When Boston-based band Dionysia tell us their intriguing indie-rock sound is built on a base of “candid chaos and unfiltered honesty” we were immediately hooked.
The band’s live performances have seen them build a fanbase across the US and their latest album Catalyze – their second, released in July – has the potential to see their appeal spread internationally.
The band sent us a couple of tracks from the album, the first of which is The Noise. It opens up with a naughty little guitar riff, then a chugging little riff continues under a verse of vocals that gradually build in intensity then explode into a big chorus. A fun guitar lick kicks in, with organ support building the grandiose feel of the track.
More naughty riffs kick in under almost spoken vocals, before bursting into another catchy chorus. There’s a really cool section of building guitars, rolling drums under, spoken words “Yeah you’d better speak up ’cause it’s getting louder” that feed into a big guitar solo then a big smash of the chorus and big vocals, then cool guitar riffs and organ to finish. Give it a listen below:
They also sent us album opener Are You Settled, which gets it off to an intriguing start with darting riffs then dropping into a laid-back verse. The vocals suddenly pick up for a chorus of “Are you settled on everything, Are you settled on just wasting your days.” A second chorus drops into laid-back guitars and bass flurries, which give way to another big chorus. Give it a listen here:
But one thing that you absolutely get from Dionysia is musical diversity. For example, second track The Ceiling features a cool sax solo amid cool laid-back indie vocals and stabbing guitar chords – and the sax is present throughout. It’s indicative of an album that’s packed with engaging indie tracks and keeps the listener on their toes.
We had a chat with frontman Garrett Brown to find out a little more about the band, read on below…
GR: Who are Dionysia?
GB: “Dionysia is made up of Garrett Brown (guitar/vocals), Julien Vandal (sax/keys/vocals), Alex Myers (drums/percussion), and Josh Weirs (bass/cello). The original Dionysia was actually a high school project band called Dionysus that Garrett and Alex started back in 2010 while attending high school in Vermont.
“Following a few different line-ups, Julien, who was sort of a known musical prodigy amongst our peers, joined the group in 2012 after developing a friendship with Garrett in their men’s chorus class. When the group moved to Boston for college and changed the name to Dionysia, a chance encounter between then-neighbors Alex and Josh lead to a late-night jam session, which subsequently resulted in Josh joining the group in 2017. The rest is history!”
GR: You released Catalyze back in July – what should people be expecting from the album?
GB: “We try our hardest to live by the mantra ‘expect nothing, appreciate everything,’ so in all honesty, it’s hard to say what we’re expecting when so much can happen so quickly. That said, we all certainly hope to share these stories with as many people as we can and to do so with the same energy and fervor that Dionysia was born of almost a decade ago. From the start it’s always been about making unique music we’re proud of – as long as we can keep doing that, we’re going to keep riding the wave that’s brought us here!”
GR: How would you describe the Dionysia sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?
GB: “This is a tough one but the best answer is probably Eclectic Indie/Alt Rock. We’ve definitely begun to settle into what ‘our sound’ is but we’re inherently curious people/musicians so in some ways we’re always exploring new ideas and challenging ourselves to explore different genres.”
GR: What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
GB: “It totally depends on what the song is about. A lot of our music is written in response to personal relationships, profound realizations about life, political events, etc. A lot of the time we write in metaphors or broad allegories in order to paint a picture for listeners both through our lyrics but also how we choose to voice melodies and rhythms to support these experiences we’re speaking to.”
GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?
GB: “This answer will probably vary from member to member but overall we’ve certainly been influenced by The Black Keys, Incubus, Young The Giant, The Raconteurs, RHCP and a wealth of other artists that would likely take up a page or two! We also all have varying tastes in music and always welcome the opportunity to be pulled in different directions by whatever genre fits the moment, which undoubtedly impacts the manner in which we write.”
GR: What have you got coming up through the rest of 2019?
GB: “Well, we just released our second full-length album, Catalyze, and have been busy traveling around playing shows to share it with as many people as we can! Right now we’re booking more shows and festivals for the remainder of this year and into next year (keep an eye out!) as well as putting in some work on a few projects that we’ll be announcing the end of this year. Outside of that, we’ve already begun writing material for our next release, which we’ll likely be putting out at some point late 2020.”
GR: Anything else you’d like people to know about you/your music?
GB: “Above all else, we want people to know that our music is meant to be an honest reflection of who we are as people. A lot of our songs center on common themes or experiences; when we can empathize with an audience full of people we’ve never met before, there’s palpable energy there. That’s what it’s all about.”