiny part of this song, let it be the style or playing, the feel of the song will be different. This is one of those songs that need meticulous precision in execution. It is a song that requires delicate handling.
- The tempo of this song is very slow so if I had wanted to I could have added a lot of different phrases into it. But because of that alternative, I chose to approach the song with the opposite idea.
LIE BURIED WITH A VENGEANCE
A drastic transition to an aggressive song complementing the afterglow of the dusky atmosphere of the first track. This is also one of the songs the band made on the tour bus during the Family Values Tour last summer.
- This song was made in the back lounge of our tour bus. This song never existed before we left for America. In the end, we decided to go with a tempo that we felt was most suitable to what we wanted, although originally this song was extremely fast. As a result the song was completed.
- The song was originally much longer as there were more spreads included in the song at the beginning. We also sharpened the songs by ‘carving’ parts out. I think it came out as a pretty condensed song in the end.
- But, that doesn’t mean it is a simple song. It contains many elements. I think the key that unlocks everything on stage is shredding by our guitarists.
- Yes. In fact, this is the first time for me to shred guitars through the whole song.
THE FATAL BELIEVER
This track was first made public during the Showcase Tour in U.S. last March 2006, and has since become incorporated into their Japan tour from November to December of the same year. It is right to say that it has become a kinda regular song on their set. In actuality, they recorded the initial incarnation of this song at the end of 2005.
- When we re-recorded the song, I listened the old version and realized that my riff was basically ‘wrong’. I played the song under whimsical speculation. When I realized that, I got tired of myself. (laugh) I thought, it was a song that should have been re-recorded. But the song was, since before, one that suits me very well and is easy to play.
- During the U.S. tour, I changed the melody transforming the song from what it was initially. This is a song that I can sing without much restraint.
- We played this song at the lives before the actual recording process. I thought that we were able to capture the live feel in the song. There was no need to ponder too deeply about this or that.
AGITATED SCREAMS OF MAGGOTS
This 20th single of theirs that hit the 5th spot on the Oricon chart, caught the attention of the masses with the excessive expressions portrayed in animation. Devoted fans of the band are speculated to be able to tell which parts of the backing vocals belong to Die and Toshiya. Just so you know, I heard this song for the first time when I was on the bus during the Family Values Tour. Listening to the distinctive shouts by Kyo that is unlike his usual, a staff member on tour was misled into thinking that the song was by a different band altogether
- This was the first song we recorded when we were trying to record a song for the album. It just came out of a riff. In the end, it was decided to release it as a single, so we finished it first out of all the songs we recorded in the first recording session… It's a fast, busy song, and if each element isn't attacked in the right way, it won't have any effect, otherwise it'll end up sounding distracting. The only solution to this problem is to get used to it.
- I recorded this song when my throat was about to break. That part was a fluke.
- There is a lot of development, so you can feel differently in each scene. I guess you could say it's a bit like a suite, with all the different moods coming out of it all at once. And since the tempo is that high, I was really challenging myself at first, but as we've progressed through the tour, I've come to realize that this is more of a "fun" song than a "challenge" song.
This is an aggressive song that has been made into a video clip after the completion of album. The co-existing tempo and heaviness is something not found in their past works. It divulges the fact that the band does not obligate them selves to express aggression simply with speed and heaviness.
- First impression of this song…, hmm, I don’t remember. All I can say is that I sang it naturally and it turned out this way. Actually, that would apply to all the songs on this album.
- I think that from the guitar intro of this song, some will feel that the song’s atmosphere is slightly different from the other songs on this album. The tuning used for this song and the rest are all the same but only in this song, We all played using different frets as usual, but only a half note difference. I mean, positions we used on this song were not usual for us, and that small difference brought out a distinctive mood in this song.
- Plus, such ideas come naturally without intention or pre-planning.
This song was originally released as their 19th single in July last year and re-recorded for this album. The band started working with a new recording engineer since that single. Even by looking at this change of environment, you could say that it offered the band a new prospect with this track. In addition, this song was also featured in THE FAMILY VALUES TOUR 2006 Live CD along with “Merciless Cult”, which was released at the end of last year. For your information, the Japan edition of this Live album will be released by TOSHIBA EMI this March.
- This is a song that has become some sort of a point for us. To be honest, when we played this song during the last American tour, I wasn’t very confident. The single was never released in America, so no one knew the song. But, we got good response from the audience from the start, making us think that this song has evolved through our live shows.
- We decided to re-record the song because the feel of the song changed for us after playing it for many times live. I had wanted to express the degree of the song so I took all the unnecessary parts out, leaving things as straight as possible.
- Same thing with drums. The song evolved a lot during the American tour and that was why I felt the need to re-record it.
- I have to admit myself that this is a pretty good song. (laugh) Well composed. I also feel the same when playing this song on stage. When the intro rolls in, you feel anxiety rise and then you just find yourself diving into the song.
This new-edge tune that has developed further during the Nov-Dec Japan Tour was first performed at Nippon Budokan in summer 2006. The intensity is felt in the drastic switch from funk to ferocity in this song. Another dynamic song that cannot be categorized, what with the ambiance that is impossible to create even with unmatched technique, and impossible to perform by just leaving it up to the vigor and intensity. Although this approach was taken for this song, the fact that they steered away from mixture rock is something that reminds us that they are in fact Dir en grey.
- In the beginning the song only consisted of the current second-half of the song. But I felt that if we had left it that way, it would end up being really mono-tone, so we tried for another approach with the arrangement of the song. The riffs in the final arrangement were not changed as much.
- We can be spontaneous when we play the heavier part of this song. But until reaching that point, the song contains a lot of funk elements and we have to be conscious what to do. But it’s becoming more natural to perform the song after performing it many times during the tour.
- It’s not easy to play this song during a live show in a right groove. The song goes on into a different dimension in the middle of this song. As a guitar player, the key of this song is what to do in the section right before turning out to be aggressive. We had so many ways of working on this song, so many different approaches that could have been taken. It’s true I kept on thinking what to do until the final deadline of the recording of this song.
If you try to be perfect, it is difficult to get the atmosphere of this song. Nowadays, they are often categorized as metal, but this song is much closer to modern heavy song more than traditional metal. In short, this is something natural but new. And, we can say same things on most of all songs on this album.
- I was playing my guitar while thinking of a new song during a pre-production. At the time, Kyo said to me,“I think this song has to be cool and down to earth.” Well, something along the lines of that. I was triggered by his words and made this one.
- I don’t really remember what I intended to mean when I said that. My words were vague but this tempo is actually one of the sounds that I was looking for.
- This is a new feeling, something that we never had before in our songs. This song grows in the very same tension from the beginning to the end without any dramatic changes. In fact it kinda bends around in that unchanging space. I really like the feel of it. When I play this song, it really gives me satisfaction, a really good song to play live. I feel that this song will also develop further as we play it more live.
- The mix on this song is fantastic. After the final mix was completed, I was actually taken aback by the sound. When we heard the track the sound engineer, Mr. Konishi, presented to us, I thought it was awesome.
Not that heavy, not that aggressive, but a Spanish-like sounding of guitars make this song so tasteful. It is easy to call this type of song “a ballad”,but I hate to do that because the presence of this song is really heavy and the song really rocks. The fact that they represent this type of song as rock, not a mellow ballad, really illustrates the maturity of the band throughout these past years. The lyrics are all in Japanese. The distinctive mood of the song that combines emotions and dramatics, is fully drawn out by the excellent and meticulous arrangement.
- When Shinya first brought the song pattern to us, he already had some of the chords set and we started arranging from there. It was right before guitar recordings when we found out the right mood for this song as it is now. At that time, to tell you the truth, we did not see how it will all end up.
- Using pianos or samples makes things easier when you create this type of song, but we didn’t want to chose easier way and we prefer to making it just with guitars, bass and drums. So, we had to think a lot and it took so long to find out how to figure it out. Like I said before, the final idea came up to me right before guitar recordings, and I immediately called Die to come to studio, and explained about this idea.
- "This is something that I came up with, let’s go with this" he said, I took a listen to it, I thought that it was fascinating on the spot.
- We firstly decided on the scale and length of the song, and by then, had recorded the rhythm parts. At that time, I too didn’t know how it would all end and was pretty much at a loss the whole time. But then I saw the outline of the song and ideas just started to rush out of me.
- My original idea for this song was a 5-beats based guitar lick, actually it doesn’t exist anymore in the final version, but anyway it came out from me while I was playing drums in 5-beats. The drum parts were recorded before the whole idea of the song was decided, but I am very satisfied with what we ended up with.
The song came to birth on the tour bus when the band was touring in America last summer. I will not point out which in particular but there are a few more songs which were made in America included in this album. According to Kaoru, usually when he comes up with some ideas, he records it on CDR, gives it to other members, and then starts discussing together after that. This is a heavy tune with the core kept at the base while developing it with emphasis on melody. This is another one of those fresh songs that one would not expect out of them.
- The impression of this being new is definitely strong. It’s not something familiar yet natural.
- My first impression was that it would be easy to put the melody into the song. On the other hands, easier songs sometimes make me think to push them up to higher level, and actually it turned out to be difficult to create melodies on this. I have to use my full vocal range on this song, but as a result I feel that I have found a new style on my vocals.
- Of course the phrase for this song was also made in America and I think that all of the stimulation from that time is reflected to the song.
- In a sense, this would fall under the group of melodious songs we have on this album. I think all the elements including the chords lean towards the melody. I think I had consciously tackled the song from that perspective to begin with. I think that this is completely new for us this type of song turned out to be this way, in this type of atmosphere.
REPETITION OF HATRED
The link between the heaviness and the tempo brings out the attribute of this song. Just as the title affirms, the song expresses anger and is conquered by heavy sounds to the extreme, albeit still maintaining hooks that catch everyone’s ears. That is definitely a point that needs to be noted. This also goes to show, the uniqueness and exclusivity of the band also.
- A natural result. My vocal melodies on this was a simple response to the song.
- The process of making this song was similar to what we went through to make “THE PLEDGE.” In the beginning we had no specific goal or direction for the song. We were just working with whatever that came to us there and then, discussing as we went along. It was at the arrangement stage that we started to be conscious about the final shape of the song.
- I didn’t do anything that was not required. I simply took everything one step at a time but putting a lot of importance into it all.
- Good arrange, isn’t it? It’s a simple song but it feels good. The heavy guitar and bass sounds do not kill each other, but instead co-exist proficiently in this song. However, the back-up vocals were really tough. Kyo is the one who decides all of the back-up parts, determining when it would be just one person singing or the whole band. It’s tough sometimes when you have to sing and play your guitar at the same time. Kyo doesn’t think about how difficult it can be. (laugh)
THE DEEPER VILENESS
This aggressive tune has been performed live at concerts in and out of Japan. Focusing on the texture and construction of the riffs, it is kinda natural to categorize this as a modern-metal song. However, mentally, I feel more punk in this song. This is an icon of their trait that doesn’t fit into any one category. There is no real ”chorus”, no dramatic development on this song, and it grows in the very same mood. But I would say that this is the present Dir en grey.
- This is a tough song. In the last second of recording, I changed the melody and the way I sang the chorus. I wanted to make the chorus vague. I don’t like the chorus to stand out too much.
- It is much easier to have a big chorus and it can be a safety net for a song. We didn’t make a vivid expansion and kept things going slowly but gradually changing. I really like it. I suppose I can say that we are in a mode where we enjoy such a style.
- The difficulty level of this song is pretty high. The song needs consistency but once you get into it, at times, we forget about everything and drive fast. I want to sharpen this song up with continuing to play live.
- It’s a busy song. I can’t afford to take a break mid-song.
The last song on this album is 18th single for Dir en grey that was released in September 2005 in Japan. And I might say this was an important song that turned out to be the starting point for this album. However, this time, the song was re-recorded by the members making it more aggressive with destruction force, adding impact to the live aspect. There was a switch in technical engineer right before “RYOUJOKU NO AME,” and that was also why they decided to do a re-recording of the track, as not to create a distinction between the other songs. That is a simple fact that also contributed to the re-recording of this song for them.
- After we re-recorded the song, it became a tighter song. Not just a driving feel, but with much more heaviness. Personally, there are parts where the guitar phrase have been changed slightly. We also made certain parts of the song more suitable for live shows.
- It is the same for drums. I made some changes to make it easier one to get into the song, based on all the times we’ve played the song live.
- Comparing with the single version, I feel this song has a different view now. The core of the song gets deeper and much more grounded. We performed this song throughout the tour, and those experiences made the difference on this present version of "CLEVER SLEAZOID".
DISC-2 features unplugged versions of three selected tracks from the album. First of all, it's a daring rework of the song with only piano and vocals. The reason why the band has not lost its rock sound is that their attitude and spirit is still present in each of these recordings.
- When we were talking about what to do for the limited edition, we decided to do something we've never done before. All of them were simply interesting.
- The idea of doing an unplugged album came about when we were already at the end of recording the album itself. At the beginning, we decided to go with piano, orchestra and acoustic guitar, and then we thought about which songs we should play on each of them. Those songs are in a strange time signature, so it's hard to play them on guitar or orchestra. So we decided that the piano would be a good fit.
- There are no drums on it, but I watched the recording process. It was interesting to see how it took shape. I guess it's possible to do something like this.
The version on the main album is the piano-based version. In other words, there was a necessity to use one of the two "non-piano arrangements" as a means of reconstruction, and here it is reborn as an orchestral version. However, unlike the usual string arrangements, this one is not only gorgeous and majestic, but also expresses their own distorted atmosphere.
- At first, when we did the orchestral version, it didn't sound very good to be honest. So I tried to make the sound a bit dirtier and add more sounds, and this is the result.
- It's like an orchestral version of our own. Normally you'd try to get a more grandiose atmosphere, but there's a nice sense of closure. It's the same for all three songs.
- It's simply interesting. It's totally different from the original sound. I think it's also a way to get into the world of the song more straightforwardly.
The song is accompanied by Kaoru and Die on acoustic guitar, but the song stands out. The core of the song is still there, but the scent and the atmosphere are clearly different from the original take. I'd love to hear the unplugged versions of these songs live in their original form.
- Die and I were talking about how we needed to think about the guitar (laughs). When it was the day before we were going to record the acoustic guitar, we consulted with each other and made it in a rough way. It didn't take much time to get to this point.
- The position of the guitar and the position of the song. That distance was the key. I wanted to keep the distance short, so that people could feel the smallness of the place. The other two songs were so elaborate, so I decided to make a relaxed arrangement. Even though it's a simple arrangement, it's something I don't usually do, so if I ever do it live, I'll have to practice it again (laughs).
- I think all three songs have their own expression. It's like the songs are more expressive. I don't mean to say which one is better than the one on the album, but all of them are enjoyable for me to listen to in a normal way.
- I'd like to try something like this again in the future if I have the chance. It's refreshing.