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Indie Quotes

We’ve collected the best Indie Quotes from the greatest minds of the world: Andrew Bird, Parker Posey, Lykke Li, Christina Milian, Thomas Ian Nicholas. Use them as an inspiration.

I’ve always found that whatever you say about indie rock, it is the most inclusive genre or title for anything. It doesn’t pin you down too much, like other labels would. It’s just newer, it has less baggage. I’m happy to be in that category.
It hasn’t really made it easier getting film work. It’s not like I can call up a studio or a producer and say – insert haughty voice here – ‘It’s Parker. I guess you might know me as the indie queen. I’m wondering if you have any projects for me to be in.’
I’m not so interested in being indie just for the sake of being indie.
I would love to do an indie film, as I’ve grown to have a more serious side.
I’m a big fan of character actors like Johnny Depp and Gary Oldman. My goal is to continue playing character roles in indie films and move into playing character leads.
Thomas Ian Nicholas
My job is to act, whether in indie or mainstream films.
Even the shows or movies that we know are not going to change the world, I love this. I love ’em. I’m a movie fan. I’m a nerd of any kind. I love a big studio comedy as much as I love the teeniest tiniest of indie. I’m not a snob in that way. I really do like a big, big studio comedy.
I’m an indie artist with major distribution, so one foot in the extreme major music business and one foot in the abyss of indie artists.
I hope people describe my music as lyrically driven, cross genre. Kind of alternative, kind of indie, kind of rap, kind of everything.
I was kind of going that route with my country music. Indie country. Which would work, if I was playing on Americana stages. Unless I had a television outlet like ‘Glee‘.
Indie movies can be a lot more stressful than studio pictures. The stakes are just as high whether you’re talking $3 million or $40 million.
I would love to do anything from a really gritty, interesting, indie type film, to that commercial, bigger stuff.
I had seen other comic friends of mine go to indie labels. Like David Cross and Pat Oswald went to Subpop, and Subpop didn’t make total sense for me, but the metal version of that did. So I made a small list with Metal Blade, Prosthetic and couple of other labels, and Relapse was one of them.
There’s a certain type of indie fan who would balk at the prospect of there being value in pop music, but I think that’s foolish. They’re not really listening.
In the wrestling world, you had WWE, WCW, and smaller promotions that were like the independents. I look at it as craft beer being the independent beer makers. It’s the indie scene.
I will do a big-budget film. I will do an indie film. I will do a short film. I will do a digital platform show, television, and even theatre. I don’t have any restrictions in terms of platform as long as the content is something that I find interesting.
When you’re external to a publisher, most independent developers live on paranoia. The mainstay of every day is paranoia – every indie company believes their publisher in some way has these Machiavellian plans that will cause disaster for the game and the studio.
A part of me is a liberal New Yorker involved in politics and certain attitudes about movies. I kind of lost my indie credibility over ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith.’ I know I haven‘t lost it. I just have to go make an independent movie. I just have to do it. Just for me.
I think the best songs are being written by the very under-stated, under-appreciated indie artists. The thing that separates them from mainstream success is they either consciously or unknowingly refuse to deliver on a big chorus.
Ryan Tedder
I’m indie through and through. I’ve always gone out with boys in bands.
We’re quite different from each other. Camila is the pop girl, Lauren likes the indie sound, Normani and I love R&B, and Ally is the pop-country, kind of church girl.
I tried so many different musics. I kind of burned out on classical and wanted to make it fun again. I started playing with indie bands and country bands and finally realized electronic music brought my style to life.
I’m dying to do a tiny indie and play something totally naturalistic without any sort of constraints on me. Something where I can shock everyone.
If you are a superstar, or whatever you want to call yourself, a person who’s had outrageous success, and you decide to go indie and tell the record companies to screw themselves? That takes a certain amount of courage. And bullheadedness, really.
On a big film, there’s almost no way you can meet everyone. On an indie, there are 30 people and no trailers to duck into.
Whether I’m on a major or an indie, I don’t think this is important, but at the same time I do.
Humanizing good people is kind of boring and I don’t really see the value in it… humanizing tricky characters is exhilarating, and making audience films out of indie subjects excites me.
Studio films are driven by marketing. The currency is literally money. But in the indie world, the currency is passion.
The most interesting indie titles always tend to come out of nowhere for me. That’s part of the fun for me.
It doesn’t get any more underground, conscious or indie than Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, but because they got a couple of really big pop hits, actually some of the biggest pop hits that hip-hop has ever seen, people are missing that part of their story. People are not counting that blessing.
I was one of those kids who had never seen an indie film before I got to college. If it wasn’t a big, huge tentpole movie, or if it wasn’t on the radio, I hadn’t experienced it.
The gritty indie films are a lot rarer than the films that aspire to fill multiplexes.
I kind of grew up in the indie world, and now that sort of writing and material is on television.
Indie music is picking up and artistes are more confident about putting out music with no big name attached to it.
You’re taught – consciously or sub-consciously – to make an indie so you can get through that terrible process and get to Hollywood. I realized when I got there, ‘Oh, no; I think I’m better over here.’
The thing for me is that ‘Thor’ was an indie film that just had a few more zeros on the budget. At heart, it is just a simple story about a guy trying to get home to deal with someone who has broken into his house. It’s just ‘After Hours,’ but set in space.
I guess in Australia every film is sort of an indie film because there are no studios.
I think people are enticed by indie rap and every time you have a group going against the grain, they’re gonna be like, ‘Wow, you did it yourself in 2012, that’s impressive – how did you do it? What’re you doing that’s different? And how can I be a part of it?’
That’s the best thing about being with an indie label, it feels like a family. If it’s a major label, they put so much pressure on every single.
If I have a male protagonist, it’s a studio movie, and if it’s a female protagonist, it’s an indie movie. That’s just how it is. It’s not about the studios. It’s about America and who goes to see movies. Women are interested in men and women, and men aren’t interested in the woman‘s story. They just aren’t.
I’ve got friends who are literally working alone on indie games that have no prospect of profit or commercial success. I’ve got guys working on iPhone games.
I learned piano off YouTube and still do a lot. It’s hard to find contemporary indie music on there, at least lessons, because the reach is smaller. I did it so people like me out there could learn my songs if they wanted to and maybe, in a small way, to pay forward all the free lessons I’ve had over the years.
There are so many books I love for different reasons. For superhero stuff, I always go back to Alan Moore‘s ‘Watchmen‘ or his ‘Swamp Thing’ run. Those are my two favorites, and there are indie books that I really love, like Eddie Campbell‘s ‘Alec’ books and ‘From Hell.’
It’s not like I set out to be ‘the indie guy.’
It’s such a pleasure hosting ‘Indie Hain Hum’ season 2. My love for Indie artists and music has grown and shown me a whole new dimension after I stepped in as a host and RJ for this show.
Equal Vision seems to be doing really well. A lot of these major labels are just imploding and becoming indie labels, anyway.
Vic Fuentes
I had always thought my fantasy career would be making indie films and doing my own thing. But then ‘Superbad’ came along, and it totally changed everything. It was so hilarious and smart and extreme; you could probably do a psychoanalysis term paper on the male sexual psyche going on there.
As a successful artist it is my job to give the indie scene as much of a push as I can.
Twelve‘ was a total indie drama character piece. It wasn’t that it was more about the performance, but it was just a very different thing where, with horror, there’s this whole added element of the visual and the technical and the choreography.
Somehow, even though you have less time and less money, the thing about making indie films is somehow you have another kind of resource: a human resource, where you can really look to your creative colleagues and actually ask questions that are honest.
The indie shows are tons of fun. And for the fans, having that up close and personal experience is so different to watching wrestling on television at home.
It’s just interesting that people don’t really know about the roles that I play that are darker. I kind of do a huge blend of really big light things but also really dark indie things, and it just sort of happens to work out that way.
We’re not going to do any titles in Bloodsport. That’s really just for a very very very simple reason and that is because as an indie wrestling promotion, there is no guarantee that we can ensure that we can have return on talent. If someone gets picked up, there’s nothing we can do to make sure we keep them.
Ask anyone, and they’ll tell you that most of the good horror films made in the U.S. are indie films. You might get ‘The Ring’ or ‘The Others,’ but most are independently produced.
‘Five Easy Pieces,’ ‘Easy Rider‘ – those are indie pictures; those were not studio pictures. They had relationships with studio distribution, but they were indies.
Television in the last few years has been where all the great writers are going. TV now is what indie film used to be.
I love PJ Harvey, Patti Smith, Pixies, Portishead, and Massive Attack: a lot of what I would describe as alternative and indie music.
I love to watch low-budget indie artsy films, but I do also love the big blockbuster things. I would love to do that one day, do a Marvel film. That would be really great.
Ed Oxenbould
I go back and forth between indie and studio because I feel like it, not because I feel obligated to do one or the other.
As a kid, my dad would take me to see indie films when I would visit him in New York. Films that I just wouldn’t see growing up in the Bay Area.
I had the most frustrating thing happen when I was trying to find a label. I sent my album to this indie label, and they were like, ‘We already have two girls on the label. I’m so sorry, we just can’t take your project.’
I did a short film called ‘Disco’ and won an award for Best Supporting Actor at an indie film festival, and that was nice. Hopefully there’s lots more to come.
Charlie Rowe
The Weeknd’s ‘Can’t Feel My Face‘ is very experimental. It’s pop meets urban meets indie meets alternative.
What happened was like any guy on the indie scene – I’ve been wrestling for 16 years; everybody thinks I’m this new, young. I’m like, ‘I’m 32. I’ve been at it for 16 years. I just couldn’t get to the next level.’
I wear glasses and suits, so I guess I am an indie artist.
Stevie Jackson
I’ve always been indie.
I don’t understand indie films. So, I won’t do such films.
I think, honestly, that the word ‘indie’ is a false gimmick. ‘Independent’ used to mean a movie that was financed outside corporate Hollywood, but a lot of what gets called independent these days is totally produced within that system. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Ultimately it’s just music – whether I’m catering to the Bollywood audience or the indie audience. I just approach every type of music the way I am, and how my personality is.
If you look at ‘Avatar,’ could you imagine if you did ‘Avatar’ for 50 million dollars? It would be ridiculous! You would almost be getting laughs from the audience, unless you got a real indie director to do something incredibly stylised.
A lot of people of color in the music industry are still more interested in embracing things that are considered white canon, and looking radical. Like when people point to punk in the indie world: If you point to the history of punk as what you see as your legacy, that’s more prized and praised.
Nobody‘s made an impact like Raina Telgemeier or Kate Beaton. I think that indie creators, people making webcomics and graphic novels, are the ones to watch.
The trouble with indie music in India is it continues to be overshadowed by Bollywood.
What I have appreciated about the ‘Call of Duty‘ games is the scale of production. It’s not an indie game. It’s not trying to be an indie game. But I’ve genuinely been pretty consistently blown away by, wow, what an effort has gone into this.
In Providence, we didn’t have a first-run movie theater. But we did have an indie movie theatre on the Brown campus. That was the theater we’d go to. I think, as highbrow as it sounds, that I grew up on the films.
Some artists and indie musicians see Spotify fairly positively – as a way of getting noticed, of getting your music out there where folks can hear it risk-free.
It’s a lot of work being an indie artist, but it’s worth it.
‘Mr. Robot,’ in particular, signals the rise of a fresh post-Occupy portrayal of the wealth gap. No longer is the story of income inequity delivered via a well-meaning, crushingly earnest indie film by John Sayles or in a single laugh line on ‘Roseanne.’
I have always believed that indie music is the space where the real music actually happens, which actually sets the trend.
The word ‘indie’ is meaningless now. It’s so over-used that people think it simply means green hair.
You get dinged for wanting to do a comedy, then wanting to do a big-budget action film, and then wanting to do an indie. But you can’t let other people trying to label you get in the way of trying to do something artistically.
We don’t want it to be obscure music. We’re not trying to be indie. We want to be popular.
When I was still doing indie, it was just purely art. I don’t think about how much I will get paid or how much the movie will earn.
From dancing around to Michael Jackson and Madonna as a kid to having my mind blown by the first sounds of punk and indie rock, to getting to play my own songs and have people listen, music is what got me through.
Look: You’re not gonna become a millionaire doing this, but that was never the point. And I think a lot of people in the indie film business kind of took their eye off of that.
When I went to Sundance back in 1998, indie film was all the rage, and Miramax was throwing down five or six million dollars for several films each year. Those were the salad days of indie film, and those days are over. I’m not out there worrying too much about it.
I think indie films are really important, because they show the studios and the audiences when they see them, great stories. Really interesting, small stories.
You wouldn’t expect a Christian character to be an Indie rocker guy.
The movie I worked on that had the most problems and interference came from the smallest indie movie I’ve ever done. I couldn’t believe what the director had to go through; he was destroyed.
I was always drawn to performing. I took improv and acting classes during the summers and was involved in middle and high school plays. But when I discovered indie and punk music in high school, those things sort of took over.
Indie film isn’t dead, it just grew up.
We often hear of a male director directing a great indie and immediately being offered the next huge comic book movie. Rarely, if ever, does this happen to a woman.
Lesli Linka Glatter
Sometimes I feel indie directors are in the game so they can make a film to get hired to do a big film – that we’re all doing this person’s reel.
My sound is, at its core, a mix of things. Definitely an imperfect mix, but one that incorporates elements of the music I love – a bit of indie rock, super rhythmic rapping, and lots of synths.
I do like to have a clean slate, especially when you’re in indie film.
I want to balance my projects. Ideally, I’d like to do at least one indie film, a mainstream movie, and a TV series in a year – the best of both worlds.
Being in an indie band is running a never-ending, rewarding, scary, low-margin small business.
Post COVID-19, there will be a rise in the number of people only listening to songs. The rise in audio consumption is great for indie artistes, including me, because those who are unable to afford a music video, but have a great song, will benefit from this.
I’m just not a big fan of the too-cool-for-school indie world. Metal bands have never been invited or been able to be part of the cool kids, and I like it that way.
Around ’93, the radio started playing ‘Loser‘ by Beck and ‘Cut Your Hair’ by Pavement, and then I got way into Pavement. That was kind of a gateway drug into indie rock. I got all their B-sides, and I got that ‘Hey Drag City‘ comp, so I got into all those Drag City bands.
I feel like I’m a rock artist. I don’t feel like I’m a pop artist. And I’m alt rock. I’m indie rock. I’m punk rock. Because it comes from the pots and pans. It’s a lot of me, but I’ve got multiple personalities.
I try to create a style that reflects my music. So I would say it’s definitely got some ’90s elements, some pop elements that are a bit more feminine, and then more indie, androdgynous elements.
Normally, I think the people you would use on your first film, it would be a real struggle to bring them with you onto your television show. I just brought every single person with and expanded my little indie film world.
The first wrestling event I ever went to was PCW Ultra in L.A., and it was insane. They had RVD wrestling, Shane Strickland, Penta, and all these incredible indie wrestlers.
Alden Ehrenreich is a drama nerd, and Alice Englert is indie girl. They’re so cool in the way that our characters are cool.
To go indie is a thing. But to put an album in the stores, you need a distribution label.
There’s an audience out there for all these different types of things. Whether it’s comedy, motion-picture drama, family movie or a cool, cutting-edge indie, it’s nice to know that I can span all those different genres.
That’s my advice for indie filmmakers: Marry a supermodel.
There’s a whole apparatus for indie bands now, but back in the eighties it was just getting built. The early people really took it on the chin.
Michael Azerrad
I don’t think I’m kind of universally known. I think in the indie world I’m probably better known than in some mainstream Hollywood terms.
The only way independent cinema can come out of its own rut is by learning to be more consistent. An indie filmmaker should feel responsible for others as well.
There can be a wrong time – it’s happened to countless bands where they release their first record on a major label and never learned what they maybe should have learned on an indie.
I guess you can look at Fleetwood Mac as the ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean‘ movies and my solo career as indie films.
I’ve had the opportunity to work on some really great indie features. One of them being ‘Little Savages,’ which is a super fun family film.
I used to be a part-time enthusiast press games writer when I was starting to get into making indie games.
Something happened in the nineties. There was a shift. I don’t want to blame it on grunge or the rise of indie – but that was basically it. It was seen as dirty and kind of ignorant to have these ambitions, to want to be a big band.
Maybe it’s the way that I do music, but I was never in a cool indie band or hung out with all the cool arty kids when I came to London.
It’s been awesome going indie. I don’t need to be on a major label. I love not having to walk into a specific radio person’s office to try to convince someone to play my songs. At the end of the day, it’s more work, but I’ve discovered that I like to get my hands dirty.
When I listen to a Coldplay record, you’re gonna hear an indie band, and you know that’s what you’re gonna get from Coldplay. With myself, I’m not sure it’s the same.
To jump from the indie ranks to play with the big dogs, there’s a gate you have to pass through.
I criticized the whole American songwriting industry and the pop side of it and I was bitter about it. And I stepped back and thought ‘Why are you bitter? You can’t just stand there like every other indie musician and criticize this so-calledgeneric‘ music when you’re not doing anything to challenge that.’
There’s a bunch of cities I’m not crazy about, but I love Chicago. I love the musical history – the mid-’90s indie rock scene, Chicago house music. It’s a great town.
All you needed was a couple of instruments and a few chords and you could be on an indie label.
Just because I run an indie label doesn’t mean I don’t think Jay-Z is nice.
I know I’m not the ‘Indie It Girl’ and I’ll never have a big breakout, big runaway success. And that’s okay.
Kathleen Edwards
One of the best moments of any Liars show is hearing the crowd squawk ‘We’re doomed! We’re doomed!’ on cue during ‘We Fenced Other Houses with the Bones of Our Own.’ Maybe not the most uplifting audience sing-along in the indie rock world, but one of the most reliably entertaining.
I’ve never cared about being indie or cool. I wanted to be on ‘Top of the Pops.’
For me, I always have looked at ‘indie’ as a term of ‘independence.’ Never associated a sonic gesture with that in the same way that pop music has always meant ‘popular’ to me; you know, it didn’t define a sound.
Our first record as the Veronicas was a big mainstream success. Maybe if we’d had the indie record first, then the breakout record, it would have been supported by Triple J.
For me, I always loved summer movies. I love indie movies, foreign films, but there’s definitely a part of me that loves summer movies, ever since I was a kid.
I don’t know if i have a ‘take’ on L.A. The music community is enormous, from the studio musicians to the bands trying to ‘make it’ to the indie bands… so many bands… it can be overwhelming. But it seems healthy.
I worked with an indie filmmaker called Mark Williams, a lawyer who was making a zero-budget family drama called ‘Move Me.’
It’s amazing to me how quickly the industry will try to put you into a box. It’s like, I did ‘Beale Street.’ And they decided now, all of a sudden, ‘Oh, okay. KiKi Layne does those little quiet indie dramas.’ I’m like, ‘No! That’s just where I got started.’
I started off doing indie comics that I wrote and drew myself. I was doing those for ten years before I started to work for DC. The first book that I wrote for DC was for another artist. I did some backups in ‘Adventure Comics’ years ago starring The Atom. That’s the first time that I ever wrote for another artist.
We have a lot of indie artists coming from Sweden, not so much soul. The closest thing we had was Robyn when she came out, but it’s a different kind of R&B.
I just filmed a movie with my boyfriend, an indie film called ‘Conception.’ And it’s kind of like an R-rated version of ‘Valentine’s Day.’ So it’s like all about eight couples, and me and my boyfriend play one of them together. And that was a lot of fun.
You are at the mercies of the dailies. With an indie you don’t have that.
I’m into a lot of different types of music – pretty much everything from blue grass to jazz to dub step to metal to indie experimental and progressive.
Britne Oldford
The pirating thing is bad. The people it hurts the most are the ones you least think it hurts. It’s not the big Britney Spears albums that are being pirated; it’s the indie bands that don’t have two cents to their name.
It’s a long process transitioning from indie to mainstream, and it’s not that easy because it’s a different environment when you are in the indie industry.
I had an indie pop phase, I had just about every phase you could think of.
Caitlin Rose
As soon as I was getting YouTube comments and hit 100 subscribers, I was thinking ‘maybe there’s something to this. I could keep going. I don’t know how far I can really push it just reviewing random indie bands on YouTube, but it seems to have more gas in the tank.’
Stars are a part of our emotional psyche, but audiences should also support a good indie film which may not have a big star.
I actually didn’t think I was going to do TV because I don’t really watch TV. I’m a little bit pretentious, and I do these little indie movies, so I envisioned that more as the path for myself.
I was in the top 1 percent of football players. Indie guys are in the bottom 95 percent of wrestlers.
It has taken a long time for me to really dress as the artist that I am: I’m an indie girl, I like experimental, I like things to be subverted. Details are the fun part.
To me, being a classical snob in the highest possible way and being an indie snob is just as bad!
First off, I don’t want anyone to think I’m this huge thing in Japan. Every group from here that’s made any records over any length of time – even indie bands – have a Cheap Trick effect in Japan.
So many of the indie movies that get made are not about topics that touch millions and millions of people.
To get art nowadays, in cinema or books or anything, that grapples with the possibility of a meaningless universe… it just doesn’t happen any more. In even the most indie of the indie films, everything has to come to some kind of neat conclusion.
When I first put out music, people didn’t know what I looked like. They called it a new type of something; they couldn’t put a genre on it – it was where indie and urban kind of meet in the middle. I thought that was quite exciting.
If you’re a fan of Indie wrestling at all, you can go back to, I think, 2007-2008, and you can see me wrestle CHIKARA. And you can see me wrestle in a tank top, and you can see me wrestle in a tank top that doesn’t look like the one I have in WWE. But it’s the same one.
There are fans who just like their indie stars, and then there are your more casual fans that are more familiar with somebody like Kurt Angle, and their interest might be piqued.
The indie movie world is like a bad Tinder date, and there are always strings attached.
Arcade Fire has kept their indie cred. They will sell out stadiums yet still have underdog status. But when you’re a band like Coldplay, people are waiting to knock you down.
I handed out flyers in malls, candies in gasoline stations; helped set up tarpaulins in bars. I played bit roles in several indie movies. Looking back, I can say it has definitely been a long journey.
My dad would play ‘The Blue Album’ a lot, the first Weezer album, and that influenced my alternative indie thing and that’s kind of how I found tons and most of my favorite bands.
I was the female lead in a romantic comedy. It’s a little indie film that we shot in China called ‘America Town,’ starring Daniel Henney and Bill Paxton. I actually had to speak Chinese in the film. It was funny because I found out I was doing the film and then a week later, I was in Shanghai.
I just adored ‘Shaun Of The Dead.’ That’s a true mashup. That’s a real Romero-era zombie movie and a real Gen X indie comedy. That was before zombie movies were cool, before ‘Zombieland’ and ‘I Am Legend,’ and now it has become a whole sub-genre.
I would love to dive into an indie film based on the streets of East Los Angeles where I grew up. If that doesn’t come my way soon, I think I just might have to write it myself.
Michael Trevino
A lot of what I listened to growing up was blues, but also folk and indie music. So there’s this marriage of songs that structurally are quite bluesy. Sound-wise, there’s a lot of indie as well. But you can’t really say I’m pop-blues, because that’s insulting to blues. It just can’t exist.
When I started out as a music journalist, at the end of the 1980s, it was generally assumed that we were living through the lamest music era the world would ever see. But those were also the years when hip-hop exploded, beatbox disco soared, indie rock took off, and new wave invented a language of teen angst.
As more people get into indie bands and alternative music, they’re also getting more into other genres that fit those categories, like jazz and classical. It’s becoming more rebellious to go to a classical concert. You’re getting the younger art house crowd and regular students as well as those who are just curious.
I knew that I tend to always gravitate to the indie side of things.
What can we expect from this latest crop of indie directors who have been sucked into the franchise factory? I’m especially curious about ‘Star Wars,’ which will feature an all-indie crew after J. J. Abrams finishes with ‘Episode VII.’
I’ve always been in this weird indie world, and for a long time, I felt that it was not okay to be girly in that world.
If you’re on an indie label, you’re not getting enough money. And if you’re on a major, you’re not getting enough support.
You want every film that you make to do well, not just indie films in general.
A lot of the music I listen to is indie rock. It’s not on the radio.
I was always told that I was too strange or that I was too cheesy by different groups of people, like the record companies said I was way too weird and the indie people wouldn’t even let me in their band.
Ultimately, if you act in mainstream movies, more people will come and watch your indie movies. That’s how you reach the audience.
I have immense respect for Unity because they played a key role in establishing this indie revolution, empowering a huge number of people to get into game development.
I really just wanted to work on adventure games, so Pinkerton Road is our own little indie studio that’s focused on that.
Jane Jensen
I do not differentiate between a commercial and an indie project as long as there is a strong subject and the character in the script is relatable.
If you’re trying to solve a problem that is fundamentally important to human society, that’s really important to our mission at Indie Bio.