Shannon & The Clams are gearing up to release their fifth studio album, Onion, on Feb. 16. Their new visual for the song “Did You Love Me” gives a taste of just how unique the project is going to be, as the band transcends genre boundaries to deliver a performance that is impossible to fit into a single category. Influenced by music from the ‘60s, doo-wop and surf, Shannon & The Clams present their “layered” compilation, Onion.
The “Did You Love Me” video takes place at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater in Los Angeles. Lead singers Shannon Shaw and Cody Blanchard talked to Billboard about the shooting the visual, what to expect from the album, and much more. Watch the video check out the band’s upcoming tour dates below!
You can preorder the Onion album here.
You guys have been making music for over a decade now, what are the most significant ways your music has changed over the years?
Blanchard: In this record and our last record, production has definitely gone up. Back then, we were just tryna be ‘60s and have that throwback sound, but on this one I feel we even have a psychedelic feel.
Shaw: I feel like the sound change was natural over the years. I feel a lot more confident in my input and have a lot more confidence in my ideas, and that has allowed me to experiment.
For the “Did You Love Me” video, could you explain the skeletons in the beginning?
Shaw: That was filmed live at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater in Los Angeles. That theater has been there for a really long time. I guess it was a collab with the marionettists. They planned ahead. That was the perfect scenario for us.
Blanchard: When we filmed that we had actually just come back from Europe. Also, we’re massive fans of old Disney, puppets, and things like that. It was a huge honor to play in that place. They have a lot of lost hits you can only hear at that theater.
Shaw: ?I feel like marionetting is such a lost art. If you’re ever in Los Angeles, you have to go check out that theater.
Is this your favorite song off the album?
Shaw: I wrote that song and I do think it’s one of my faves on the album. I just think it’s taking a step back. Simple. It’s stripped down and vocal heavy. That’s the main focus. Other times I kind of try to hide behind the instruments, but on this one I wasn’t.
Some artists take years and years to record a project. What was it like recording the album over ten days?
Blanchard: We recorded some demos a few months earlier at a studio in Seattle.
Shaw: The demos were helpful. I’m an artist too so I know it’s good to do a thumbnail sketch or take a picture so you get a sense of the bigger overall picture. You have so many ideas and sometimes, and when you get to the studio the, a lot of them go out the window.
Blanchard: Onion was recorded in in Nashville. I feel like that studio is set up for an impatient person [laughs]. At [Dan Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound Studio] everything has a mic on it already. That’s the smartest way you can do it. There’s no set up time, so you can record an idea as soon as it happens. Sometimes you’ll lose that spark when you have to wait like 30 minutes for something to be set up.
Cody, a real stand-out lyric on Onion for me was on “I Never Wanted Love” when you sing: “She’s reaching out to me/ but I’m 32 degrees.” What did you mean by that?
Shaw: Yeah, I actually want to know, too.
Blanchard: It’s about being avoidant. There’s a whole book about it called Attached [by Amir Levine]. When you have a desire to be close to people, them you want them to go away. It’s a common psychological thing. You chase someone, until they accept it, then it’s like “Wait, I didn’t want this.” It’s about being icy to someone. But yeah, there’s a whole book that explains it.
Shannon and the Clams tour dates:
Feb. 10 — Vancouver, BC @ Vogue Theatre
Feb. 11 — Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
Feb. 12 — Seattle, WA @ The Showbox
Feb. 14 — San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
Feb. 17 –Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern
Feb. 18 — Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory
Feb. 19 – San Diego, CA @ The Observatory North Park
Feb. 20 — Phoenix, AZ @ The Van Buren
Feb. 22 — Dallas, TX @ Canton Hall
Feb. 23 — Austin, TX @ Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater
Feb. 25 — Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium
March 24 — Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
March 25 — Boston, MA @ House of Blues
March 27 — Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel
March 28 — Port Chester, NY @The Capitol Theatre
March 29 — Toronto, ON @ Danforth Music Hall
March 31 — Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theater
Apr. 2 — Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre
Apr. 3 — St. Paul, MN @ Palace Theatre
Apr. 4 — Kansas City, MO @ The Truman
Apr. 5 — Denver, CO @ Paramount Theatre