Interview with Drummer Athena Lee
by Tina Hall
May 2011

Athena Lee

Athena Lee

Athena lee is, without a doubt, one of the best, and perhaps well renowned female drummers. While she’s known as Tommy Lee’s little sister, she is also a great drummer in her own right, being the first female drummer in history to be nominated for the L.A Music Awards. She recently signed on to Rockett Drums Works (owned by Rikki Rockett of Poison) and Regal Tip Drumsticks. Not one to be limited to music, she is also working on the upcoming television show, Ex-Wives Rock and penning her first book. Maximum Ink sat down with her recently to find out what her fans can look forward to next.

Maximum Ink: You have said that when growing up with Tommy, there was never a dull moment. Do you think his outlook on things left a lasting impression on you? What would you say is your fondest memory from your childhood?
Athena: Of course. We were just really weird, funny kids. I have a lot of fond memories. I can remember being in my crib and getting a Lucy (Peanuts) doll for my birthday. I loved that thing and a blue stuffed dog I had forever. He was so ugly and destroyed, but I loved him. I also loved the smell of Halloween, all of it pumpkins, masks, wax lips, candy, and I still do.

MI: You have said that you are more of a girly girl than most people would think. Do you think your mother who was a beauty queen had anything to do with that? Did she encourage you from an early age to find beauty in all things?
A: No, that had nothing to do with it. I was a tomboy for most of my childhood. I liked to play rough and with the boys. I didn’t start getting girly until I started to see boys as more than something to punch.

MI: What are your feelings on beauty in general? Do you think today’s media places undue pressure on females in particular to look a certain way? What advice would you give others who might be struggling with the concept of that?
A: I just think everyone has something of their very own that is beautiful about them. Some people have ugliness too, but that absolutely nothing to do with looks. It all comes from the inside.

MI: How has your life at this point changed the most since your earlier days?
A: I’m the same, only wiser.

MI: On a personal level, what would you say is the most important thing you have learned from past experiences?
A: One major thing I just recently learned is to make yourself number one. Never live for someone else— I’m not talking about children, I am talking about another adult.  Know who you are and what you like. Be that and do that because as much as you like to think you know someone you never really do. They are their own person too and can change on a blink. I’m not saying to be selfish. In fact, it is the opposite of selfish because if you know who you are, you are not fooling someone into thinking anything else but what you show them.

MI: Do your children enjoy seeing you at work? What do you feel is the most important thing for mothers to pass on to their children?
A: Yup, my children enjoy seeing me at work. There is no one most important thing for me to pass onto my children. Life is crazy and as long as they are happy, good people with strong morals and handle themselves with dignity, pride, and class the rest should fall into place.

MI: How are you liking working with Rikki over at Rockett Drum Works? What is he like as a person? They do produce some truly gorgeous drums? Do you consider yourself lucky to be associated with such a company?
A: Oh, I love me some Rikki. He is a great friend and person all around. We have a ton of fun together. I love all the other guys at Rockett Drums too, such as Brendan and Beav. Yes, I’m a lucky girl.

MI: How is your work on the book coming? Did you ever imagine you’d be writing one of those? When can your fans expect it to hit stores?
A: It’s coming along. Life changes so fast sometimes without your permission, so I’ll be making some changes on it. I never thought I’d be doing this. My biggest reason for doing the book is for the people closest to me, my family and kids, to get to really know the real me— not just what they see or hear from others, but the real truth straight from me. They will understand why I did or do some of the things I do. Hopefully it will be out before the end of this year.

MI: You are also working on the television show Ex-Wives Rock. Are you enjoying it? What can viewers expect from that?
A: I love it. I am so lucky to be getting the chance to be surrounded by friends and do something really cool together. People can expect everything. It’s all there, good, bad, fun, sad, and a whole lot of funny. They will also see that we weren’t these little gold digging dumb asses living off guys we were with. There was no gold to dig, trust me. We all have our own lives, our own minds, our own jobs, our own families, our own everything, and we rock.

MI: Anything you’d like to say to your fans in closing?
A: Thank for caring and taking the time to read this. Have a wicked summer, and I’ll be seeing you soon.

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