Describing themselves as “an exciting, young duo cooking music in Brisbane’s crowded apartments”, Day Off are releasing vibrant, genre-meshed tracks that are the perfect sounds to get lost in.
Made up of QUT student Fraser Hutton and ACU student Kirrali Keenes, the duo started out the evening of a paramedic boat party and have developed their project with the help of Vermillion Records.
Vermilion Records is a not-for-profit, student-run record label based out of QUT. Their roster of young, emerging talent are current students and alumni of QUT, as well as other local musicians.
BEN: Where did you get the name Day Off? I hear there is a feud over its origins.
KIRRALI: Ugh, he’s so stupid—
FRASER: I just forget a lot of stuff. And I thought it was just because we do music on our days off.
K: No, it’s because he loves Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and he knows every word. He has this poster in his bedroom of the movie. And when we were starting out, I was like okay, why don’t we just use that? Because that’s your favourite thing. And then—I guess—we also do things on our days off.
B: Ferris Bueller? That’s an interesting favourite. Run me through your cinematic analysis.
F: It’s so just kind of easy and fun to watch. You don’t really need to think and, well, the characters are really funny. I used to watch it a lot with my mom, like coming home from school. So, it’s always just kind of like a little comfort movie. I keep coming back to it. And it’s just, some of those scenes are so iconic as well—like the parade float where he’s dancing. I think that’s where I see my life. I aspire to be like Ferris Bueller.
B: How did you two meet?
F: One of my roommates was studying paramedicine at the time. And Kiralee and her roommate study paramedicine as well, and there was a paramedic boat party thing. My roommate was like “Oh, you should come along and pretend you’re a paramedic.” And I thought, yeah I can do that—not knowing anything about paramedics or anatomy. So, we went to pre’s at Kiralee’s apartment and that’s where I met her. I saw she had a piano in a room and asked about it. We realised we both made music and bonded over that. That’s pretty much where it all started.
K: Yeah, Fraser was posting to SoundCloud at the time. And when I first started making music it was on my little YouTube channel. Then we kind of just shared each other’s music. And then we thought why not give it a go, have some fun. And two years later, here we are.
B: Where are you guys at, university wise?
F: I’m in my second year at QUT studying music. So yeah, being a part of Day Off makes uni life much easier.
K: I’m in my third year of paramedicine at ACU.
B: How did you guys start out?
F: Well, we started out just by making random little beats. And then Vermillion [Records] is where we kind of really started actually pushing, putting out songs and stuff like that.
K: Yeah, we had already made the Insight EP before we actually signed with Vermillion, and they took it from there. They helped push that, and then we of course made our latest track Running Back with them as well. We just genuinely started out with making little, tiny tracks in the bedroom with friends. On Fraser’s laptop, that’s so old and damaged that it’s held together by tape at this stage.
B: And, you guys are with Vermillion Records—do you think they are a good avenue for uni music artists?
F: They’re really good with marketing putting your stuff out there. Like beforehand, like nobody really knew who we were—
K: Besides our friends.
F: —but then, like we’re here now. We’ve developed a lot with them.
B: Where does Day Off get its sound? Is it a fusion of the both of you?
K: We mix and match. We’ll go listen to our different stuff and then somehow bring it back. There are so many different genres and music. It’s so hard to put anything into a certain category. It’s taking what we like and popping together. I think our influences always change because we’re always listening to new music, because we like to explore. An all-time round one is A Tribe Called Quest – like a really retro, R’n’B sort of rap group – but then, at the moment, I really like NoMBe and Joji. So, it really changes all the time.
F: Yeah, we’re always just picking up little bits and bobs. Taking things we like from here and there.
B: You guys have done some interesting things at your gigs and performances. There is one occurrence I want to ask you guys about specifically. There was a gig that you sat on an inflatable couch. Run me through the creative process of that.
F: I was lazy and I didn’t want to stand up.
K: Pretty much…we didn’t want to stand and be awkward.
F: It was Sunset Sounds put on by Vermillion. It’s supposed to be a chill environment. People can come, like uni students could come over and study and listen to music. So, we thought “What can we do to enforce the chill?”
K: Yeah, so we went to Target and then Fraser’s mate blew up like 90% of the couch with his mouth.
F: We popped in some trivia and threw candy at the winners. Just completely missing. I remember that was a guy filming with a camera. I just hit the camera.
B: Is that something you’re going to continue with performances? An inflatable couch and traumatising your audience?
F: We’ll see.
If you want to hear the whole interview, I chatted to the band for the Talkerspace: Approved Extension podcast. Check it out here: