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"Idol" Conversation: Adam Lambert

By admin Published: August 25, 2009

Fourth of the 5 chats I had with "American Idol" performers when the tour came to Cleveland on Sunday.

I noticed green highlights in Adam's jet black hair and wondered if they were new.
They were actually there on the show. It was just some of the lighting, you couldn't really see them.

How is it at this point?
It's crazy. Crazy.

Crazy how?
Well, it runs the gamut from being overwhelming to being complete and 100 percent beautifully satisfying, to being a little stressful and nerve-wracking. I kind of bounce back and forth between all those emotions.

Is it better now than, say, those last weeks of the show? ...
I wouldn't say better. It's just different.

You were the guy there, with the cover of Entertainment Weekly ...
I know, it was wild, wasn't it? ... It's not better or worse, it's just different. It's evolved into something else. That was a television show, and, you know, the thing that's so beautiful about that show is that it creates a platform for possible future artists. And I'm so grateful for that experience, because I think that's what it's done [for Adam]. I'm working on an album that's out in November, and I wouldn't have gotten that opportunity had it not been for "American Idol."

What's the album going to be like?
Good. (laughs) I really like it. I think it's great. I'm working with great producers. I'm co-writing a lot of the material. I, uh -- it's great. It's catchy. It blends -- it's definitely pop-rock with electronic production. ... It has a lot of good beats. It'll get you dancing. It'll get you singing along. It'll get in your head.

If people only know you from seeing you on "American Idol," are they going to be ready for this album -- or are you going somewhere different?
It's a hard thing to say, because a lot of the music I did on the show was music from the past. It was cover music. I think I got most of my credibility doing a lot of the classic rock stuff. And then "Mad World," like an '80s, New Wave song.

So I kind of think that all that matters [on the album] is that I'm singing on it. You know? Hopefully, people will be into it. I think that it's a hard thing to judge -- original music versus songs that you know work. Very different pieces. So I hope people like it.

You have always seemed focused on making something Adam Lambert's, that you find your way into that.
Yeah. So I guess it's kind of the same strategy. ... I think that it's also kind of funny because I'vd gotten asked what genre it's going to be. At this point I don't know if it's really necessary to place one label on it or not.

Isn't one of the risks -- talking to Michael, for instance, about people assuming he's a country artist -- that people assume from "American Idol" that they've got what you are when maybe they don't?
Yeah, I can see that being a risk. Luckily, my experience on "Idol" was colored with a lot of different styles. Like, I took songs from different genres and did them. So hopefully, people will be ready for an album that is eclectic, and a collection of different sounds.

On that last night of the show, did you think you had it won?
I had no idea. In all honesty, I mean, people may think "Oh, yeah, you did." But really, I knew it was a toss-up. Especially when it was down to just two of us. Kris and I are like on the opposite ends of the spectrum as far as the type of artists we are, and I knew that it was going to a very dividing type of vote. Either people are going to go for THAT, or they're going to go for me. You know, it's one or the other. So I didn't have any idea. And I remember, right as we were getting down to that point [when the winner was announced], I was thinking, "Oh, it could go to Kris." ... He did a great job on that finale show, he's an incredibly talented guy. He's very likable.

[Then we talked about what's in his iPod. See the earlier overview post for those notes.]
Is IAMX the kind of music you would like to do yourself?
It's a little darker than the stuff I'm doing. But I just like it. I like it sonically. I think it's really interesting. I'm a fan of the production. I don't listen to a lot of music that's acoustic. I like the art of creating new sounds, using technology.

Going back to a John Cage [Adam looked blank. Old guy reference, I guess] or more recent people?
More recent. Like the trends in sound. ... Like I love all the synths and beats and drums and samples. I love that process.

When the tour is over, what's your next move?
Well, I jump right into finishing my album and promoting it, so there's really no time to rest. My album comes out in November, so (laughs) there's a lot of work to do.

Do you think you've gone from this TV bubble to a tour bubble? Do you see a point where you can get out of that?
Yeah. I think toward the end of the year, after the album's come out, and the first single's come out, and we've done a lot of the initial promo, I'll have a little down time to let it all soak in. Which I'm looking forward to.

And what do you want to do with that down time?
I want to go on vacation or somethin'. Somewhere tropical. South Pacific, somewhere. ... I think that would be relaxing. I think I've earned it (laughs).

I know you didn't get to go to the rock hall ...
I know. We don't have any time to do anything.

... Is there anything you thought about that you wanted to see?
I'm not really that versed in it. I think it would be cool to look at anything Queen. I'm a big Queen fan. Led Zeppelin would be interesting to look at. I do a Zeppelin song in the show tonight. It's my opening song. It's "Whole Lotta Love."

That's not exactly a low-key place to start.
No! I've kind of learned that, too! I'm like, wow, maybe I should have made this the finale.

What's your favorite part of the show?
It's hard to say. I still love all the songs after doing them this many times. But "Whole Lotta Love" -- it's fun. It's just a fun song to sing. The groove is cool. And I have fun doing "Fame" during the Bowie medley. It's very -- there's costume alteration, and I do a little dancing, and it gets quite a reaction from the crowd. So I like that.

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