Earlier this month, Shannon Shaw (founder of Shannon and the Clams) dropped her very first solo album, Shannon In Nashville. This solo project was produced by the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach and features musicians who have breathed life into Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Willie Nelson, John Prine, and more. Just before her new music was finally released, we had a chance to speak with Shannon to hear more all about her solo endeavor.

The Bay Bridged: Writing your songs seemed to have been very cathartic. After you finished putting this debut album together, what have you learned about yourself?

Shannon Shaw: I’ve learned to be open and excited about new and mysterious opportunities and to try not to waste time fretting and living in fear.

TBB: What was it like for you to go out as a solo artist versus being surrounded by your bandmates?

SS: Scary! I realized how much I depend on them for comfort and support. They’re my closest friends as well as like brothers. I needed to find a way to be alone and happy with that. In the studio I wasn’t even actually alone and realized ‘alone’ was the mindset I’d assigned myself. I was joining a new team, really.

TBB: (When your album was) just about ready to be out to the public, what thoughts (were) running through your mind knowing it’ll be out there and no longer a secret?

SS: It’s such a different sound than the Clams that I, of course, fear a backlash. I don’t really think there will be one, that’s just the nasty little voice in my head that keeps me moving, motivated and working hard. Doing something really different always makes me feel vulnerable, like taking off your clothes for the first time or something. This past week leading up to all this, I’ve gotten a calm feeling, maybe because I rehearsed the songs like crazy, but I feel happy and proud and confident in the work we did at Easy Eye with in Nashville.

TBB: What do you hope to see in your future as a solo artist and possibly even your future with your other projects?

SS: I would love to just keep doing this! I’m grateful that this is my job, I officially am doing what I love and feels good and makes other people feel good.

Shannon and the Clams will head out on tour this month.