Dir En Grey have emerged in the 21st Century as one of Japan's top metal exports. The five-piece band issued their tenth studio album in 2018 and took some time out from touring to chat with Loudwire's Gear Factor about their fondness for their instruments, while playing some mean riffage as well.

Guitarist Die is first up in this Gear Factor episode, pulling out Japanese band D’Erlanger's “Sadistic Emotion” as well as several of the band's own riffs for your viewing pleasure.

“Generally I can say that I’ve improved when I became able to play fast riffs about 10 years ago,” says Die. “I would say my favorite fast riffs are the songs from our debut album.” That said, he does also provide some modern flare, playing a bit of the more recent track, “Ningen wo Kaburu.”

Die shows off his guitar, a seven-string instrument that he designed and is also used by fellow guitarist Kaoru. Bassist Toshiya is the second member of the band in this Gear Factor episode, who also reveals his bass from the Killer brand started by Akira Takasaki from Loudness. Toshiya reveals his fondness for Loudness led him to pick his instrument.

According to Toshiya, he started playing guitar at a young age, but found it difficult, preferring for the four strings of the bass. His style, like the band's has evolved over the years. "I started slapping the bass because our sound is now more like psychobilly."

Get a closer look at Die and Toshiya performing their favorite riffs from the Dir En Grey catalog in the Gear Factor video above.

Dir En Grey's Insulated World album is available now and you can catch the band on tour at these stops.

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