The Dionysus Effect Give Darryl (No, Not Me) Some Side-Eye

The New York trio’s latest blast of swaggering alt-rock was inspired by a cult novel.


The Dionysus Effect set their sights on a guy who likes to watch with their hypercharged alt-rock single and video Darryl — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

And before you ask, no, the song isn’t about me. Thankfully. This Darryl is the eponymous protagonist of an acclaimed cult novel by author Jackie Ess. Published in 2021 by Clash Books, Darryl is a darkly comic tale about a man who seems to have everything: A quiet home in Western Oregon, a beautiful wife — and a lot of friends to have sex with her while he watches. But as he explores the cuckolding lifestyle, our hero (again, definitely not me — I’ve never lived in Oregon) finds himself tugging at threads that threaten to unravel his marriage, his town and himself.

And who better to transform this twisted story into a chunky, chugging blast of swaggering power-chord alt-rock than New York trio The Dionysus Effect? After all, they were already intimately involved with the story — singer-bassist Christoph Paul is also the managing editor of Clash Books.

“Artists get inspired by their day jobs all the time, and editing Darryl got me hyped to write a song that celebrates the cult-novel and its legendary titular character,” Paul says. “I love juxtapositions, so having this hyper-masculine rock song about a cuckold who feels most alive when someone sleeps with his wife felt like a fun and interesting rock song to do. Rock ’n’ roll is so much about assertive masculine energy, so this song kind of flips that on its head. I wanted to create something fun with some edge similar to the book.”

The Dionysus Effect formed in 2020 in a basement, based around a passion to write songs that conjure the raw energy and timeless spirit of rock ’n’ roll. Driven to lead a rock revival and bring pop music lovers back to rock, Paul, Sean Quinn Hanley (guitar) and Brett Petersen (drums) combine their diverse musical backgrounds and talents for a unique explosion of sound. Their music is an enthralling hybrid of grunge rock, darkwave indie, alt-rock and pop, that forges a poetic expression filled with furious arena energy.

The Dionysus Effect’s music explores themes of love, addiction, passion, and the complexities found in loss and hardship. With Christoph and Brett both being professional authors, they are now using their music as another medium to further convey the message, “to truly live and enjoy the highs, and find purpose and resilience with the lows.”

Encapsulating the influence the band has on listeners, the name The Dionysus Effect refers to that moment when passion overtakes you and you feel alive with energy. Dionysus was a Greek God, who in ancient times brought about ecstasy, insanity and ritual madness — which is what the band are always aiming to do when they perform.

Watch Darryl above and follow The Dionysus Effect on Twitter and Instagram. And stay tuned for my upcoming single The Dionysus Effect, about a trio of New York indie musicians who also happen to have the world’s smallest penises. Total coincidence.