In the 1980s, Lee Aaron was among the most highly regarded female vocalists on the hard rock scene. Through albums like Call Of The Wild and Bodyrock she lived up to her epithet as the Metal Queen.
In the mid-90s she switched to a jazz approach, and has been away from rock until now. After taking a break from 2004 to bring up her children, the Canadian is back in the rock groove with new album Fire And Gasoline.
It’s twenty years since your last rock album. Why did you decide to do another one now?
I always knew I would, I just didn’t know when. Meeting guitarist Sean Kelly in 2013 gave me the impetus to go out and do it again.
Why did you turn your back on rock for so long and go in a jazz direction?
I grew up doing musical theatre, performing great songs from jazz and blues. Therefore to me it wasn’t ignoring rock and moving into a different style. I was simply connecting with my roots.
Do you get irritated with being dubbed the Metal Queen?
I’ve a certain frustration whenever diehard fans call me that. I’m not a metal vocalist. I’m more melodic than that. Doro is the real metal queen. But I created the problem by doing an album called Metal Queen in 1984. However, I also have to bear in mind that people mean it as a compliment.
You went bankrupt in 1996. What happened that brought that about?
I made the mistake of taking my manager’s advice, leaving Attic Records and starting my own label, Hip Chic. This was just as grunge was happening, and the business move was a disaster. I was left personally owing more than half a million dollars.
Your daughter helped to write the song Tom Boy for the new record. Is she following in your footsteps?
Well, she wrote two or three lines in the song. What happened was that she asked me when I was gonna write a song for her. That gave me the idea for Tom Boy. She’s now eleven, and plays drums. And my son plays guitar, so I have thought I could have the new White Stripes here.
You first played in England in 1983. What do you remember most vividly from those times?
Meeting Rock Goddess, and getting so drunk that we went back to their rehearsal place and jammed. I ended up on drums. I don’t even play drums! I was so off my head I convinced myself I was a drummer.
In the eighties, do you think people paid too much attention to your looks and not enough to the music?
Yes. I became an object, not a singer. People didn’t even know I wrote my own songs. Things like going topless for a photo shoot in Oui magazine in 1982 didn’t help. Now, I have total control.
What’s the silliest thing you ever got up to on tour?
Too many. There was the time [guitarist] John Albani and I had a fight in a hotel hallway, using fire extinguishers and room service trays. And my first drummer, Brian Wall, once wandered up and down a hotel corridor naked, except for sanitary towels stuck to him. Daft times!