Adam Lambert is the reason why American Idol on FOX is the top reality talent show on television. Adam represents everything that you crave from a musician such as impeccable vocals, talent, charm, and always undaunted performances. Adam Lambert’s album, For Your Entertainment, is available now and features collaborations with the best of the best song writers like Pink, Lady Gaga, Matthew Bellamy of Muse, Justin Hawkins from The Darkness, Linda Perry, and Kara DioGuardi to name just a few. Generally, when I listen to an album I hear a couple of songs that I really like and then the rest I always skip past but For Your Entertainment is not that kind of an album. Each song has its own vital sign but as unique as they are to each other they come together in unity as a whole. There isn’t a shady song in the bunch! So, if you want an album with no fluff but pure genius pick up a copy, if you don’t already own it. Adam’s vocal range is astonishing and I can’t wait to see him live. Check out Adam Lambert’s Glam Nation Tour!!
I spoke with Adam Lambert on a press call about his album, For Your Entertainment, and his current Glam Nation tour. He had a lot of interesting things to say and took the time to answer all of our questions. It was a pleasure to speak with him and not only is he an incredible artist but he is an exceptional human being.
Lena Lamoray: Now your album is absolutely amazing.
ADAM LAMBERT: Thank you.
Lena Lamoray: You’re welcome. So what was your experience like recording it and being able to collaborate with so many talented people?
ADAM LAMBERT: It was really exciting. I think that for me one of the things that makes getting signed to a major label really exciting is that you have the access to working with some of the best producers in the business. And as a lover of pop music I have always realized that that’s really the key is that you bring your talent to the table and your ideas to the table and you can work with people that make things just sound incredible. And so that was probably the highlight for me.
More Conference Call Interview Highlights:
Q: Is it easier for you to emote the songs that you wrote yourself versus some that were written for you?
Adam Lambert: I think usually when I write music I write from personal experiences. So it is definitely a little more familiar to me, whatever emotion I was writing about. But I will also say that all the songs that were chosen for the album are ones that I felt like I could relate to. So if I couldn’t feel like I could emote them I didn’t want to put them on the album, so I think I can emote all of them. But obviously the ones that I write are the ones that come from a personal experience.
Q: Can we expect any collaborations on the tour this year?
Adam Lambert: As of now, it’s pretty much me collaborating with my band and my dancers for the time being. But you never know. Things may change. I don’t set anything in stone.
Q: Can you tell us more about the show itself? I guess the look and how you’re going to approach it that way? And also the repertoire, what else are we going to hear besides the songs from the album?
Adam Lambert: There is a surprise cover in there, one or two. But I’m kind of leaving them as wonderful surprises (as a way to place) the show. And then the show itself was actually – it’s being visually inspired by kind of like a blend of turn of the century New Orleans meets like psychedelic classic rock. I had a lot of fun with the projectionist and my costume designer and we’re working with a fashion line called Skin Graft Designs, which I have worn a lot of their pieces in the past on Idol and since then. And yeah, it kind of has its own little world.
Q: Are people who were up in arms about your AMA performance going to be comfortable at this show? Or should they stay home?
Adam Lambert: I definitely think they will be comfortable. That was kind of an artistic experiment, the AMAs, and I learned a lot from it. I learned kind of what my limitations are. I learned what my audience wants to see. And there is definitely – the concert definitely is sexy. But I feel like if anybody felt that that was not tasteful, this is tasteful.
Q: You mentioned a few questions ago about your inspiration or your vision for the Glam Nation tour but what in your mind, like what shows did you see growing up, what tours did you see that you wanted to do this for your first headlining tour that maybe inspired you or influenced you or in your mind, this is kind of carrying on the tradition of? Anything come to mind?
Adam Lambert: Yeah. I definitely have always loved like the big pop tours, people like Michael Jackson and Madonna and even my first tour that I ever saw was Paula Abdul. People that put on a show, you know what I mean? They take their music and they create a visual and a story and a theme and they kind of reinterpret maybe a song both musically and visually to kind of give it a context and that is something that is really important to me. And also I think that my background in musical theater really came into play a lot with this production. I definitely wanted it to be first and foremost about the music but a close second is giving the audience something to look at and giving them a reason why okay, this is the next song in the set, this is the next song. There is definitely like a thematic through line throughout the show.
Q: You have a lot of fans that are going to multiple shows and everyone is wondering are you going to mix it up at all and change the set list or do anything different?
Adam Lambert: It’s not like a set plan to change things but we have all talked about it, my band and I and the dancers and there are going to be shifts in song selection and what not. We have a big acoustic section in the middle of the show, which I’m really looking forward to as like a way to kind of just cool down and really connect with the audience. And that section in particular will probably vary from night to night and week to week.
Q: Second albums have been sort of tricky for a lot of American Idol alumni and I’m curious what you think will keep your music in the spotlight as your career progresses?
Adam Lambert: It’s funny. I think that my first album here was completed in three months and I’m really proud of what we were able to accomplish in that amount of time. I think that second album I think is going to be even better because I think that getting a little more time to spend is really kind of lovely, a lovely luxury. And I think that now I have also been able to be on the road for a year and I’m about to go on this tour and I’ve done a lot of promo. And so I think I have learned more about the business and about myself as an artist and about the audience expectation. I just think I’m going to be more artistically educated this next time around.
Q: I was very disappointed that you weren’t on the finale of American Idol. It sounded like you were too. Explain what happened there. They just didn’t ask you to perform, is that right?
Adam Lambert: Yeah. I wasn’t invited. There was I think there was like a miscommunication that happened. There was a group number, a tribute to Simon that apparently I found out after the fact came together very, very last minute. They asked all the previous winners to perform in that so I wasn’t asked to do that. And then all the other people that were dressed in white, the previous contestants from years past, those were all the people that were attending that night. So it was kind of a last minute thing. I didn’t realize there was going to be a performance or else I might have rethought my attendance. They invited me to sit in the audience and watch and unfortunately I was so busy with rehearsals for the tour that I was like you know what, I just need to work. So yeah, it was just a little bit of a miscommunication but there was no drama or hard feelings or any – I think there was a tabloid article that was run that was like he didn’t show up. But I was like I didn’t show up to rehearsal? What are you talking about? I wasn’t invited. So I don’t know. It was a big old to do for nothing.
Q: So being the first openly gay pop artist to be on a major label, did you feel a lot of pressure during that time?
Adam Lambert: It definitely comes with some pressure. There are a lot of challenges that I have faced I think just being one of the first and dealing with the business side of it because I think they are also learning. And yeah, there is definitely a lot of pressure but it’s also really exciting. It’s exciting to be like a novelty in that regard.
Q: As you start on your tour, you are on a headlining tour. The winner of American Idol is doing opening act stints on other tours. Did America get it wrong or is the music industry getting it wrong for you now?
Adam Lambert: I don’t think anybody is wrong. I think American Idol happened a year ago for both Kris and I and we’re finding what works best for us.
Q: I wanted to ask you a little bit more about the thematic elements that you say are woven into the show. Can you elaborate on that a little bit?
Adam Lambert: Yeah. That’s actually been one of the most exciting parts of this is trying to give the show a world to exist in and kind of a reason why each song comes next. And what I decided, I had a song that came out on my remix EP a couple months back that was a track that was written for the album and it’s called Voodoo and I wrote that with Sam Sparrow. And it’s a real fun kind of sexy, modern disco type song with a lot of visual references to New Orleans and kind of mysticism and it’s kind of kitschy, not to be taken too seriously and very sexy. And that kind of – I kind of fell in love again with the song and was like I want to do this for my concert, and then realized slowly but surely that the more I listened to all my music, I was like they could all live in that world, that kind of turn of the century New Orleans meets modern New Orleans, voodoo, crystal balls, magic kind of look. And it’s also there is a lot of psychedelic kind of classic rock visual references. People like Jimmy Hendrix and Jim Morrison and Keith Richards – these are all people that have kind of inspired the look and the feel of the show.
Q: I was wondering how would you classify your image right now both from a musical and fashion perspective.
Adam Lambert: I always have been fond of like the glam rocker title. I think glam is a broader term than maybe people realize because I think that there is definitely the ‘70s glam, there was the ‘80s glam movement. And then right now with the tour, I think I’m exploring a look that is really inspired by psychedelic rock stars, Jimmy Hendrix, Keith Richards, Jim Morrison and then blended with this whole thing called scheme punk is what they call it. And what it is, is it’s like Victorian era fashion mixed with modern elements like punk rock mixed with retro kind of historical clothing. It’s hard to explain but it’s a really, really cool angle. And there is a fashion company named Skin Grafts that I have worked with for the last couple years and they are designing a lot of custom pieces for the tour so I’m really excited to show everybody.
Q: I understand you’re putting a little spell on us by opening your show with the song Voodoo. Why do you think your fans are already under your spell, and do you feel it’s the sign of Aquarius extending love through your creativity, magnetism and mesmerizing traits?
Adam Lambert: There is definitely, especially with this tour, I have definitely really honed in on kind of the spiritual quality of performance. I mean there is something really magical that happens between you and an audience when you’re really connected. And my fans have been so dedicated and passionate about what I do and yeah, I knew that now that I’ve gotten to know them that the show was really built for the fans. It was really built for these people that have been so supportive and the songs that they really love and songs that I feel thematically like lyrically and sonically really sum me up and kind of express that exchange, that magic that happens.
Q: I wanted to ask you a little bit more about coming out after Idol. Did you see that as sort of a necessary step to sort of make the transition from being the Idol contestant to sort of launching the rest of your career?
Adam Lambert: Definitely because for me and my career, I wanted it to be an open book. I don’t – I have always as an audience member, as somebody who has lived in Los Angeles for the last eight years and has watched celebrity culture I always rolled my eyes at people that were keeping a lot of secrets and kind of trying to put forth an image that was manufactured. And for me I was like you know what, I’m just going to be who I’m going to be because it’ll be a hell of a lot easier and I knew that people would know about my sexual preference and my history being in Los Angeles as a performance artist and somebody that had been out and about. So I figured there was no point in keeping a secret. I might as well own it. I’m proud of it and if the audience doesn’t like my sexuality then they can find some other artist to look at. It’s not a big deal.
Q: You’re going to be at K Fest in New York on Sunday and I was wondering how you’re going to take the headlining tour and translate that into 45 minutes in an outdoor stadium.
Adam Lambert: It’s actually going to be about an hour. Yeah. My individual set is about an hour and it’s really exciting. I have a show that I have put together with I have a creative director that I am working with very closely. She helps me make sure my visions are turned into reality. I have a great band, a group of four dancers and a choreographer and a wonderful costume designer. So we’re really trying to like take advantage of this hour to put together a show. It’s more than just a typical set. There is like a thematic kind of emotional story running through the set. There are visual elements to pull it all into one world. I’ve been inspired by turn of the century New Orleans kind of a kitschy, glam, black magic, voodoo type concept. And I’m also inspired by things in the show like Dia de los Muertos and Mardi Gras and things like that. So there is a lot of a very festive element, a lot of kind of psychedelic classic rock influence as well. And I think people are really going to be in for a treat.
Q: Can you talk about what you said on Twitter the other day where you were asking fans not to bring you presents on tour because you just had nowhere to put them last year.
Adam Lambert: Yeah. Honestly that’s what happens. It’s so funny. It’s like so sweet and I love that my fans want to express themselves and give me something. But for me it’s far more meaningful to just have them there, to see smiling faces, shake hands and sign autographs. To know that what I do on stage is something that is moving them and affecting them, that’s what this is about. It isn’t about presents. And so as much as I love the thought I feel like I don’t have enough room for them. I don’t want you guys to spend your money on making things for me. I want you to spend your money on your ticket, coming and enjoying yourself. And if they feel the need to express themselves financially and show their appreciation then I want them to donate to a charity. There is a charity called Donorschoose.org that I have been supporting for the past about year and a half now and it’s still a great cause and it’s still alive and kicking. I would just rather them redirect their financial energy that way if they feel the need to.
Q: What would be the best thing an aspiring artist can do for their career in light of your experience?
Adam Lambert: I think it’s really about making your own opportunities. Nothing is going to come to you. You have to go to it. I think that that was one of the reasons why I decided to audition for Idol, is I thought that’s going to be a great platform, a great launching pad for me if I can get through it. And so I’m going to take the risk and go audition and really put myself out there. You have to put your eggs in lots of different baskets.
Q: What I wanted to know is when Lee DeWyze won American Idol did it trigger back memories for the work you had to put in to where you got today? And if it did, do you have any advice to go through the American Idol process?
Adam Lambert: Yeah. I mean I think that all the people that go through the show kind of have that in common. We have all experienced the process. And it’s funny because American Idol is an amazing platform and a great challenge and experience and it teaches you a lot. But the actual recording industry is like a whole other world. So I think that you have to – I think everybody has to make that adjustment. All of a sudden with all the choices you make artistically and logistically, you are dealing with a record label and a management company and it’s a little bit different than taking matters into your own hands on a reality competition show.
Q: My question is kind of two-fold based on things you have said before. First of all, I know you’ve helped promote some of your friends already. Are there any other old friends that are coming along as the lighting designers, sound technicians, visual designers? And also the fact that you are very involved in the whole production, do you think we’re going to get more of a genuine performance, less of a disconnect than say with somebody like Madonna or Britney who has their production created by somebody else and they just step into it?
Adam Lambert: Well, first of all, yeah I am working for the clothing, the fashion in the show is a company called Skin Graft Designs that I have worked with for years. They are friends of mine. They are doing a lot of custom pieces for us. I’m also my choreographer, her name is Brooke Wendle and she is an old friend. We were in Wicked together for over three years and also there is a dancer that I have onboard named (Terrence) who was in Wicked with me as well. Also my guitar player (Monte) is somebody that I used to have a band with. He has been on the road with me the past seven months working with me. He is an old friend. Yeah. I definitely wanted to bring people in that I knew already and that I had a working relationship with and whose talent I respected. And then as far as the show goes, yeah. I mean I have been really involved in this creative process I had kind of an initial epiphany of what I wanted it to look like and what I wanted it to be. I jotted down a bunch of notes and sketched things and I’m working with an amazing creative director and she is incredible. She has actually worked with Madonna for the last couple years and I would have to actually disagree with you on the Madonna comment because I think that she is heavily involved in every aspect of her production. I mean I have gotten this first hand according to this creative director and (Monte), my guitar player who has worked with her. I don’t know if there is any disconnect I think maybe if there was one it comes from a different place than not being involved.
Q: I had a question about the song Stoked. I was wondering how you decided to use the Muse song. I love them too.
Adam Lambert: Well, my A&R guy, he knew their A&R guy and they had this song that was part of their catalog. I mean technically it’s a song written by Muse but it’s an Adam Lambert song because they never released it. So he wrote the song, Matt Bellamy, and gave it to me. And it’s a beautiful melody and I think it really is a great addition to the album because it’s definitely throw back and nods to some of the classic rock and vintage pop ballads. And I think that it’s a great sound to contrast all the rhythmic elements on For Your Entertainment.
Q: I wanted to ask you about Fever because that is my favorite song on the album. And I’m just wondering I love that song and I was just curious if your record company is going to release it as a single? I know the male pronoun might scare some of the conservative Southern radio stations.
Adam Lambert: There is definitely the male pronoun is definitely a little bit of a red flag. But there is really – we haven’t talked about it yet. I mean usually these kinds of decisions kind of come up with as we go. We kind of have to see how the feel is in the market, what the trends are, what would be the best choice for me career wise and strategically. I know there is a lot of interest in it as well internationally overseas. So who knows? Maybe it’ll end up as a single there and we’ll make a video and it’ll trickle over here. I don’t know.
Q: So I know that you were having some problems with your voice lately and I was wondering what are some things that you do to protect your voice and preserve it especially given that you’re going to be singing nearly every night for about four months on the tour.
Adam Lambert: Yeah. I caught a cold on a plane. It wasn’t really like a vocal problem. I caught like a throat like a laryngitis thing on the plane. I came back and just was like wrecked. It was just I don’t know what it was. I think for me one of the important things about just keeping vocally healthy on the tour is warming up, making sure I’m aware of where my voice is at, drinking lots of water and getting plenty of sleep and just taking care of myself, trying to exercise and eat healthy and just generally be good to my body.
Q: You’re a bit down the road on the Idol train. We have watched the show; we have grown older with it. It’s clear that some winners and finalists have done very well. Others have kind of faded from memory. Did you feel pressure to conform to any commercial formula or direction when you were making the album because the show has been on for so long?
Adam Lambert: I mean clearly conformity really isn’t my thing. I think that as an artist and a business person both I think that I look at this opportunity and like okay, this is a mainstream major thing. So I want to make a thing that has like mass appeal quality to it and then I want some music on the album to be a little more specific. And it’s going to be me so I didn’t really feel – I felt pressure of expectation. I thought that people were expecting something, and one of the things that was a choice that I made was that even though I performed a lot of classic rock on Idol and it’s music that I’m really fond of, I felt like in the challenge of making new music and coming up with my own music, to do a bunch of derivative sounding rock music would have been kind of too much of an expected choice. So for me I wanted to do my brand of pop music and do something a little bit different.
Q: You’re not only an artist that has a huge and dedicated fan base but you’re also an artist who is known to generously interact with his fan base. Because of Twitter and YouTube, Internet fan sites and message boards are serving unprecedented mutual access these days between fans and artists. And do you think this is a positive development? And does this instant feedback every influence any of the performance choices that you make?
Adam Lambert: I definitely listen and take note of what the general consensus is. I think like for example Twitter is an amazing medium for me to communicate with my fans. In the old days you had to rely solely on your publicist and your marketing team and what not. And what’s so great about Twitter is it really allows you to directly express yourself. So I think that there is an element of honesty that comes in and if there is like a rumor floating around I can shoot it down immediately. I can address it directly. You don’t have to hear it through all these different channels and the game of telephone doesn’t really end up happening. It’s direct.
Q: Just after Idol I wanted to know what your band that you formed and also the new tour, what is the most amazing thing that has happened to you on this journey?
Adam Lambert: What’s the most amazing thing? I mean it’s all pretty darn amazing. I think that this right now, getting to conceptualize my first headlining tour is like a dream come true. I definitely think my album is really strong and I love all the music on it and getting to put it on stage is really kind of what I’m best at, coming from the theater originally and doing a lot of live performances in Los Angeles. Translating this material and making it come alive on stage and giving it an emotional through line and a visual through line is really exciting.
Q: What you have been working on with Nikka Costa and if it’s going to make its way on to the tour at all? Anything you’re doing with her?
Adam Lambert: My collaboration with Nikka is not for the tour. It’s for possible future music. That’s really all I can say about that because it’s all new.
Q: Following the 2009 American Idol finale Brian May in Queen, who you performed with that night, said that he would have to sit down with you some day and have a conversation with you about possibly fronting his band. Has that conversation happened and is that something you would consider making room for in your career in the future?
Adam Lambert: Well, I’ve got to correct you. I think he wanted to have a conversation about more of a vague future collaboration. It was never an offer and it never came from his mouth that it was to front his band. But I would love to sing with them again at some point. I think that as much of an honor as it would be, I think that filling Freddie Mercury’s shoes is something that I dare not try. That would just – I don’t think I could hold a candle to him even though he is a huge inspiration. And yeah, I think that I’m going to focus right now on my own career and my own original music.
Q: When you were last in town for the Oprah Winfrey show you managed to get out and have 992 million gay men have a photo with you. But on the tour do you get to go out and have fun like that still?
Adam Lambert: If I really wanted to I could go out. I think I predict that I’m going to be a little too work – I’m going to be a little too tired to go out and hit the bars. I’m doing about 70 shows in about three months and it’s going to be really important for me to take care of myself and rest when I’m not on stage in order to give the audiences in each city the best that I can give them. But who knows? If I have the day off and I’m feeling great you never know.
Q: I’m wondering if there is anything you learned about yourself from the first go round with Idol pre-Idol to now, to all that you have now. Anything on a personal level, reflection – any of that, that was a revelation to you about you?
Adam Lambert: That’s a good question, deep and good. I don’t know. I think that ultimately I think that just trusting my instincts has been kind of the biggest challenge and test since coming off of Idol. It’s a business this music industry and it’s a lot of amazing, talented, very experienced people working in it. And they have their opinions and I have mind and coming to compromises and figuring out what the best plan of action is is definitely something that I’m learning a lot about.
Q: I wondered what based on your experience, what will Crystal Bowersox experience over the next year?
Adam Lambert: Well, there is a lot of work to be done. I think that I remember being done with the finale of Idol and going whew, okay I can breathe now. That was a lot. That was really intense. Now on to my career. And what I didn’t realize is that the career is even more work. In order to be a successful recording artist in today’s market you have to put in tireless hours traveling and promoting, visiting radio stations, doing appearances, making the album itself is a very quick turnaround process given that the idols are going to be on tour over the summer. There is a lot of work to be done. I think that’s one of the things I said to them – I don’t know if it made the broadcast but when I was mentoring I was like get ready because the two or three of you that get signed to a record deal, this is serious work.
Q: Tell me about how your style or sound has evolved since your time on Idol. We have talked about the infamous AMA thing and that caused some people to be concerned about the type of performer you will be. Would you say you have toned down your style? I mean you called that an experiment so what have you…?
Adam Lambert: Yeah. I think that for me it’s like every week on Idol I was doing something different. I was singing a different song, dressed differently, expressing a different emotion or vibe. And I thought it was funny that people got so nervous about what kind of performer I’d be based on the AMAs. I’m like this is one performance. If you didn’t know anything about me at this point it’s that I change it up all the time. And then coming out with Whattaya Want From Me and all my subsequent performances of that with a great way to show that I’m more than one type artist. I think I have a lot of different sides and I like to show all of them. So that AMA performance was me expressing my sexuality and that scares a lot of people. But I think that it’s healthy. And the Whattaya Want From Me song and performances were me expressing vulnerability and honesty. And this new single If I Had You is about joy and connection. And so every song on the album has a different emotion and my performances will reflect that emotion.
Q: If one of the singles from For Your Entertainment was going to blow up and become the biggest hit ever, which one would you want it to be and why?
Adam Lambert: I have no idea. I think they’re all great. My current single that just came out is If I Had You. It’s trickling its way on to Top 40 Radio right now. And I think it’s a great song. It’s really positive, it’s upbeat, it’s catchy. It’s about the message in it I think it one of the better messages on the album, which is you can have all this success, the fame, the fortune, the lifestyle. But if you’re not connecting and you’re not – and there’s no love in your life and you don’t have true friends and loved ones then it doesn’t mean anything. And that’s something that I have learned personally over the past year is that all this is great but happiness really comes from a different place.
Q: Do you have a song that was maybe your favorite to record and was that different from maybe your favorite one that you like to put on live from this album?
Adam Lambert: I had like a really – well, no. They’re usually kind of one and the same. Like the songs that are fun to record are usually the ones that are more fun to perform.
Q: I was going to ask you a little bit about some of your travels around the world because you have been literally everywhere. Has the fan reaction to you been different in say Tokyo, Japan versus that in maybe Helsinki or maybe here in the States?
Adam Lambert: There are definitely cultural differences. But one of the things that I have kind of been so fascinated with is that no matter where I have gone there have been fans there that knew the music. And I think that it’s a testament to the universal power of music. I think that music is a universal language and I think that the fans feel the intention of the music, feel the emotions that are trying to be conveyed. And they all react that way to it. There are definitely cultural differences, in Japan audiences aren’t as vocal and as loud until you’re finished singing. The minute you finish the song they’re really excited but during they’re just very calm and still versus American audiences that love to like dance around during the song. So it’s interesting, but yeah, there is definitely a universal joy there.
Q: With all the Fanberts and the Teamberts and all the pictures I see of people dressing up like Adam Lambert, what’s it like to be in the center of all that attention and having so many people I guess try to become like you?
Adam Lambert: It’s surreal. There are times I’m like okay. It’s always flattering and sometimes even a little strange. I’m just doing the same thing that I have always done just on a grander scale so sometimes it’s hard to believe and I have to kind of pinch myself and I’m like I can’t believe this. This is insane. Who would have imagined two years ago that this would be my life. But I’m very thankful to the universe for this opportunity and for all the people that are liking what I’m doing.
Q: Obviously this tour and everything, you get out this album and what you have done so far – where are you at in terms of a next album? Thinking about it? Have you started writing or song collecting or recording?
Adam Lambert: Not really. No. Not yet. I think it’s a little ways off. I think that I’ll probably in the new year after January I’ll probably get to start working on it. And I’ll probably start then. So at this point my focus is really on continuing singles from my current album and this tour, which I’m so excited about.
Q: I was reading an interview where you said that you felt like your career had been a series of proving yourself in weird moments. Is it kind of a different challenge now that it’s your tour and you’re sort of creating it yourself?
Adam Lambert: Yeah. I mean there is definitely a different kind of freedom with this. This is my show and people are buying tickets because they are usually fans and they most of them I would say already are aware of my music and my career. So there are not as many first impressions that I’m making but that’s just as much of a challenge is trying to kind of reinvent songs and give them an emotional and visual through line. I think yeah, I feel less pressure to prove anything and more of an opportunity to create something. So there is a lot of freedom.
Q: You’re a Broadway child, a child of the theater so with the success of American Idiot and shows like Rock of Ages, do you see yourself writing and starring on Broadway in a show? And the other thing I’d like to ask is please repeat the charity that you’d like people to send the money to.
Adam Lambert: Yeah. First of all the charity is Donorschoose.org. And then yeah, that’s definitely something that would be really exciting in the future. I don’t have any immediate plans but I definitely see the trend on Broadway and things are becoming more and more contemporary, which I love. And yeah – who knows what the future holds?
Q: What is something you hope to effectively communicate to fans and potential fans to attend your show?
Adam Lambert: There is definitely a really strong message of love. I mean as cliché as that sounds, it’s very true. I think that my fans have been incredibly supportive of me and this show is really built for them.
And I think that it really talks about the exchange and I feel like from the top of the show I’m inviting the audience to take a journey with me into this kind of emotional and thematic world. And the basic through line of the show is in the beginning it’s more about seduction and venturing into the unknown and taking chances and mystery and intrigue and sexiness. And then the midpoint of the show really explores heartbreak and vulnerability and honesty. And then the latter half of the show is celebration, joy and love and connection.
Q: A lot of people are asking about meet and greets and if that’s going to happen and how that’s going to happen.
Adam Lambert: You know what, I wish I could explain to you how it all works but I don’t really come up with those rules. I have a lot of people helping me out with all those logistics so I think it’s kind of a per venue thing. Some of it is local radio stations so I think you have to contact your local venue in order to get the details.
Q: I know as you are very hard to pin down or try and shove in a square hole or anything like that, which I love – don’t get me wrong. But if you had to pick one song on the album that best represents you as an artist, what would it be or can you even pick one song?
Adam Lambert: It’s really hard to pick one song because I really feel like the whole thing about the album was that every song on there I wanted to reflect me as an artist. I wanted there to be different elements of my personality. I think it’s really easy in today’s music market because there is so much to choose from and generally things kind of come and go so quickly. I think it’s hard to find artists that are trying to show you all different dimensions. A lot of albums kind of sound all alike for the commercial benefit of that. But for me it was really important for me to have an album that was super diverse showing different sides of who I am. My current single If I Had You I think is a really great reflection of where I’m at currently. I have been fortunate that my singles have kind of been released in the manner that reflect where I’m at in my life at that moment. For Your Entertainment, the first single, was definitely about sexuality and I was kind of in the hot spot on that kind of having recently come out and done a lot of press about that. That felt like an appropriate first single because that’s what it was about. And then it subsequently ended up kind of scaring some people as sexuality often does. And then with Whattaya Want From Me it’s like it was a response to that. It was the hey I’m human and I’m doing the best I can and thank you for believing in me and this is me being honest and scared. And then the current single is If I Had You. And like I said, it’s about joy and connection and realizing that happiness comes from that and not from success. And I find that one of the best things about being in the position that I’m in is that you get the chance to make people feel something and inspire people. And so I really believe in that current message as a way to connect with y audience.
Q: A couple times now during the interview you talked about the appearance on the American Music Awards and your first single so much sexuality that it scared people. Do you think that you scared people too much?
Adam Lambert: Maybe with that performance maybe it was a little too much. I think that for me it’s like I can’t sit and make my decisions and worry about what if people don’t like this. I feel like that is not art. I think that art is just expressing yourself. And being in the music scene you do have to do it for your audience as well and so I looked to my audience and my fans and the people that I encounter on Twitter and in real life and I see what they like and I learn that over the tour last summer, the American Idols Live tour that certain things I did the audience really reacted to and so I just kind of stick with that. I think that I am specific and I am extreme and sometimes certain people, that’s not what they are looking for. And so if you are looking for it look this way.
Q: You worked with some great songwriters on this album. Who do you think you learned the most from?
Adam Lambert: I learned a lot from Linda Perry actually. That was a really educational experience. She has a history of amazing songs and music and she has worked with some amazing artists. And she is a really strong personality and she just kind of reminded me that yes, you are in a position to make commercial pop music. But you also have the opportunity to do something different because you set yourself up that way, because you are different. And so that definitely encouraged me to have a balance on the album of music that was for acceptable and then music that was a little more experimental.
Q: I wanted to just follow up on what you’re saying about your sort of image and sort of it being sort of a little more extreme but yet you’re sort of out there in the pop realm and I’m curious as to whether you have talked to Elton John or other artists to sort of have a really big image about what it’s like to sort of build a career when you’re sort of this out there kind of personality. But yet you still want to produce quality music.
Adam Lambert: I think that my interaction with Madonna was a great example of that because she basically said you can’t pay attention to all the extraneous crap. You can’t listen to the critics, you can’t be affected too much by what people want. You have to kind of keep your eye on the prize, and even though your intention and your goal is to entertain people, you have to kind of follow your own instincts. And that is what I have been really working at, and I think that I’ve come to a really great space of late of how to achieve that and what my goals are and just coming from a positive productive place. I feel like that’s the best I can do.
Q: I was wondering if you had a hand in picking the opening act and if it was important to you on getting closure to someone like Allison?
Adam Lambert: Yeah. It was definitely – I mean I talked with my management and she was one of the options and I was like we have to go with Allison. I love her to death. I think she’s incredibly talented.
I think that I want more and more people to be aware of her music because I think it’s really awesome. Her album is incredible. And yeah – I just think she’s got a great spirit and I think she has got a huge career ahead of her. And then Orianthi was somebody that I had met in passing at the – I think I met her first at the Michael Jackson: This is It premiere and then she’s also in the same management company as I’m with. So we met a handful of times and she’s really sweet, super talented and I thought it would just be a good counterpart.
Q: I was wondering if you could discuss and elaborate on your experience in the studio working with Max Martin while you were recording If I Had You and Whattaya Want From Me?
Adam Lambert: He’s great. I think Max is obviously one of the best in the business. He just knows what is going to sound the best. And I trusted that because I’ve heard his music and I’ve always been a fan of it. I remember we did Whattaya Want From Me over the summer and I remember going back to after hearing the first demo and being so thrilled with it going back to my management and saying we have to ask him to do another song. We have to. He’s so good. He’s so, so good. And he sent this one and he wrote some lyrics and they are specifically about me, kind of for me. So it’s a really great song. I love it.
Q: You mentioned Keith Richards as being an influence in some of the costumes. I wonder what it is about him that you particularly like.
Adam Lambert: It’s that whole kind of like psychedelic rock, gypsy, pirate thing. I don’t know how else to describe it. It kind of has this witchy, world traveler type angle. He wears lots of scarves and cool jewelry and lots of black and it’s like a type of Goth but it’s Goth before Goth became a cliché if that makes any sense.
Q: I was just wondering in your research for the tour did you get the chance to travel down to New Orleans for the Mardi Gras and what was the experience like?
Interview with ADAM LAMBERT
GLAM NATION TOUR
By Lena Lamoray