In 2006, Dio ~distraught overlord~ swooped onto the stage on leather wings and enthralled the Visual Kei scene with their heavy sound and dark aesthetic. Now six years after their dissolution, the vampires are back in one of the scene’s most highly anticipated reunions with a handful of shows in Europe and a grand finale back home in Japan. Join us as we talk past, present and future with a band that helped shape the genre we love today.
Q. We are so excited to see you guys together again. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve prayed for a Dio reunion. Is there something in particular that made you feel like this was the right time?
A. I never imagined that such a day would come. It’s a miracle. I had thought that there could be no revival of Dio.
We are a stone that keeps rolling. Nobody knows where the stone will roll.
Q.You guys have all been involved with other projects since Dio disbanded in 2010 (BLACK LINE, G.L.A.M.S., Moran, VII-Sense). How did the lessons you learned with Dio affect how you approached these new endeavors and how has what you’ve done since affected how you look at Dio?
A. All of the beginning for us is Dio. We love Dio even now. It’s not just memories. It’s a part of our body&soul.
Q. The concept of Dio Distraught Overlord is quite different from your other projects. Do you think your fans that only know you from your current projects will be surprised? Are you looking forward to showing them this other side of yourselves?
A. Yes I’m very excited. They would be surprised. Because Mikaru of G.L.A.M.S is not there. The King of devils is standing on stage. Please be careful. Mikaru of Dio has lost sanity.
Q.Mikaru is my favorite long-fanged vampire.What is it that made you choose this image? Is there something in particular about vampires that inspires you?
A. First of all, this is fact, not image. Do you know? Young woman of the blood …. That taste ….Your blood is dedicated to me, be a part of me?
Q. I read somewhere that Mikaru got into music because he believes he is the reincarnation of John Lennon. How about the rest of you? Is Jimi Hendrix among you?
A. Jimi Hendrix. There is a color to his music. It’s so vivid. He is also a great person who had an impact on me.
Q. It has been 6 years since you guys all toured together. How does it feel to be hitting the road as a group again? What are you looking forward to the most? Is there anything that makes you nervous?
A. Our ties are very deep. We are like a family. That will never change forever. We’re looking forward to standing on the stage together. We are very excited. This tour will be a part of the great history for us.
Q. The business of Visual Kei has gone through a slew of changes since you guys started in 2006. What changes have surprised you the most? Is there anything the genre has lost that you wish you could see come back?
A. A lot of bands are born. Many bands disbanded. Now I don’t have a band that I think is cool. Visual kei has become a very boring world. But I don’t care. I just create my world.
Q. Speaking of changes, can we expect to see anything new from Dio during this tour? Will we see the wings?
A. We have evolved in a few years. We got a much more powerful force. Level 10 is now level 99. You will witness the shock.
Q. Lately, it seems like there has been a real push toward a heavier sound in the world of Visual Kei. As a group with a hard rock sound, does this excite you? Do you think Visual Kei fans today might be more appreciative of your sound than they were when you started ten years ago?
A. As a matter of fact, I don’t know what Visual kei fans want for Visual kei. If there are a lot of people who like a hard rock sound, they will see the true visual kei sound and performance.
Q. More and more, it seems like we see Japanese bands, and Visual Kei bands in particular, touring outside of Japan. When I first learned about Visual Kei, it was very rare to see one travel outside of Asia. Do you think we are seeing global resurgence of Japanese rock and roll? What do you think is the cause of this increased popularity?
A. One thing I can say is Dio is true visual kei. We hope to make a new road on this tour.
Q. If your European tour goes well, do you think there is a possibility that we will see Dio reemerge again in more countries?
A. There are no plans for after the tour now. But maybe a miracle will happen.
Q. Thank you for taking the time to talk with us. We wish you the best of luck with this tour. Do you have any final words you would like to give your fans?
A. Thank you for the interview. And Thanks for reading. I get so excited whenever I think about the tour. Even if you don’t know about Dio, let’s make the best crazy night in this world.