Home Interviews Interviews Internationale ENTREVUE AVEC LEE AARON



J’ai eu la chance de m’entretenir cette semaine avec Lee Aaron, la “Metal Queen” canadienne, à propos du lancement de son album TATTOO ME, disponible dès le 26 avril prochain, ainsi que de sa présence sur les Plaines dans le cadre du FEQ cet été. Voici ce qu’elle avait à dire.


Dans cet entretien, la célèbre chanteuse canadienne Lee Aaron nous parle de premier album de reprises, intitulé TATTOO ME, notamment inspiré par Led Zeppelin et les légendes du rock féminin, Heart.

Elle nous parle d’ailleurs de son expérience de tournée auprès des sœurs Wilson, Ann et Nancy ainsi qu’avec les Bad Boys du Rock n’ Roll, Mötley Crüe, avec qui elle partagera la scène le 14 juillet prochain sur les Plaines d’Abraham, dans le cadre du Festival d’été de Québec.

Nous avons aussi discuté de ses plans pour célébrer l’anniversaire de son album Metal Queen, qui fête ses 40 ans cette année, ainsi que de ce qu’elle nous réserve pour son spectacle au FEQ cet été.

Félix Gauthier: I wanna start off by thanking you as well as your team for this amazing opportunity. As a fan of your music, it’s an absolute honor to get to do this with you today.

Lee Aaron: My pleasure! I love talking to new people and sometimes, the older journalists just ask me the same questions over and over, so it might be neat to have a new perspective.

F.G: 40 years and over 15 records after the release of your debut album in 1982, your newest effort, TATTOO ME comes out about a week from now, on April 26th. It’s your first cover album, right?

L.A: I think it’s actually my 19th album total, but I think it’s my 16th studio album, because I’ve had a couple of best of’s, the Christmas album and a jazz album. But yeah I’m pretty excited, I’ve never done a covers record before, and this is a full covers record. The cool thing is a lot of people think a cover album is easy peasy, you just record another person’s song. But there’s definitely a bit of an art to being an interpreter, you know.

F.G: Absolutely! I’ve been in cover bands when I was younger and you really gotta make the songs your own! You’ve described it as a tribute to musical pioneers who helped shape your own musical direction. So I wanted to know, what bands did you grow up on?

L.A: Well a lot of Led Zeppelin and a lot of Heart!

F.G: Yeah! You also just released a cover of Heart’s “Even it Up” as the 2nd single from the album. What’s your relationship with Heart and what made you pick this one out of their catalogue? Any special connection to this one in particular?

L.A: Seriously, Ann and Nancy Wilson were such inspirations to me when I was a teenager. They were about a decade older and they were just fierce women. They were playing their instruments, singing incredibly and writing their own songs with the band. They were equal members of a band at that point in time and that’s all I ever wanted to be. To be a woman, write my own songs, go out there and do my thing and be taken seriously as a musician. What I also loved about them is that they weren’t dressed in, like, you know, lingerie. Like a lot of the 80’s women got sort of pushed into this by the record companies, where they were really convinced that they had to dress really sexy and be poster girls, the 80’s marketing of female rockers, right? The Wilson sisters were always very classy and they never trailed on their sexuality. I loved that, that’s who I wanted to be.

They were huge influences of mine. I didn’t have a big adventure with them, but I’ve played a show or two with them, and met them on a couple of occasions and they were just really amazing and very respectful. I played with them in the early 2000’s, I think 2006 or 2007. I shared a stage with them at a festival and backstage, Ann Wilson was very complimentary after I came off stage I mentioned something to her. I said “You were so influential to me, I wish I had your voice.” and she was like “ Girl, you could sing anything you want”. She heard me perform, this was such a huge compliment and so nice to hear that from her.

Nancy Wilson and I sat around, when I played with them, my kids were about 2 and 3 [years old] and her sons with Cameron Crowe were like 10 or 12 years old, so we talked a lot about being rock n’ roll women and mothers, as well. How do you make that work in your life? How do you become a parent as a female rocker? With all the male rockers, their wives stay home and look out after the babies while the men go on the road. When you’re a woman, it’s infinitely harder to find a balance of your artistry and your motherhood in your life. She called it being a “Weekend Warrior”. You know, all week long you’re there for school, the soccer games, making lunches, taking them to school, you know. On Friday you get on an airplane and you go do a couple shows over the weekend and then you come back home.

F.G: Especially with your husband [Lee Aaron drummer, John Cody] being on the road with you as well, right?

L.A: Yeah I had to scale all my touring back when my kids were little, to make it work. I still did tour, but a lot less than I did in the past. I couldn’t get on a bus and go out there for 6 weeks at a time. It just felt impossible. I didn’t want my children to end up in therapy when they were 30 saying “My mom was never around” you know. As much as I love music, and I’m still doing it, you realize when you have children, really this is my most important job, being a mother and raising these little humans to be good people, right?

F.G: You’re expected to take the stage on Canada’s biggest stage this summer during Festival d’Été here in Québec on July 14th! Last time you played FEQ was in 2019, at Manège Militaire for the Foo Fighters aftershow. How are you feeling about playing the big stage this year? Are you excited? Are you nervous?

L.A: I’m stoked, are you kidding! When they called me and originally, they were asking me to open for Kansas and I said “ Okay I’ll do that” and then they called me back and they said “Actually we changed our mind, we want you to open for Mötley Crüe” and I was like “Hell Yeah!”. That’s pretty pretty exciting, we are very excited. It’s been probably 40 years since I played with Mötley Crüe. In the beginning stages of my career, as a very young girl, I did some concerts, I think in Rimouski and maybe, Sherbrooke, QC. They were doing some arenas. It was a wonderful experience. I know that they have a reputation of being the bad boys of rock n’ roll, but when I worked with them they were such nice people, very respectful of me. Like, we were just an up and coming band, we were totally broke. We were driving this old rundown van and we had really crappy gear. We were doing a soundcheck and Tommy Lee came out and saw our drummer’s drum kit and he had like old drum heads. Tommy Lee at that time had a sponsorship for drumheads and he got a brand new set of heads for him. Again we were starving artists, we were so broke in like 1984, and they were so nice and I’m really looking forward to seeing them again.

F.G:Speaking of 1984, this year marks the 40th anniversary of your album Metal Queen! Do you have anything planned for the occasion?

L.A: So I’ve been talking back and forth to my merchandise guy because we’re thinking of doing a special line of Metal Queen anniversary merch. So people can buy a 40th anniversary shirt, things like that. Of course Metal Queen will be in my show when I play in Quebec. But we’re headed to Switzerland in November to do a special show where we’ll be revisiting a bunch of material from the album. It’s a funny thing cause a lot of bands now are going out and playing an album in its entirety for the anniversary. But we felt that that probably wasn’t appropriate for us because I had songs off other albums that actually were bigger hits than the Metal Queen album, like Whatcha Do To My Body, Hands On and Only Human, so I have a bit of a dynamic with my audience if I don’t play those songs, there’s gonna be people that are disappointed.

F.G:Before we close this out I’d love to know your take on the state of rock! Is rock n’ roll dead/dying? What do you think of newer bands, a soft spot for a newer artist? Are there any artists you’ve yet to collaborate with that you would love to record or tour with? And why?

L.A: Well I’ve said it many many times. Jack White who I think is an Incredible guitar player.I love The White Stripes and The Raconteurs and pretty much everything he did too. I love his cool style of bluesy rock. But there’s some female Canadian girl rockers now that are really brilliant, you know. I don’t know if you listen to much of The Beaches, they’re a little more pop, JJ Wilde, who’s got a great voice and I think all of them are incredible. You know what I love? In this modern age now, it’s completely one hundred percent acceptable for women to all play their instruments, write their own songs and put it out there, be forward with their sexuality, there’s no rules anymore. When I was a young girl making music and hard rock, there were these rules about what women weren’t supposed to do. All of us women in the 80’s, cause there was basically just a handful of us doing hard rock, like around the world, we had to break down all those barriers and I love the fact that I was able to be a part of a legion of elite women that broke down those walls for more females rockers to come forward.

F.G:Last but not least, do you think glam/hair metal still has its place in today’s climate, especially from a woman’s point of view?

L.A: Glam metal and hair metal still have their place. But you know, the reality is, there were some bands, especially in the early 80’s, where the hair metal and glam metal was very authentic. And it suddenly became very popular and unfortunately by the mid to late eighties the record companies thought there was still so much money to be made from the sale of physical products. They tried to fabricate bands that were in this genre. So I think there are genuine bands that are great at that, and by the late eighties it was a bunch of shite. But I think there is still a real place for those bands that were truly authentic.

F.G: Would you say things have changed for the better for women in the music industry?

L.A: Well, you see a lot more female producers. Like I am a producer. I’ve produced all my albums since 2000. You see more women on the industry side of it. Especially in the genre of metal and hard rock, you see way more female-fronted acts that are able to be taken seriously.
When I started, it was really hard, not only to have your voice heard in the studio, but also in the boardroom. But I think it’s wonderful that there’s more women. You know what you don’t see a lot of. You don’t see a lot of women headlining festivals. You see male artists, and then women that are opening up, or somewhere in the middle. I’d love to see the scales tip. It’s still more male dominated. And I’d love to see more equality. It’s getting better but there’s still a long way to go.

Entrevue réalisée par Felix Gauthier



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