Dionysos (French band)

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Dionysos band (2003).jpg
Background information
OriginValence France
GenresRock, art rock
Years active1993–present
LabelsBarclay, Universal
Associated actsBabet, Cali
MembersMathias Malzieu
Éric Serra Tosio
Michaël Ponton
Guillaume Garidel
Élisabeth Maistre
Stéphan Bertholio

Dionysos is a French pop band formed in 1993 in Valence, Drôme; they formed at their lycée. They perform songs in both French and English, and have released six studio albums. They are well known in France for their surrealism and eccentricity.

Their first album, Happening Songs, was self-produced and with entirely English lyrics. With their second album The sun is blue like eggs in Winter (also self-produced) Babet became a member. In 1999, they signed to a major label (the now defunct Trema) and released Haïku which brought the band in to the public eye, mainly thanks to the success of the single "Coccinelle".

The name of the band comes from the ancient Greek god Dionysus, which in French is Dionysos.


There are strong non-musical influences from Tim Burton and Roald Dahl. A lot of the songs are surreal and many feature nonsense lyrics (for example "Surfin Frog"). The albums Monsters in Love and La mécanique du cœur are set in a surreal world full of whimsical monsters and other fantastic characters which Mathias Malzieu has used as a setting for two original comic books. Joann Sfar illustrated the cover art for the comic books as well as the two albums. Sfar's eccentric and humorous brand of fantasy fiction as displayed in the Donjon comic books lends itself easily to the band's fantasy-humor albums.

The lead singer, Mathias Malzieu, is also working on other projects such as the career of Olivia Ruiz (his partner), and his other hobby : writing (published 4 books in 2002, 2005, 2007 and 2011). His second book is based on the same world as the album Monsters in Love, his third book on the same world as the album La mécanique du cœur. In the same way, there will be connections between his fourth book, Métamorphose en bord du ciel, but not to the same extent as La mécanique du cœur.[1]


Mathias is the main songwriter and frontman. He has also written three books – 38 mini westerns (Pimientos, 2003), Maintenant qu'il fait tout le temps nuit sur toi (Flammarion, 2005) et La mécanique du cœur (Flammarion, 2007) – with inspiration drawing between the albums and the novels.

The Miky Biky co-produced La mécanique du cœur with Mathias.

  • Guillaume Garidel a.k.a. Guillermo – bass guitar, contrabass, synthesizer
  • Élisabeth Maistre a.k.a. Babet – vocal, violin, keys, banjo, theremin (member since 1998)

Babet has begun a solo career and released two albums: Drôle d'oiseau (5 March 2007) and Piano Monstre (27 September 2010).

Stéphan worked as the band's backliner on tour, but joined officially during the recording of Monsters in Love.


Studio albums[edit]

Live albums[edit]

  • Whatever the Weather – Concert Électrique (Trema, 2003)
  • Whatever the Weather – Concert Acoustique (Trema, 2003)
  • Monsters in Live (2007)


  • Whatever the Weather (2003) – recorded 30 May 2003 at 'La Laiterie' in Strasbourg
  • Monsters in Live (2007) – recorded 28 October 2006 at Le Zénith in Paris with the Synfonietta de Belfort orchestra


  • Yoghurt session (1997) – extremely rare vinyl
  • Soon, on your radio (1998) – a CD featuring Dionysos alongside Mary's Child and Despondents
  • Old School Recordings (Trema, 15 May 2001) – a collection of rare recordings
  • Eats Music (Barclay, 12 October 2009) – another collection of rare recordings, demos and alternative or live versions of previous released tracks[2]


  1. ^ "Mathias Malzieu: "écrire un livre demande une endurance de marathonien"". Metro. 20 April 2011. Archived from the original on 12 November 2011. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 December 2011. Retrieved 6 January 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]