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Interview: Shannon and the Clams

Shannon And The Clams is a band for everyone who loves 50’s doo-wop, surf rock, and garage rock. The band consist of three members; Shannon Shaw, Cody Blanchard, and Nate Mahan, the trio came together to create a sound that tend to music lovers with all kinds of taste.

Their music is dreamy and relatable and that’s truly what keeps everyone running back to them. And if you just can’t stop at Shannon And The Clams, lucky for you she has got another dance worthy band called Hunx And His Punx that can make just about any punks heart flutter.

Shannon And The Clams have been rocking our world since 2009 and are going to be releasing a new album titled Gone By The Dawn this fall, along with an extensive tour. Pre-order the new album, get your tickets, buy the merch, support these amazing musicians!

We caught to chat with them about Hunx and his Punx, guys bashing girl musicians, their upcoming album and subsequent tour.

Read the Monsters and Critics interview below:

Both Shannon And The Clams and Hunx And His Punx started out pretty much
at the same time for you. What made you decide to do two separate bands?

Shannon Shaw: It was just a wild time in Oakland and everybody was making lots of stuff happen and we were all looking for more things to do. It was easy to start bands with different concepts. Cody, at times, was in 6 bands at once. I think the aesthetic and tone of Hunx was very different from Clams. Different goals.

You guys have such an awesome and unique sound. How do you balance a sweet doo-wop sound with a raw garage/surf rock sound?

SS: I think if you have just one or the other, it’s too basic and it’s boring. Sometimes a trick to starting something compelling is to mix two or more things that clash in some ways, take different elements of each, juxtapose them together in a weird way and you end up with something striking and unique. And then it should become it’s own thing and evolve from there into something genuine and strange. I feel like most intriguing music often mixes clashing styles, integrates them into a weird new creature.

Unfortunately girls are constantly getting heat from guys about being musicians. It’s not uncommon to hear, “you’re really good…for a girl.” How do you go about the guys that try to bash on girl musicians?

SS: Ugh, sometimes it’s just easier to ignore it and not say anything, but most of the time, I think it’s everyone’s responsibility to educate these people and explain why what they’re saying is so broken and bad and ignorant. Usually, they have no idea that the way they are thinking is backwards and ugly and demeaning, it’s just like a deep habit that they aren’t even aware of. And if you can say the right thing in the right way that it is jarring enough and rattles them enough, they will remember that moment and think about it again and again in the future. Most people don’t expect confrontation and if you present them with it, it’s shocking and memorable. It can be powerful for provoking deeper thought and consideration. I often feel like people are too polite and avoid necessary confrontation and that allows bad or uninformed people to remain that way.

Do you ever find that you start writing a song at the end of the day and somehow subconsciously it’s pretty much summed up all that you have been feeling and going through that day?

SS: Sometimes you can go to sleep with half a song idea or even no ideas at all, and either dream a whole song or part of song, or even just dream nothing but wake up with a full song going in your head. That happens to us a lot. I think that’s where the “dream” and “sleep” themes come from in our work. I often accidentally write a song that sums up months of feelings I didn’t even know I was having! It sometimes does all come together in one day though, and forces it’s way out in a song form.

You guys just recently released a new single to your upcoming album, Gone By The Dawn. The single, “Corvette” is beautiful in its pain, and you have talked about how a lot of the album is a reflection on a bad break up. Is the album going to end up being a break up concept album?

Nate Mahan: There’s no concept really, but it’s 100% fueled by a double break up. All the music came out of break ups that Shannon & Cody were going through at the time. It was good emotional fuel for songs, but also the songs were in some ways a tool to grasp all the weird feelings that were happening and express and comprehend them.

You guys are going to be on tour for quite a bit of time. What are you looking forward to most with this particular tour?

SS: Really excited to go the UK! And excited to hit all the cities in the US that we haven’t been to in a few years. NYC is going to be real crazy for CMJ and we’re doing two nights in Chicago. In Austin, we’re playing in a crazy bowling alley pinball barn place, it’s gonna be weird & wild. We love touring in the fall, the weather is so dreamy and mild, romantic.

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