Kyo at Maquinaria Festival in 2009
|Born||February 16, 1976|
|Genres||Death metal, experimental metal, nu metal, rock|
|Occupations||Singer, songwriter, record producer, poet|
|Associated acts||Dir en grey, La:Sadie's, Masquerade, Visun|
Kyo (京 Kyō , born February 16, 1976) is a Japanese musician, poet and singer-songwriter. He is best known as the vocalist of the metal band Dir en grey. He has been with the band since its inception in 1997 and was formerly in La:Sadie's. Kyo was inspired to become a musician when he saw a picture of Buck-Tick vocalist Atsushi Sakurai on the desk of a junior high school classmate.
While he has only composed a handful of Dir en grey's songs (for example, "The Domestic Fucker Family" and "Hades"), Kyo is responsible for all the lyrics, which usually have negative implications and touch on a variety of dark, sometimes taboo, subjects, such as sexual obsessions ("Zomboid"), abuse ("Berry"), and mass media ("Mr. Newsman"). Several songs deal with specifically Japanese issues, such as the country's casual attitude towards abortion ("Mazohyst of Decadence" and "Obscure") and its conformity-oriented society ("Children"). Others deal with more traditional subject matter such as personal feelings, emotions, and lost love ("Undecided", "Taiyou no Ao", "Mushi").
The vocabulary used ranges from vulgar to exalted, with wordplay and double entendres occurring frequently. For example, the title of the song "Mitsu to Tsuba", which is about rape, means "Honey and Saliva", but is written with the kanji inverted, suggesting reading them with an inverted pronunciation - "Tsumi to Batsu" - which would translate to "Crime and Punishment", a more appropriate title.
Kyo is well known in the heavy metal scene as one of the most versatile vocalists currently active. His singing alone is impressive (as showcased in songs such as "The Pledge", "Glass Skin", and "Ruten no Tou"), however this is not where his strength as a metal vocalist lies. He has throughout his career as Dir en grey's vocalist displayed screamed vocals ("Agitated Screams of Maggots", and "Clever Sleazoid"), death growls ("Hageshisa to, Kono Mune no Naka de Karamitsuita Shakunetsu no Yami"), and black metal-like "shrieks" ("Different Sense"). In 2010, he toured with Apocalyptica performing their song "Bring Them To Light", which originally featured Joe Duplantier on vocals. During these performances he would show off his range by delivering high pitched screams after the growled verses, and then singing the chorus in a falsetto voice.
His stage performances became known for their shock elements such as full-body makeup resembling heavy burns, fake vomit of varying color and consistency, and various acts of self-mutilation. The authenticity of the latter is debated, given how frequent certain practices occur, sometimes firmly in place within a tour's usual set-list. For example, Kyo would regularly engage in fish-hooking during the performance of "Kodoku ni Shisu, Yueni Kodoku" throughout the "It Withers and Withers" and "Inward Scream" tours. However, in recent "Uroboros-era" performances he has toned down this violent stage persona.
Throughout his career, Kyo has been hospitalized multiple times: once in 2000, due to hearing problems (remaining partially deaf in his left ear) and again in 2006 and 2009 with edema of larynx (inflamed vocal cords). In late 2011 to early 2012, Kyo had yet another problem with his throat and vocal chords. After being diagnosed with vocal nodule dysphonia, DIR EN GREY was forced to pull out of the "Still Reckless" tour which was set to begin in March 2012. Although Kyo had been diagnosed and hospitalized many times, this time he faced the possibility of surgery. In an interview, Kyo stated that his vocal polyps were treated with medication. On March 18th 2013, he was again hospitalized with tonsillitis.
The band had their first concert in 9 months in an "a- knot fan club" only concert in October. The 2012 tour: "In Situ" followed.
Kyo has released two volumes of poetry, published through Media Factory. Both books are accompanied by short bonus CDs, containing the only solo music he has released to date. In 2013, Kyo launched a new website and released two collections of photography, "Shikkaku," which features Kyo as the subject and "For the Human Race," which features photography by Kyo himself.
|August 31, 2001||Jigyaku, Rensou Furan Shinema (自虐、歛葬腐乱シネマ)
Bonus CD: Daisanteikoku Gakudan (第三帝国楽団)
|December 3, 2004||Zenryaku, Ogenki Desu ka? Saihate no Chi Yori Namonaki Kimi ni Ai wo Komete... (前略、お元気ですか。最果ての地より名も無き君に愛をこめて・・・)
Bonus CD: Furan Shinema Teikoku Gakudan (腐乱シネマ帝國楽団)
|June 2013||Portrait Photography "Shikkaku" (Portrait Photography「失格」)|
|June 2013||Photography "For the Human Race" (Photography「for the human race」)|
- Brannigan, Paul (2008-11-19). "The Perfect Stranger". Kerrang! (United Kingdom: Bauer): 41–42.
- READ Magazine, interview with Kyo, 23 October 2003.
- Stewart, Brian; Sakuma, Takako. "Lyrics translations with notes". centigrade-j.com. Archived from the original on 2007-03-24. Retrieved 2007-08-07.
- Tour 05 It Withers and Withers, Tour 05 It Withers and Withers -Bootlegged-, Despair in the Womb
- "DIR EN GREY Singer Hospitalized; Japanese Dates Canceled". blabbermouth.net. 2006-07-24. Retrieved 2007-08-07.
- "Portrait Photography「失格」".
- "Photography「for the human race」".