I fired some questions at Lee Aaron, Canadian rock-music icon and South Surrey resident:
Have you kept all your old "Metal Queen" costumes?
"Funny you ask, because my mom recently sent me the actual outfit from the video. She was cleaning out her basement and discovered it in a box with a bunch of other archived Lee Aaron stuff. I’m hanging on to it because you never know when postapocalyptic, barbaric, warrior princess street wear will make a comeback."
What do your kids say when they see the videos you made in the 1980s?
"One day my daughter came home from school and told me that a boy in her class was talking about her mom’s video with the giant robot thingy. I assumed she meant ‘Metal Queen,’ with the aluminum drum riser we had constructed that was supposed to look like this epic tarantula with laser-beam eyes. It ended up looking far more like a giant tin turtle, and it wobbled all over the place. After about two minutes of YouTube she said, ‘Is that it – is that what Jayden’s taking about, that thing?’ Apparently you just can’t compete with CGI."
Most people probably don’t know that you joined a band called Lee Aaron and then changed your name to that. Was that confusing for people?
"Ha, it was confusing for me. People everywhere just started calling me Lee Aaron and the name sort of became synonymous with myself. My kids think it’s kinda weird when people call their mom ‘Lee’ – except for the time when the cool guy who works at the Guilford LEGO Store recognized me and they got free stuff."
When and why did you move to B.C. and South Surrey, in particular?
"In my touring years, I always loved the natural beauty of the West Coast and thought it would be the ultimate place to raise a family. I still think it is."
Are you still singing jazz standards, as you did in the mid-2000s?
"Yes, but not exclusively. I love jazz and still get calls to perform from The Great American Songbook. It’s fun to get my Anita O’Day on once in a while."
What was it like being part of the album and book "Metal on Ice: Tales from Canada’s Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Heroes" in 2013?
"It was so much fun reminiscing about that period of rock history, and the subsequent CMW concert reconnected so many of us again. Probably the best thing to come out it was the great friendship and writing partnership I forged with Sean Kelly, the book’s author. He is a fantastic guitarist and we ended up co-writing half my forthcoming rock record together, and he’s performing in my live band."
What’s on your iPod right now? "You mean smart-phone, right?
Jack White, Will Butler, the new Sufjan Stevens, Courtney Barnett, Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters… new stuff mostly."
What’s was the first ever concert you attended as a fan?
"Max Webster played my high school when I was a sophomore. That was the first concert I ever went to. Those guys made freaks and geeks feel normal."
And the most recent concert?
"I have tickets right now for the opening night of U2’s world tour here in Vancouver, and Sufjan Stevens at the Orpheum. Yippee!"
What’s next for Lee Aaron?
"After taking a decade off recording to raise my children, I’m back in the studio tracking a brand new rock album! I also have some West Coast concerts this summer; on Aug. 22, I’ll be on the Chevrolet Performance Stage at the PNE. We’re in the process right now of making this awesome drum riser that’s like a giant squid thingy…kidding."