Lee Small is one of the premier vocalists in the game today. He's a tremendously in-demand singer that has a voice full of soul, style and power. Lee has been part of Lionheart as well as Shy, Sweet and the Phenomena project. Also, a solo performer with several records under his own name, he has stepped out recently with a new AOR record that will undoubtedly put his name on the map in even bigger letters.
The Last Man On Earth is already one of the best records of 2023 (to be released May 26th on Metalville Records) and I can't see many others reaching its heights. Containing 13 spectacular songs, this set charges out of the gate with the amazing title track and keeps roaring with Lee's exceptional voice carrying the load throughout. Each song is memorable enough to keep you humming them throughout your day and the vibe is varied enough that you get a set of well-rounded ear candy.
I couldn't wait to talk to Lee to find out more about this amazing record. Here's what he had to say about it.
antiMusic: Congratulations on a great record. I would guess that, like Chameleon, it was at least partly produced as a result of the global shutdown giving you a good opportunity to write. How did this record come together?
Lee: Thank you. Yes it gave us a lot of time to focus on music, which was something positive in tough times. I had started co-writing some songs with Australian songwriter Sony Stevan which gave birth to this record.
antiMusic: While Southern Wind was in the vein of classic rock, Chameleon was more of a reggae-fest. The Last Man on Earth goes back to more of an AOR format. What was the thought process in going in this direction, something that you're quite well known for?
Lee: I am a musical chameleon, there's so many different sides to my musical personality. Because of this I seem to be able to get away with changing musical directions to explore the need to fulfil my creativity. Until this point I had never done an AOR record as a solo artist so I thought the time was right to make that happen.
antiMusic: Tell us about the title track. Excellent vocals and a powerful chorus. How did this song come about?
Lee: Thank you. I am a lover of classic movies, especially horror and sci-fi. The title came from an old Vincent Price movie, I thought visually it would give us so many options, but the actual song is about a volatile relationship.
antiMusic: "Neon Heartbeat" is like a runaway horse --- great energy. This would be a terrific set opener. Tell us about putting this one together.
Lee: This is my tribute to one of the best cult movies of all time, The Warriors from Coney Island NY.
antiMusic: Without a doubt, my favourite track on the record is "Let's Go Together". I can't get that damn chorus out of my head --- I go to sleep with it running through my brain and it's there when I wake up. Absolutely outstanding! What can you tell us about this song?
Lee: Yes, its such a great song. It was originally recorded in 1985 by a pop band called Change. I think it was their only hit, but such a lovely song we wanted to cover it.
antiMusic: A close second for my top slot on this record is "You're Not the Only One". You can certainly craft a memorable song! What's the background on this one?
Lee: I have to thank Sony for this one. It was from a cult 80's movie which I had never heard of called Knights of the City. He like myself loves films so we decided to cover this. I wished I had written this too.
antiMusic: "Here We Go Again" is a great pace-changer and reminds me of your shut-down sessions with the Stevie Wonder songs --- with also a nod to Glenn Hughes. How did it come together?
Lee: Sony came up with the chords, etc. It had a great west coast vibe to it, which is a big part of my make-up so it was so easy to find the right melodies/lyrics for it and it also shows the other side to my voice too.
antiMusic: "In and Out of Love" is in the same mode with a terrific chorus. I love that descending guitar line on the chorus along with that really tasty solo. This is a great showcase for the emotion you can put into a vocal. What's the background on this song?
Lee: This one is my nod to the late Gary Moore. I loved Corridors of Power when I was young, and wanted to write something with the same emotion and feel as he had created all those years earlier. The solo is incredible and played by Jim Politis.
antiMusic: "Heaven Sent" is a beautiful song. I love the unexpected chord change for the chorus. Tell us about his one.
Lee: So many who have heard the album so far single this track out as a favorite. Again, it shows Sony's musical background and mine too. Very Toto --- Bobby Kimball days I like to think.
antiMusic: "Revolution Road" features vocals by Dan Reed. How did this collaboration come about?
Lee: Dan was a big inspiration to me --- a big influence. When "Revolution Road" was written, I could hear Dan all over this one. A friend knew him so I asked to be put in contact with him. I played him the track and he loved it. He also played Moog bass & helped arrange it too.
antiMusic: "The Big Unknown" is a great closer and you sing the crap out of it. What's the genesis of this song?
Lee: Thank you. It's a beautiful song written for Sade. I had to record it as there was so much room and space in it for my soulful side to embrace.
antiMusic: With such an over-abundance of riches, what's your favorite track on the record?
Lee: That's a high compliment indeed. It's very hard to pick a favorite, although I do love "You're Not The Only One" and "Wings of Destiny".
antiMusic: Any plans to do solo shows to promote this?
Lee: I would love to but sadly my health isn't great. I'm recovering from a heart attack I suffered in February. I'm doing ok now and on the mend but not strong enough to front some solo shows at the moment sadly.
antiMusic: As a very in-demand vocalist, what else do you have on the go that you can tell us about?
Lee: There's so much happening --- a new Lionheart album in the final mixing stages. I sing on an album by Atack out soon on Escape Music. I also sing on an album just signed to Frontiers records called Kings Crown with some Swedish musicians. There's a brand new Sweet album out soon too --- first new music for a while and a brand new Phenomena record coming out soon by Tom Galley which I'm on too, so quite a few things coming soon.
Morley and antiMusic thank Lee for taking the time to do this interview.