The Sudbury Star

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Crunchy, melodic power rock

August 18, 2016
Lee Aaron 2016 Promo 03
Lee Aaron will be the headline performer at this Saturday’s Rotary Parkfest being held at Hollinger Park.

Lee Aaron will perform Friday, 8 p.m., at Theatre Cambrian's Sounds of Summer Festival. She answers our 10 Questions.

1. Describe your sound in seven words.

Melodic-crunchy-soulful-fun-rocking-power-pop.

2. How does it feel to still be performing after all these years?

Fantastic. It's more enjoyable than ever because I get to play with great musicians (my band) and, after 12 albums, my set is comprised mostly of hits, so the songs really resonate with most people and bring back great memories. There's a lot of joy in that.

3. You started out in the 80s, if I'm correct. How has music changed since then? Do you miss that time? Why or why not?

Yes, I started recording as a teenager and music has changed a lot. The advent of digital technology has changed the way music is created and delivered to people. Recording a band 'live' off the floor is now considered 'old school,' which is a shame because I feel that in many ways, an era of great musicianship and great songwriting is no longer valued. I also miss the days when DJs had license to discover and play music they liked and 'break' a new band. Those days don't exist anymore. Social media has replaced that, and while that provides equal opportunity for everyone, the down side is you are competing with exactly that: everyone. Umm, what else "¦I don't really miss big hair or spandex.

4. How have audiences changed since you started doing this?

Well, I look out in the crowd and see a more mature audience and think, who are these people? Then I realize, oh wow, this is me. The coolest thing now is that the crowds are more multi-generational than ever before. Last year, I played an all ages show at the Pacific National Exhibition and in the front row was a dad (in his 30's), daughter on his shoulders (6), and granddad (in his 60's), all really digging the music. I also get a lot more women coming to my shows these days. I enjoy sharing funny things about parenting in my posts so there's a connection there that goes beyond the music.

5. What's your most memorable stage moment?

In 1985, I performed at a summer outdoor festival in The Austrian Alps. It was an open-backed stage framing the summit of Mt Kitzsteinhorn. You could clearly see the eastern Glockner mountain range from the stage, and folks were skiing by in swimsuits right behind the crowd. It was like something out of a film, a surreal experience.

6. Name an influence that might surprise readers.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe, gospel singer and guitarist from the 30's and 40's. She is the godmother of rock and roll and totally bad-ass, before bad-ass was even a thing.

7. How do songs come together for you?

My opinion on that changes each passing year. I think the best songs write themselves in like, 15 minutes. If I have to labour too long or try too hard to get a part to work, I'll shelve it. Usually, the music and melody falls together very quickly. Initially, I'll just sing some gibberish over top until I have a clear idea on what the song is supposed to be about. Sometimes, I keep some of that gibberish because it actually makes sense and reflects my first gut reaction to the music. Then I'll demo it in my studio and take more time working with the overall lyric content. Presto: a new song.

8. What are you trying to say through your music?

Know yourself. Get over yourself. Love yourself. Love others. Don't be bitter. Hang in there. Figure out what's important. Have a passion. Stuff like that.

9. Talk about your new album.

Fire and Gasoline is my first studio album since I became a parent a decade ago. I'm very excited about it and think it's some of the best songwriting and production I've ever done. Having kids that are getting into music now, I felt inspired to go back and listen to many of the albums that I listened to as a teen: Fleetwood Mac, Heart, Elton John, David Bowie, The Pretenders and the Rolling Stones. I wanted to make a rock album that had all the qualities that I loved about those old records. Edgy and melodic, as well as thoughtful and fun. I think that pretty accurately describes the new album.

10. What are you reading right now?

Ha, ha. I'm an ADD reader, always working on four or five books at the same time. On my nightstand right now are Clothes, Music, Boys (Viv Albertine),What Neitzsche Really Said (R.C. Solomon, K.M. Higgins), Stitches (Anne Lamott) and In Search of Schrodiger's Cat (John Gribbin). Pretty geeky right?

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