The Paperclips got their start as street musicians, playing every Thursday for spare change. They have since evolved into much more, gaining/losing members and are now accomplished stage performers featured all over the western half of Missouri.
The key to their success is not a complex marketing plan or spending all day on Facebook. They play great music, and they do it well.
On a standard Saturday night at the 400 Club the bar was packed, there was a line to get drinks, and every six inches, there was a different conversation. But, all that changed, almost instantaneously, when The Paperclips took the stage.
The focus in the crowd was something that seemed almost irregular for this particular venue–there wasn’t a single person in the bar whose eyes weren’t fixed forward. Despite the state of the bar minutes before, it seemed the conversation on everyone’s lips was based solely on the band that occupied the stage.
The club was a far-cry from the city streets that, only a couple years prior, the band used to play on.
“I think it’s important to talk about where it started,“ said Jake Briscoe, guitarist and lead vocalist. “We used to get together and jam on the street Thursday nights, before we really had this together as a band.”
At that time, the band was comprised of Briscoe on guitar and vocals, Chris Evans on drums and other percussion, and Nate Caywood playing bass, keyboard and backup vocals.
They ran into one problem.
Briscoe put it best. “It got cold.”
Eventually, the band began playing acoustic sets at the Tea Haus, where they met their current bassist and backup vocalist, Jason Richards.
Richards was, at the time, performing at the Tea Haus as a solo artist, singing and playing acoustic guitar. As they started performing in close proximity more frequently, they began starting to schedule shows together.
Richards played his set immediately before The Paperclips took the stage, and it wasn’t long before they started discussing the possibility of adding Richards to the group. This past March, he became an official member of The Paperclips.
“The Paperclips have been a really good group to me,” said Rafferty. “Before I was in the group, they were giving me projects for school.”
Being devoted to their craft, Briscoe did divulge one difficulty that they run into as a band.
“It’s a long road, figuring out, as a band, how to market yourself,” said Briscoe. “Because you can be a great band, a fantastic band and not have that type of mentality to where you can sell yourself.”
It’s a hurdle The Paperclips must overcome. However, after watching its show Saturday, there is no denying that the band does not lack talent or musicianship.