Shannon and The Clams, who last year were one of Lenny Kaye’s Garage Rock’s Next Generation: 10 Bands to Watch, originally started out as a solo project by Shannon. A chance invite to play a party got her thinking about adding members to make a band and The Clams were born. Shannon and The Clams sound like they could have been right at home on any Nuggets and/or Pebbles compilations, but add in surf guitar and guy/girl vocals to a make dreamy pop cocktail soaked in reverb and analog.
Interview by Ed Stuart
Who’s answering the questions?
Where is the band from?
Who is in the band and what instrument do they play?
Shannon plays bass, Cody plays guitar, Nate plays drums.
How did the band start?
The band started out as a solo thing, just me and my bass. I usually only played at open mic nights and eventually was invited to play a party but was too shy to play solo so I recruited a band for the night. I enjoyed it so much more with people in the band that I kept it that way. There have been minor lineup changes, but it's been mostly Cody and I for the beef of the band now. We have a new wonderful drummer named Nate!
Lenny Kaye wrote an article for eMusic titled Garage Rock’s Next Generation: 10 Bands to Watch. What was the band’s reaction to being on the list and being the photo choice for the article? Did Kaye or eMusic let the band know about the article or did you find out another way?
We were on tour in Europe at the time and no one thought to tell us! We saw people writing about it on the Internet, some people scoffing, some people rejoicing. We finally saw a really nice post about it from our first record label and tried looking the article up on our crappy cell phones using poor Wi-Fi in the mountains and couldn't get it. I didn't get to see till we returned 5 or so weeks later. I was insanely flattered of course. It was a total honor; I mean, Nuggets was my personal soundtrack for many years and opened my eyes to a lot more music. This is true for so many amazing musicians I know. I don't think we sound at all like Goldie and the Gingerbreads but I loved the Chocolate Watchband reference.
Why the decision to release the new LP Dreams in the Rat House on Hardly Art Records instead of 1-2-3-4 Go! Records, which were the bands, label home for the previous two LP’s and a slew of singles?
I have worked with Hardly Art with my other band Hunx and his Punx and love them as well. We just wanted to try something new for The Clams. It's been going well with both labels.
Which compilation does the band feel is more essential to a record collection, Nuggets or Pebbles?
Nuggets, of course.
Cody, songs such as “Warlock in the Woods” and “The Woodsman” have such in-depth background stories, do you do any other kind of writing besides songwriting?Yes, he is the most amazing short story writer. I would love to someday collaborate on a book of new fairy tales with his stories and my illustrations. It would be really cool.