From cruise ship singer to Broadway performer to “American Idol” runner up, Adam Lambert has certainly had a steady climb up his musical career ladder. In fact, Billboard magazine recently reported that of all of the “American Idol” alumni from the previous 14 seasons, Lambert was the top earner for 2015, raking in close to $10 million. Adam spoke with Georgia Voice about his new album, his role in touring as the frontman for Queen and his upcoming Atlanta performance at the Tabernacle.
Georgia Voice: You just released a new album, “The Original High” – tell me about that.
The album was executive produced by Max Martin and Shellback. It is definitely pop music, but the subject matter is a little more melancholy and more bittersweet than the stuff I’ve done in the past. It’s hard to sum it up, but I think it kind of explores the exploring. No matter who we are, we’re looking for certain things in our lives. We all hit walls where all of a sudden we feel unsatisfied, or we long for something but sometimes we don’t even know what it is we’re longing for. It just kind of talks about that search -that chase – of desire and longing and how we deal with it and how we push it forward. I think, deep down, everybody just wants companionship and love.
What’s your personal favorite song on the album and why?
I’m bad at favorites … I can’t choose a favorite song! They’re all so different. There’s no way to pick just one.
One of my favorite voices of all time was that of the late, great Freddie Mercury. He had the voice of an angel. When Queen asked you to tour with them, what did it feel like for you to step into his shoes?
It was an honor to be asked to sing with them. I first met Brian and Roger at the “American Idol” finale and they were so sweet and so supportive. It’s great to be still touring with them—we are doing some European festivals this summer.
Sometimes, having large-scale success can turn people into something they aren’t. Have you ever felt you were losing yourself or do you feel, instead, like you’re evolving as a person?
I wouldn’t call it evolution; I’d call it adaptation. You need to adapt to things changing constantly, or else you’ll get lost.
What do you do to stay grounded?
I have the same friends that I’ve had for years. After getting off of a long tour, just getting together and having dinner with that group of friends seems to ground me.
Who are you listening to musically?
I listen to everything – I’ve got music constantly playing. That new Zayn Malik song (“Pillowtalk”) is really pretty. “Drive” by Pretty Sister is a great driving jam and I love that new song from AlunaGeorge “I’m In Control.”
There seems to be a movement in Hollywood from LGBT actors to expose the difficulties that they have finding work in that industry. Do you feel it’s the same type of environment for LGBT singers and musicians in the music industry?
There are a lot of parallels between the two industries. There are different expectations because in music, it’s personal, whereas in film/TV, it’s playing a part.
What hurdles (if any) have you faced because of your sexuality?
Being a social minority always comes with its challenges.
If you could have dinner with anyone from history, who would it be and why?
I’d love to have dinner with Freddie Mercury. I’ve heard so many great stories from the Queen guys over the years, and they say that we would have gotten along great.
Oh, he would be in my top 5 list, too. You are coming to Atlanta next week – do you have anything you want to say to your fans in the ATL?
I can’t wait to see all of your faces at the Tabernacle on Tuesday night! I’m very proud of “The Original High” tour. I worked very hard to put together a show that takes the audience on a journey with me…from the dark, to the heart, and then to the club for a big dance party! I hope everyone will come out and see me.