Bush, an English band, got little attention in their homeland but caught fire in America with their 1994 debut album Sixteen Stone. Their sudden success prompted this song, which lead singer Gavin Rossdale calls "an introverted, naval-gazing moment, set to rock music."
In a Songfacts interview with Rossdale
, he said: "That was when we just had the most massive success. It's a very destabilizing feeling to go from zero to something, and be torn from life as you know it. It's a beautiful thing because you're being successful and you have these massive crowds, but it's destabilizing. That song was written right after the wave of all that success, and that disconnect from my life as I knew it. My fear of, Would my life stay this way?
The song opens:
Do you feel the way you hate
Do you hate the way you feel
Rossdale told us regarding these lines: "It was just that thing of committing a private moment to a song, a private moment about needing some perspective, needing some time."
Bush made a 7-minute video (or, if you prefer, "short film") for this song directed by Marcus Nispel, who did the movie remakes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) and Friday the 13th (2009). It opens with Rossdale being interrogated at a secure location, then flashes back to how he got there - seems he's a Jigsaw-like killer. The video borrows elements from the movie Se7en, and was shot as some of the same locations.
Speaking with Fuse, Rossdale explained some of the references in this song: "'Indian Summer' is a fake summer. It's something that happens when it comes out of turn. And 'signed my life away,' as you're coming up through your career and things go better you renegotiate or you look at what you signed when you first began. I must have been made aware that I'd signed everything away before I got successful and so, somehow, that bled into the lyrics. Weirdly enough, my first manager, when I presented that song to him and he heard it, he said, 'That 'sign my life away' is not about me, is it?' I was like: 'No,' I loved him - he was great. So, it wasn't about him, it just was the general feeling of the time."