SHANNON AND THE CLAMS INTERVIEW by nickcommoditie

Hey folks and crumblies…here’s a little Shannon and the Clams email interview for yourself! Don’t forget, they’re playing Cafe 11 this Sunday, October 23rd. All the way from Oakland CA, to rock for you!!!

NICKCOMMODITIE: What are your thoughts on your first album? Like it? Dislike it? 10-20 years from now, will it be a definitive Clams album?                                            

Shannon Shaw: I still really like some of the songs, but Ian and Cody think its awful, recording wise. I also wasn’t brave enough to step in and give my advice on songs, recording, extra percussion like I was on sleep talk. I actually feel like I was asleep during the last record and woke up for this one. I have no clue if it will be definitive! Sleep talk is much better…

NC: Where does inspiration for songs come from? Are your songs literal or stories?
 
SS: Inspiration is really different for me and Cody. My inspiration is usually based off an intense feeling or personal experience, whereas Cody’s are typically a really intricate fictional fantasy tale. in addition to being a great song writer, he is an excellent fiction writer! Weird stuff!
 
NC: Is Florida really your favorite place to play or just Cody’s? Why?
 
SS: It is definitely one of our favorite places to play! I guess because its the south plus tropical paradise plus tons of great weirdo punks with cool stories and hidden talents. Its not easy making it to florida either, we always,have to kick and scream to get our booker to wiggle us down there.  http://shannonandtheclams.blogspot.com/2010/11/funny-stuff.html
NC: How come Ian wasn’t on the cover of the second album?Stomach flu? Diarrhea?
 
SS: No, that twerp was on a fancy lad ski vacation with his family in Canada. 
 
NC: What’s it like to be in Hunx and his Punx? Do you miss the Clams when your with them? One crazy Hunx/Punx tour story?
 
SS: I love being in Hunx and his Punx! Its super fun and wild at all times. Once at SXSW, Dean from true panther sounds (hunx’s first label) lent Seth his room key so the Punkettes could change our clothes after swimming in the Omni pool. Changing clothes quickly turned into Seth suggesting we get room service, “us” being Punkettes, Harlem and Teengirl Fantasy plus a few friends. So 13 of us got salads, appetizers, $50 bottles of champagne and eventually dessert. I was so terrified of getting in trouble but it was like we were in some dream world with no consequences. Seth and Amy also tried on Deans jeans and borrowed some underwear. My spidey senses kept tingling till I got so scared I bolted out of the room and away from the Omni. As i jogged out of Dean’s room I passed him in the hallway as he approached. Apparently everyone was still in his bed chugging champagne when he entered. It took him a few minutes to realize what we had done, and people were slowly leaving the room at that time. That’s when the dessert cart rolled in, with one of everything glistening on silver trays. Thats when Dean figured it out and only Hunx was left in the room and Amy who was trapped in the bathroom by the dessert tray! Apparently it was quite a shit storm, but they have made up since then. Another time in Calgary, we played a 5 am after party where everyone was buckwild bun shakin’ wasted (including us) and Seth decided to pee in a huge cup and pass it around the room so everyone could have a swig. Many people did drink it but the second half of the chalis was thrown onto me, Amy and Erin. Gross. 
 
NC: Can you tell us about playing a King Lollipop set with 7 drummers? Do you have plans to make it a full band or lead an orchestral version?
 
CODY BLANCHARD: Ummm, its kinda like having a party in the forest with a bunch of squirrels and raccoons and mice and spiders who are drunk on rotten apples and mushrooms and fairy dust and trying to get them all to play along to a song on hollow logs and tree stumps and stuff. It takes a while to get it right, but eventually, when they are drunk enough, they get into a spooky woodland groove and the sound is overwhelmingy loud and explosive, like feeling the heartbeat of a sleeping giant having nightmares, while you lay on his belly.
NC: What are some of yall’s main influences (musically or non), to name a few?
 
SS: Our influences are The Muppets, old Disney music, Lou Christie and The Tammys, 80’s Thrasher magazine skate comps, Roy Orbison, Ennio Morricone, Bruce Haack, John Williams. 
 
NC: Any favorite tapes or albums to listen to when your on the road?

SS: Yes, lots of Sabbath, Bruce Haack, weirdo mixes my brother makes for me, Hobocop and The Indiana Jones Soundtrack! 

NC: What do you think Shannon and the Clams sound like? It’s always hard for me to explain your awesomeness to people that haven’t heard you before. Any tips or explanations?

SS: I call it weirdo oldies and more galore and Cody says its like heartbreaking oldies performed by muppets who were fired from the show and live in a sewer.

NC: Are there any new Shannnon and the Clams songs unrecorded? When will we see the next release?

SS: No, but we have some unreleased and some we are working on! We have a new unreleased one we have been playing about my dog that died called Ozma that is supposedly getting put on a 7″ split with Mark Sultan. We are building up material to do a 7″ for Nashville’s Dead and Volar records from San Diego, and hopefully we will write a new lp this winter! 

NC: Was it flattering to be invited to Gonerfest this year? Was the band well recieved? How about Bruise Cruise someday?

SS: Wow yes so mega flattering! I still cant believe they wanted us to play and gave us a killer slot too! We did really well there I believe. Sold bun loads of merch and met a million super rad people. Maybe Bruise Cruise. Who knows?! 

NC: Name your 5 favorite records(albums) that came out this year?

SS: Um I’m behind the times, so if I am off by a year or two forgiveth me; Harlem “Hippies”, Peach Kelly Pop, Human Eye, Ty Segall “Melted”, Natural Child! Boy I love them…

NC: How did the look/cover of “Sleeptalk” come about? Is the picture inside the record a homage to E.T. hiding in the closet with all those stuffed animals?        

SS: Totally an E.T. homage! I dont know how we came up with that. We love Bollywood movie posters, legend the movie, fantasy creatures, Edmund Dulac illustrations, playing cards….

NC: Cody has expressed his enthusiasm for “bathroom grafitti/art”. I’ve even noticed he posted some pics from Florida bathrooms on a Clams blog? Do you share the same enthusiasm?

SS: Haha yes! But I take pics and keep them for myself. They can be a great pick me up when feeling down. I think we both have pretty big collections considering we are on the road so much and constantly using public roadside baffrooms.

NC: Did you always want to be in a band/singing/rocking

SS: Yes, but I never ever thought it was possible. Ever. All the men in my family are musicians (including an uncle who had a stint in captain beefheart) and my brothers have always got to do music in school. My mom never let me despite my years of pleading, in fact she doesnt know why to this day she didnt want me to do it. I took matters into my own hands when I was 24 and taught my damn self how to play bass and sing.

NC: What is “You Will Always Bring Me Flowers” about?

S: Secret!

NC:You are going to play in an “oldies cover band” for Bruise Cruise this year. Any songs that are on your list to cover? What is your favorite 

SS: I dont know! Apparently Bruise Cruise is planning on getting a huge list of songs from cruise patrons and we decide from their list! Power to the people!  My favorote oldies song is “Cryin” by Roy Orbison, followed by “24 Sycamore” by Gene Pitney!


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