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Loretta and Shannon Shaw meet for the first time both under semi distressing circumstances. For one Shannon has never held a spider and is hindered with a slight fear to the point of arachnophobia. Loretta is safe in her plastic enclosed ecosystem watching the world from a tarantula’s point of view. A crew of people watch as both bodies of life hesitatingly take to each other. First Loretta crawls up Shannon’s forearm passing her sheer chiffon cape, exploring her shoulders until she returns to the artist’s hands, legs slipping through crevasses and gaps with equal awe and fascination. 

Challenged by director Vanessa Pla to overcome her fears literally, the lead vocalist and bassist for the Oakland rock band Shannon and the Clams puts on a brave front while beautifully posing with an entity so powerful that she named her 6th full-length record Year of the Spider.  

 What is the scariest thing you have ever done?

 I think the scariest thing I have ever done is hold this spider in my hand. Her name is Loretta. She is cute, warm and fuzzy. She likes to keep moving. And I am into it. 


What does your album  Year of The Spider represent to you?

Year of the spider encapsulates a few years of my life where all hell was breaking loose. I had so many terrifying things stacking up that I knew I had to make a choice of whether to give in to the fear or find a way to harness it, reframe and find the momentum in it. 


What do spiders represent to you?

Spiders represent, to me, the primitive fear that I think is in everyone and makes you run from what you think is complete chaos. But, if you reframe it, you can choose to see the spider as something gentle and beautiful, that is: a creator.


You have performed so many shows for so many years, how do you still have stage fright? What does stage fright feel like?

Stage fright is a sign that I care a lot, and that everything is still important to me. I remind myself when playing a show or writing music, that it is not just about me or the band, it is a shared experience.


 How do you overcome fear?

How I overcome fear is by just doing it. And kind of telling myself that there’s not a choice and I have to do it, and I’m going to love it. I think a big part of overcoming fear is to not stop and to just keep moving forward. Even if I have to step outside of myself and pretend to be a different person just for a second. I think that there is this person inside of me that is just doing it.



Stills, Directed and edited by / @pukapla

Produced by / @kokontuen

Shot by / @ivygchiu and @hannahvarn3ll

Special thanks to Justine’s Brasserie

Music / Year of the Spider by Shannon and The Clams

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