The Dose – Indio Downey [vocals, guitar] and Ralph Alexander [drums, bass] recently released their debut self-titled EP and wrapped up a tour with BUSH. The duo has unlocked a robust signature sound without adding any other members, resorting to digital playback or employing backing tracks. They have spent the last year uncovering the ingredients of a singular style steeped in rock bombast, alternative poetry, blues rawness, and progressively metallic intricacy.
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Learn more about The Dose in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! Now that we are well into the fall of 2016, what are some words you would use to describe this year? What have been some of the highlights for this duo and your music?
Ralph: 2016 for The Dose has been a blast and a real pleasure because of all the great opportunities we’ve had. From touring with Bush to recording our first full length; it’s been a lot of work but rewarding at the same time.
Indio: For me, Some words that describe this past year, are eye opening Exciting and Rewarding. Some highlights have been touring both the east wand west coast, playing gigs in Los Angeles, and continuing to play and write music.
Growing up, did you both always want to be musicians? Can you recall your earliest musical memories?
Ralph: I’ve wanted to be a professional musician since I was 13 years old. I grew up in an artistic family and was always encouraged to pursue the arts and to be creative.
Indio: Yes, I knew I wanted to be a musician by the time I was 12. One of my earliest musical memories is playing The Echo with my first band the Jack Bambis.
How did you two first meet each other and decide to start this duo? How did you come up with your band name?
Ralph: Indio and I were introduced through family and went through a number of different lineups before settling on the idea of a duo. The name “The Dose” was recommend by a close friend of ours.
Indio: We were family friends who decided to start making music. We knew that we played well enough together that we could fill up the sound with just the two of us. The idea of using the bass pedals also contributed to us making the final decision. I think we both wanted to try something new.
You recently released your debut self-titled EP. Can you talk about the inspiration behind this collection? How long had you been working on it?
Ralph: The EP was actually written in a month while visiting family in Atlanta. We basically locked ourselves in a rehearsal room and came out with a new band and an EP to record.
Indio: The excitement of starting a new fueled the tracks on the EP. We had a bunch of old songs from previous projects, but ultimately decided that The Dose was something different and wrote new ones. Out with the old and in with the new they always say!
What if anything has surprised you about the music industry? What do you think has been your biggest challenge? And what do you think has come really naturally to you?
Ralph: The biggest challenge is to always manage your expectations. Always expect to be humbled and never get too big for your britches.
Indio: There are lessons to be learned even when you don’t expect it. There is always something to take from every new experience whether it be playing a show, writing a song or recording. My biggest challenge has been feeling comfortable on stage. I used to pick an object in the back of the venue to stare at and stand in the same place the whole time when we performed live. Now I try to move around a little more.
One thing I feel has come naturally to me has been making music videos. For example, when we shot the video for “Truth Lies Inside” we didn’t know what we were doing but things wound up coming together. If your passionate about what you are doing creatively, it usually unfolds the way it’s supposed to whether it’s planned or not.
Who are some of your favorite artists and what bands continue to inspire you and your music? Who would you all still love to work with in the future?
Ralph: Favorite artists are almost all dead! However, the guys in QOTSA, Dave Grohl, Jack White, etc are all pushing the envelope of rock and I have a tremendous amount of respect for them. To work with any of them would be a dream.
Indio: Nirvana, The White Stripes, Led Zeppelin, Kings of Leon, Queens of the Stone Age, The Strokes, Royal Blood, The Entrance Band, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, Pixies, Girls, The Dead Weather, Bush, Sex Pistols, The Sword, Radiohead, Foo Fighters, Wolfmother, and The Cure.
When you aren’t performing, working in the studio, what do you like to do for fun? How do you all unwind from it all?
Ralph: I watch a lot of movies when I can. Horror is my favorite.
Indio: martial arts, weight lifting, soccer, writing, and drawing. I’ve actually found playing music to be the best way of unwinding.
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope listeners take away from your songs?
Ralph: Just to have fun, enjoy yourself and bump some good music in your car. Music is a journey and it’s best enjoyed on one.
Indio: That Rock n Roll is all you need!
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
Ralph: As bad as things look right now, remember: we got Kanye 2020 coming.
Indio: Let Rock n Rolls heaviness fill up your inner emptiness.