After listening to the Dose's self-titled EP — a sound heavily reminiscent of Alice in Chains and Nirvana — it was surprising to learn that both singer/guitarist Indio Downey and drummer Ralph Alexander weren't even born during the heyday of grunge. "We look up to those bands. We've been listening to them since we were kids, and they definitely have an impact on the music we write," Alexander tells New Times as the duo takes a quick break from the recording studio in Santa Monica. Quick to say the '90s aren't their only musical influence, the two name-check Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath as heroes, but it seems fitting they'll make their South Florida debut by opening for a huge band from their preferred era: Bush.
The Dose started as a trio, but the band's bass player didn't show up one night, and after a successful show, the others didn't see the need to look for a replacement. "It took two months for us to find a bass synth pedal I use with my right foot," Alexander says. "We went to Atlanta and practiced for a month before we found a way to make it work."
The two bandmates, at least on the phone, come across quite differently. Alexander is gregarious and chatty, quick to ask about where in Miami he can find the best Cuban sandwich, while Downey is terser with his answers, which makes sense given his first exposure to the press. Downey's father is actor Robert Downey Jr. of Iron Man fame, so when the younger Downey was arrested for drug possession, it ended up on TMZ. Asked about those tricky subjects, Downey is very careful in his responses. Asked about his dad, he replies, "I enjoy creating music. That's my passion." Asked about his past indiscretions, he says, "In my recovery, I feel more creative than I ever have before." He opens up a bit more about the influences on Dose's recently released first EP. "They are love songs," he says, "and stories about staying positive that are largely influenced by the bands we love."
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When they hit the Fillmore this Friday, they plan to perform those grungy songs from the EP, along with some new tracks they've been writing. "We're pulling double-duty right now, spending our days writing and recording and our nights playing shows," Alexander says.
Downey chimes in: "We've been playing together for a while now, and I think that's starting to come through in the music."