Canadian rock icon Lee Aaron, who is known primarily as a solo artist and songwriter, recently went on the podcast "Side Jams with Bryan Reesman" to talk about her new music as well as outside interests like interior design, art, special education, and neuroscience. She also revealed that she is working on her autobiography.
"I have been writing memoirs off and on for about a decade," she told "Side Jams". "But now I've actually gotten serious about putting them into a book form, and actually going back and addressing incidents throughout my childhood that shaped me to become the artist that I ultimately became. Going back and delving into some of that stuff is like therapy, it's kind of hard. My plan at this point is to have the book released sometime in 2022. But it'll be ready when it's ready. It has to be right. My husband is a writer as well. He used to write for a couple of different publications up here in Canada. He's my greatest critic, my greatest champion, and my best editor. So I've been reading him things as I go along, and he said, 'As long as your story keeps moving forward, that's the most important thing.'"
Lee revealed that before music she was enrolled at Humber College in Toronto in the early 1980s to study interior design, but then she went on the road and her music career took off. But she has maintained that interest.
"I just became very interested in aesthetic, and I guess that kind of relates to performance and stage clothes and the way your stage looks and the lighting and the whole vibe," she explained. "I gotta be honest, I don't want to talk a lot about my childhood, but I felt that there were there's a lot of things I couldn't control when I was a kid. So as I got older, the idea of being able to control my environment became extremely important to me. And so, in the '80s, I had this house in the Toronto area. I had all black leather furniture, obscure Picasso prints all over the wall, the marble table, the halogen lamps. I had this dining room table that was sort of propped up on this unique brick design with glass. Friends would come in my house and they'd go, 'People live here, right? It's not a museum.' At that point, I had no children. So what I can tell you is that after becoming a mother, all of that just went out the window. You want your house to look nice? Forget it. There's just dog hair balls and little fingerprints on everything, and so I had to really get over some of that after I had children. But it is something that's important to me. Now my daughter is kind of into it as well. I have redecorated her room four or five times. When she was a little kid, it was this beautiful purple with angel pictures on the wall. Then she got into Tinker Bell, and I literally painted this whole collage of Tinker Bell on her wall. And then she went hot pink with an Audrey Hepburn black and white picture on her wall. She's had some different things, so she's kind of like a mini-me. Then she had the surf room, all surfing stuff. Now it's just plain white with little garden lights hung across the wall."
Another one of Lee's non-musical interests is drawing and painting which she still does. Back in high school, her 11th grade are teacher thought she was talented enough to skip 12th grade art and go to a grade 13 class. (Ontario had a 13th grade for students who wanted to go to college.) Lee made the leap to the grade 13 class, but her instructor there marked her down and was unnecessarily tough on her.
"He marked me so hard," she recalled. "I was so upset. I went from getting high 90s to getting like 72. He had it in for me. He lectured me. He thought there were essential concepts taught in grade 12 that you just aren't allowed to skip. [He had] no belief in natural talent, he was a by the numbers guy. 'You need to learn this finger drawing concept before you're allowed to draw this, and you've missed that portion of it.' I found it a bit of a difficult art year, that's for sure."
She soon after got sidetracked by music, but she did draw the first Lee Aaron logo. "It's kind of cheesy, but my new logo that I had designed two albums ago kind of hearkens back a little bit to that. I said, 'Let's bring some of the old Lee Aaron vibe back.'"
Aaron was one of the first women in Canada to navigate the male-dominated waters of rock 'n' roll, pioneering the way for a significant number of artists. Her 1989 album, "BodyRock", which was certified double platinum in Canada, was proclaimed by Chart magazine as "one of the 20 most influential Canadian albums of the '80s, with artists like Avril Lavigne, Alanis Morissette and Shania Twain under Aaron's influence."
Lee's 1984 album "Metal Queen" was the first of six albums to appear on leading independent label Attic Records. Aaron's CV also includes ten Juno Award nominations and three Toronto Music Awards for "Best Female Vocalist."
Lee's latest studio album "Radio On!", was released in July 2021 via Metalville Records.