Fourteen inches of snow on the ground and a more or less blown up van in the road left the band Clairaudients with limited options. An Illinois blizzard forced the band of six, plus the manager, into one small hotel room for three long days. Three long days that became some of the most important days for the band as a whole.
Too much time and not enough space really stirred the creativity among the artists. To make up for missing a number of shows in the short time, the group listened to a variety of music for inspiration.
One album called Illinois by Sufjan Stevens caught their ear. In the album there was a song called Jacksonville, ironically where they happened to be. The group put together a number of covers for songs in that album which has helped to unify the group and blend all of their styles and ideas together.
Lead singer Patrick Robinson graduated from East in 2010. Growing up, he spent much of his time with instruments, throwing little bands together since he was ten years old. Robinson’s passion for music has naturally made him gravitate to people who are more musically involved. Stumbling upon random guys to share his talents with has been an adventure in itself.
“This band isn’t the typical group of guys that grew up together in the same city or went to school together. We kind of just came into random contact and happen to have the same passion for music,” Robinson said.
The group began with two, Robinson and the drummer Blaire, who were friends through another mutual friend. Slowly they picked up a guitarist, Jordan, who was in search of an apartment, and another guitarist, Chase, that had put a solo record up on the internet that the three found to be amazing. The modge-podge of music lovers started by performing around Kansas City in places like Czar Bar, Riot Room and Record Bar.
Establishing respect in Kansas City brought them good fortune when a South by Southwest music festival was being run by people from Kansas City. Clairaudients earned their place to be a headliner band. Their music genre well-fit for just about any occasion, is described to be very experimental, from folk and jazz, to blues and indie rock. The wide variety Clairaudients offers ties to the fact that all of the members of the band have different taste and style.
“I think that is part of the reason everyone is so invested in it, because it is a very cohesive group effort in every aspect. Everything has a piece of all of us in it,” Robinson said.
The newest upcoming album is going to be the most cohesive piece out of all of their albums according to Robinson. The events in each of the members personal lives have escalated quickly which has made the recording slower but the meaning deeper.
Despite the lack of financial benefits, Clairaudients has found that success doesn’t come from money. It comes from being snowed in, headlining shows and creating new music and bonds with each other.
“For me,” Robinson said, “Success is when you wake up in the morning and you are entirely happy with where you are and what you have done in your life, or at least just content or accepting of where all of that is. Then you’re successful.”
The band’s music: