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Feeling, Not Language, Drives Japanese Headbangers

Of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

After giving the United States a taste of its brand of heavy metal on last year’s Family Values tour, the Japanese quintet Dir En Grey is enjoying the opportunity to headline its own tour on these shores.

“We are really excited about this,” guitarist Kaoru says through a translator. “Coming to the United States and playing here was one of the goals that we wanted to reach. We worked hard for it. We didn’t know what to do to make this happen, but at this moment we’re really happy to have the situation here.”

Dir En Grey — a name Kaoru says has no specific meaning and is not one particular language — has released an EP, “Agitated Screams of Maggots,” exclusively through f.y.e. stores. On Feb. 20, it plans to release “The Marrow of a Bone,” its second U.S. release and sixth album overall. As on its predecessors, the songs are sung in Japanese, and Kaoru says there are no plans for Englishlanguage albums, even if it would make it easier to break the U.S. market.

“We want to be honest to the original ideas of the song,” explains the guitarist, who co-founded the band in 1997 in Osaka. “If we made the lyrics in English ... it doesn’t come out as emotional as when we sing in Japanese. We want to be honest to our original ideas and original feelings for the songs.

“When we create our music true to our feelings, the music will speak ... to the people. We want to let the music do the talking.”

Dir En Grey, Fair to Midland and Bleed the Dream perform at 7:30 p.m. Monday (Feb. 12) at St. Andrew’s Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Tickets are $29.50. Call (313) 961-6358 or visit www.livenation.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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