Saucy Lee Aaron Sweetly Talks About Being A Slick Chick

By Matt Mernagh

Flattery will always get you some where in this world and possibly into someone's pants. Having metal goddess turned jazz singer Lee Aaron remark, "You're the only journalist who has said that" to ChartAttack's M&M almost floored him. He stated to his pre-teen idol that he didn't see much of difference between the saucy torch singing on Slick Chick and those found on old Lee Aaron records.

"I feel that way myself actually. I sang in musical productions throughout my schooling. So I was familiar with the Tin Pan Alley writers and Broadway material, but this isn't something you advertise when you are in a hard rock band. That was essentially my training [for hard rock.]" If it wasn't for a chance discovery that resulted in an invitation to join a band named Lee Aaron, she might have not become that metal sex symbol that still strokes many a fantasy.

"When I was 16 a bass player for a local rock band saw me perform and came back and said 'Wow, you have such a strong voice, would you like to audition for our band. I was just a little girl, but I auditioned and got the gig. We were very serious and I decided to go on the road with the rock band after I graduated."

Not knowing a whole lot about torch singing or jazz in general, M&M received a free lesson from the slick chick. "What I love is early jazz that spoke to the people. Vocal jazz is just great songs. They were pop songs of their era. The last 35 years jazz has gone off in a cerebral elitist direction. I think that scares a lot of the mainstream folks away. My agenda really is to choose songs that I feel are great and I can identify with the subject matter. But also to choose songs that will reach people. People who like Lee Aaron as a rock artist."

The difference between the fans who saw her rock out and now is, she says, "They're all sitting at tables drinking cocktails. You have to remember the average Lee Aaron fan isn't 20 anymore." M&M quickly responds, "I'm in my twenties and I'm a fan."

Other notable fans are the Black Halos who have her in their new video, "Some Things Never Fall," dressed as a school teacher. That clearly fulfills a number of teenage fantasies. "I think any woman in her thirties is flattered when young guys are eyeing her. It's really trippy to be in your thirties and having 18-year-old guys in the front row screaming that you're such a hottie."

So if it is not much of a musical stretch for her to perform jazz numbers, why would she venture into this area. "The face of music changed in the early '90s with Nirvana. They completely blew the industry apart and corporate rock went with it. A lot of artists such as myself - I made two [albums] post Seattle movement - both were more alternative sounding albums, but I had been so stereotyped by the big hair corporate rock movement that the industry wouldn't see me in any other light." Even with her album, Slick Chick she gets the metal queen stereotype by lazy journalists and editors.

"For most editors it's real easy to just go 'we need 'Metal Queen' in this headline somewhere? That's something I've grown accustomed to. I can't allow my emotions to get inflamed about that."

Lee Aaron Tour Dates:
April 25 Ste Catherine, QC @ HMV (in-store concert at 1PM)
April 26 Moncton, NB @ 53rd & 3rd
April 27 Fredericton, NB @ Gallery Connexion
April 28 St. John, NB @ Hazen Hall Theatre (University of New Brunswick)
April 29 Charlottetown, PEI @ Arts Guild
May 1 Halifax, NS @ HMV (in-store concert)
May 2 Baddeck, NS @ North River Centre For The Performing Arts
May 3 Halifax, NS @ Marquee Club
May 6 Vancouver, BC @ Rusty Gull
May 8-12 Vancouver, BC @ Cloud 9 Revolving Restaurant
May 13 Vancouver, BC @ Rusty Gull
May 15-19 Vancouver, BC @ Cloud 9
May 20 & 27 Vancouver, BC @ Rusty Gull
June 3 & 8-10 Vancouver, BC @ Rusty Gull
June 15 & 16 Vancouver, BC @ Daddio's on Broadway
June 17 - Vancouver, BC @ Rusty Gull
June 19-21 - Vancouver, BC @ Vancouver Jazz Festival Cloud 9
June 23 Toronto, ON @ Toronto Jazz Festival: Harbourfront Centre
June 25 - July 1 Saskatoon, SK @ Saskatoon Jazz Festival: Earl's Jazz Bar
July 8 Vancouver, BC @ Zev's

© Chart Attack April 24, 2001.