Lee Aaron – interview about her Christmas album ALMOST CHRISTMAS
Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Stephan Burmeister at Flying Dolphin Entertainment UG for setting up the interview. Thanks to Metalville Records for providing the promo pictures of Lee Aaron and band.
Last year the Metal Queen Lee Aaron recorded a Christmas album, however, her label wasn’t able to release it and it could only be purchased on her website. This year the album is being re-released by her label Metalville Records worldwide. This second release of the Christmas album is out now with two bonus tracks added as well as with a different cover artwork and liner notes added. I had the pleasure to once again talk to Aaron and here comes a shorter interview with her that handles the work on the album and how it came about, the bonus songs and how she picked out the songs for ALMOST CHRISTMAS. It’s a great Christmas album and if you want to get into the holiday spirit I suggest you buy it right now. Read on to see what Lee Aaron have to say…
Hi Lee, thanks for taking the time making this interview today, it’s an honor to once again have you on the line 🙂
Hi, thanks for having me again.
Last time we spoke I asked you about the Christmas album ALMOST CHRISTMAS and you told me it was your guitarist Sean that came up with the idea for you to make a Christmas album, how come you tagged along on his idea?
As a band, we LOVE the Christmas season and had spoken many times about the idea of doing a Christmas album – we just never seemed to find the time to do it. After COVID hit, and there were virtually NO live shows, we were dying for a ‘home’ DIY project. When Sean mentioned a Christmas CD, it seemed like the perfect thing to cheer us all up and keep us busy. Turns out, our fans really liked the idea too 🙂
How did you know what songs you wanted to feature on the album?
Ha, ha, I didn’t. I knew that I didn’t want to re-do all the same songs everyone has done over and over again and I wanted it to have lighthearted as well as serious elements. My husband (and drummer) and I spent the weekend pouring over his massive music collection listening to hundreds of Christmas songs. When I heard one that felt just right for the band, I chose it. It also seemed like a perfect idea to do a new version of “Peace On Earth. ” It wasn’t originally a Christmas song but has been adopted as one by many stations and video channels over the years. The message of that tune – one of universal hope – still seemed very relevant as well.
The album contains songs originally made by Joni Mitchell, Louis Armstrong and Pet Shop Boys but have you written any of the other songs yourself?
Yes! We added 2 new original bonus tracks for the 2021 release. The song “Almost Christmas” and “More Fun On The Naughty List.” It was really fun to write some original Christmas songs. “Peace on Earth” is also a 1991 original, re-recorded and updated for 2021.
Is it correct that you and the band recorded each parts separately in your own studios last year? How was that?
It was a learning curve for sure. I like to do my albums where the bed tracks are all recorded with the band playing ‘live off the floor’ in the same room. ALL my albums have been recorded that way. But at the time, we were all in lock-down so that was not possible. Most of the tracks were started with guitar and click track – then we added drums – then bass – then vocals – then more guitar and keyboard parts etc. We sent a lot of files back and forth but I compiled all the final tracks in my own home studio, did all the editing and prepared it all for mixing. I’m a bit of a studio geek that way. Then our wonderful friend Frank Gryner from Toronto mixed it.
The album was originally released last year and is now re-released, were there many fans that bought it through your website last year?
Last year we offered it via the website only because there no time to secure a distribution deal in time – most labels need a minimum of 4 months lead time and we had only started recording in late September. The fans that follow me on Facebook and Instagram were aware of the album, but we felt it deserved a global release this year to reach a wider audience.
Do you think you managed to “rock up” this Christmas album and give it a little more spice compared to the more generic Christmas albums that are released this time of year?
We hope so! I don’t think anyone wants to hear Lee Aaron sing “Silent Night” for the one thousandth time. We hope people will discover some fun, non-traditional tunes that will become new, rock ‘n’ roll Christmas favorites.
Your label Metalville Records is now releasing the album in stores, are you happy to get it out to the crowd?
Absolutely! I’d always wanted to create a Christmas album so I’m so happy it’s getting worldwide distribution this year. The thing about a Christmas album is that it’s timeless. It never goes out of style and new fans can discover it year after year.
On this re-release, there are two bonus songs added in “Almost Christmas” and “More Fun On The Naughty List” are those two songs newly recorded or recorded last year?
Those songs were written and recorded this year (2021) especially for the re-release. It also has a different cover and updated liner notes. We felt we needed to add something special to the new version, just in case our core fan group, who bought the CD last year wanted to pick it up again. I know that many of them already have.
What can you tell the readers about the video to the song “Everything’s Gonna Be Cool This Christmas”?
Once again, I would have loved to have had the whole band in the video but we were restricted by COVID and distance. Frank Gryner, (who is also our video guru) suggested a ‘driving’ video, which I thought was a great idea. The music seemed to lend itself to a video that involved fast motion. Surprisingly, it was actually filmed in a stationary vehicle, and Frank later added all the digital wizardry and made me look as though I was driving through a snowy, northern scene. It’s pretty amazing what can be done these days with CGI. I think the video says rock ‘n’ roll, Christmas and happiness, which is what we wanted.
Everything’s Gonna Be Cool This Christmas official video
Are you happy with the outcome of the re-release?
Yes, very. Again, a Christmas album is something that people can discover and re-discover year after year.
You got three dates booked in Europe next year at the Sweden Rock Festival, Indoor Summer in Germany and Festival De Vouziers in France, are you excited to meet your European fans? Any other shows booked in Europe so far?
Just those 3 so far. I’m so excited to get back to Europe to play! And I LOVE to meet the fans. One of my favorite parts of performing is getting to shake hands and meet the fans that love our music. The last concert I did in Canada would not allow a meet-and-greet due to COVID restrictions, so I’m hoping things will be better for our Europe shows!
Almost Christmas official lyric video
Well that was all for me and metal-rules.com this time around, thanks once again for taking the time making the interview and it was great fun to have the opportunity to speak to you again. Merry Christmas and do you have anything you would like to say to the fans and readers before we say goodbye?
Merry Christmas and see you at SWEDEN ROCK June 9th!!! XOXO