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The Indiana Daily Student

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The art of making music for the sake of it: an interview with Jeff Day

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Every kid dreams of being a rockstar. There’s nothing more magical than everyone knowing your name. Most kids give up on that dream quickly — but not Jeff Day. 

Day grew up in Bedford, Indiana and started playing guitar at age 12.  

“I actually was in a band before I could play guitar,” Day said. “I just kind of learned how to play guitar because we couldn’t find a rhythm guitar player.”  

His brother, Jon Day, taught him the basics of guitar. 

He’s been in too many bands to count. Day has played in them all, from a jazz trio in his high school days to playing covers solo in bars. Some things never quite change, though, and toward the end of high school he ended up back in a band with his brother Jon. They toured around the Midwest under the name Stone Carnival, echoing the origins of Day’s music career. 

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“We were youngsters and we were hip,” Day said. “We were legends in our own minds.” 

Jeff and Jon played every venue they could think of, from fraternity parties to the Bluebird to his church — even playing multiple shows at the Vogue Theater in Chicago. When the band broke up, Jeff went solo. There wasn’t a band he played with that created the same energy as Stone Carnival. 

He admits that “it’s hard to make any money doing original [music].” Ripples of this sentiment can be seen at any show still happening in Bloomington. While the originals are amazing, most people only know the covers. 

Now that he’s 46, he can sit down and decide what he wants to do with his life. After battling stage 4 colon cancer for three years, he’s decided that music is what he needs to do. 

In late 2022, he released his album “Manifest,” entirely written and recorded by himself. Better yet, he played all the instruments heard in the recording. 

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“I feel like a third grader saying ‘I did it all myself,’” Day said. “I did everything with my hands and my blood, sweat and tears.” 

Day has an upcoming show at 7 p.m. on Feb. 18 at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater. 

He’s truly excited to play at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater for the first time. His best friend and his brother organized the whole thing as a way to celebrate his illustrious musical career. Day will be joined onstage by Stone Carnival as well as a small set with Jon. He will also be highlighting music from his album, including a few cool covers here and there. 

“I should say I’m more excited to play,” Day said. “Bloomington’s a great city...it’s like a little enclave of enlightenment in the middle of the Midwestern Bible belt.” 

Day has never given up on that childhood dream of becoming a rockstar. While he may not play music like Ozzy Osbourne, he plays his own authentic and nostalgic music. He plays music for the love of it.  

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