Indio Downey shot by Elizabeth Miranda

Indio Downey on the Inspiration Behind “Plastic Rainbow”

Music is something that can transport you. For me, there is something about the music of Indio Downey that really just works. His previous band, the Dose, had a song called “Saline” that I heard while trying to find new music to unpack and it sent me down a path remembering all songs I used to listen to in high school. A playlist I still listen to today, I included “Saline” on it because it fit the vibe of that early to late 2000s rock mindset.

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Now, as Indio Downey is releasing new music, we’re seeing more how this inspiration ties into his style of song writing and the feeling of his voice. His latest song “Plastic Rainbow” is less of a 2000s vibe and more reminds me of the Nirvana esque world I wanted so desperate to be a part of (to the point where I still dress like a grunge kid to this day. It is very 90s rock esque.

I emailed with with Downey about the inspiration for his work. Asking about the specific inspiration for “Plastic Rainbow,” I wondered if there was any specific musical inspiration behind the song or if there was any kind of influence that Downey has when he’s writing. “Musically I wanted to write a rock song with a catchy melody and lyrically it was about past addiction. It varies. Sometimes I find myself telling a story and others more just speaking from a place of truth.”

Alt-rock as a genre of music is one that often pushes the envelope and, for Downey it’s about how they are “Songs that are heavy but also make you want to cry,” which is the truth. That’s what the appeal of the genre is to so many. But Downey’s music does, in his own way, feel like such a product of a time gone by in such a fascinating way.

When I asked if it was a mix of bringing in a modern sensibility to that type of music or just his own love of that era of music as a whole, he said that it was a bit of both. “There’s a part of me that wants to put a modern twist on grunge and another that’s just trying to manifest the vision I have in my head.”

Leaving people with a “lust for rock n’ roll”

Often we can feel what a song wants us to do. You can tell when lyrics want you to ride in the car with the window down and your hand out the window. There are songs that are meant to be listened to with a sweater and a bonfire before you. When I asked if “Plastic Rainbow” has that feelings for Downey and what he wants that to leave with others, he said “Yes. I think it will leave people with a lust for rock n roll!”

One thing that is fascinating about Downey and his work though is that he is someone who isn’t going to write a fluff song just to do it. “I try not to write about things that have no meaning to me,” he said when I asked about whether or not he steers clear of writing about certain things but you know what he does hope that “Plastic Rainbow” leaves people with after they’re done listening to it? He hopes that “the chorus stuck in their heads!”

“Plastic Rainbows” is on Spotify now and is a great listen. And beware, you will also want to make an entire playlist around this one too.

(featured image: Elizabeth Miranda)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her current obsession is Glen Powell's dog, Brisket. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.