When it comes to timing, releasing an album just as the world shuts down in a two-year pandemic isn’t ideal. Still, Adam Lambert isn’t fixated on the fact that his last studio album, Velvet, didn’t get as much acclaim as he hoped.
“I mean, look,” the pop star said from his home in Los Angeles. “I really put a lot of time and effort into it and loved it as an album. Yes, it was a shame it came out the month it came out.” Unfortunately I had to mourn it. But I am still proud of it as a piece of music.”
Leaving Velvet behind, Lambert is now on the promotional trail for his first album of cover songs. High Drama takes the Queen vocalist and former reality TV star from 1980s power ballads and pop classics (Reaching out for a hero, do you really want to hurt me) to quirkier contemporary pop songs (Billy Eilish’s Getting Older, Lana Del Rey’s West Coast.)
At one point, it’s safe to say that Lambert discouraged the idea of a covers album, especially given his background, but as his career progressed, he was nominated for second place on American Idol in 2009. It’s easy to forget. Records circa 2013. He reminds him that he left RCA when he was commissioned to produce his cover album.
“Yes,” he admits. “I think it was just a matter of timing. At that moment, I didn’t feel like that was what I wanted to do and what I thought was the right thing to do. You know, come down.” [American Idol], The desire to continue on the path of an artist and to make original music became stronger. And I felt I needed to prove something – definitely to myself, if not to the public. [But] I think I’ve done it now and I’m in another chapter knowing what I can do.
“And when you’re touring with Queen, doing events and private gigs, if everyone in the room knows the songs and they’ve known them since they were kids, there’s a really great energy. , it’s great to have a song like that in Arsenal.”
Returning to a solo career in between stints with Queen didn’t cause conflict between him and bandmates Brian May and Roger Taylor, he says. We feel it’s important to distinguish that it’s a collaboration, rather than being part of a band.
“Ownership is different,” he says of the difference. “I didn’t create this music, I wasn’t part of any recording, so I think it’s an automatic boundary. And I have the utmost respect for that boundary.” Freddie Mercury was the greatest vocalist, along with Brian, Roger and John. [Deacon], they created these iconic music. So I’ve always seen it as a collaboration because I’m there, playing records that are already out, songs that are already out, and let Brian and Roger take the lead. . Arrangements and how they are executed.
“I got to be part of a sort of stagecraft part, which was really exciting and I came up with some production ideas. I sing, but Brian and Roger have always been very open and supportive of it.”
Having first met Queen on American Idol, he realizes how much the talent show has benefited his life.
“I had a great experience on that show,” he nods. , especially in today’s day and age, I don’t think there are many opportunities to land on a map as clear and instantaneous as I had.
“I was fortunate at the time to have a great publicist who really took the momentum we created on the show and did it. And looking back, that’s how my career started.” I think it was a big reason we did it.I think we had a team of people who really understood the window we had..” he says with a laugh. “They asked for it.
With high drama behind several successful solo albums and a period leading one of the biggest rock bands of all time, it’s understandable that Lambert is confident. The firepower and versatility of his voice remain undeniable.
“Well, I think I’m a little unworthy of trying to prove something,” he agrees. “Good music is good music and people want to be entertained. If it reminds me of what I can do, I think there’s a part of me that thinks it’s nice.
He says it’s always important to challenge yourself. As such, his next project will be his musical on stage with original music he wrote.
“I plan to put it out as my concept album first before going on stage. That was another reason why I thought, ‘Let’s put out more music to entertain people while we work on this masterpiece.’ he laughs. “I’m not going to reveal it all yet because I want it to be more complete, but I would say this is based on a true story of someone’s life and is set in 1970s New York. And sex, drugs, And it’s going to be a great piece of rock’n’roll.”
Before rising to fame as a pop star, Lambert had a background in musical theater, so it’s no big deal. It also laid the groundwork for a new potential offshoot of his creative career. He has a small role in the Sofia Coppola-produced film Fairyland, which recently premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, alongside the likes of Scoot his McNairy, Emilia Jones and Geena Davis.
“I did a season of Glee in 2014 or something, but it was the first time I really acted like that in front of the camera,” he explains. I haven’t really done anything since then, so I feel like this probably opened the door to some new opportunities.
Fairyland is a story he was particularly passionate about given his vocal activism in the LGBTQA+ community. “It’s based on the autobiography of a girl who was raised by a single gay father in San Francisco in the 1970s, so it ticked a lot of boxes in the queer world, especially in a time when it was really taboo,” he said. I nod. “And I have a lot of my mother’s side of the family who actually lived in the Castro, San Francisco in the ’70s, so it feels like a nostalgic thing for my family too. I am proud to be a part of it and to be able to perform with such amazing professionals, they have definitely elevated me and made what I have done better.
Lambert is clearly happiest when he’s boiling multiple pots. He’s been working on various animated shows lately, so he talks about his desire to do more behind-the-scenes producing and writing, as well as film and television voice-over roles. , he explains, but as you get older, your perspective changes.
“You know, that’s kind of surreal. I remember when I was in my 20s and thought 40 sounded old-fashioned,” he says with a laugh. “So I don’t feel old. I don’t mean it, but I try to take what I know now and use it and bring it into my art and my personal life.
He pauses, raises his eyebrows and continues to grin.
“I wish my metabolism was like I was in my 20s, but other than that, I’m fine.”
High drama will be released on February 3rd.