Adam Lambert on music, sexuality and working with Lady Gaga

Uploaded by xtraonline on 23.03.2010

Pushing the boundaries of sexual politics, music and of course black eyeliner, singer
Adam Lambert has wasted no time in grabbing North America by the leash with the release
of his debut album "For Your Entertainment". The American Idol contestant turned solo artist
made headlines last year after raising a few eyebrows with a titillating tongue and cheek
performance at the American Music Awards and it was not long after that Barbara Walters
listed Lambert as one of 2009's most fascinating people. Unashamed and untarnished, the charming
pop star sat down with xtra at Parlour Salon in Toronto to talk about his music and where
he stands in 2010.
MICHAEL PIHACH>> It's 2010 now.
MICHAEL PIHACH>> And looking back on 2009 and looking at all the stories that were written
about you, what's your critique? Do you think the media was fair? Do you think you were
portrayed accurately?
ADAM LAMBERT>> For the most part yeah. I mean I think certain things are sensationalized.
I think certain things need to be sensationalized a little bit because there is a lack of them
in the media. I mean I think like being out, mainstream, visible artist in the music industry
isn't very common these days so of course the media is going to sensationalize it and
kind of talk about it a lot because I think many members of the media are gay and are
excited that there is someone that they can talk about. I think if there is any drawback
to that is that it overshadows that I am singer and musician and writer. That's what I do. You know sometimes
it's like "Openly gay singer Adam Lambert" yada yada yada... and I'm like "guys, the
openly gay part should be like a sidebar, I mean that's my personal life, that doesn't
define who I am." And then with everything that happened with certain performances and
certain awards show because of some of my decisions, it did become you know kind of
in your face and overt and you know in the long run I think it's good thing. I don't
think we have a lot of that.
MICHAEL PIHACH>> What did you think about when some of the gay organizations in the
States piped up and they said "Oh, his performances are going to ruin the same-sex marriage movement
or it's going to give us a bad name. What do you think of that?
ADAM LAMBERT>> It's interesting, I mean I guess I understand what they are talking about
but I think that there is... it's kind of old fashioned. I think that there is a generational
divide a little bit and it's what I'm talking about. I think we need to show the diversity
of what is a gay person and there are some gay people who are really conservative and
kind of straight-laced and don't like to see things that are overt and in your face you
know just like straight people. You know there's not just one type of gay person. For example,
in media we were dealing with a long time in the past with race relations in our world
and there were like two different types of black people on tv for example. And now we
are colourblind to it, which is beautiful. We need to become that way about sexuality.
That should be our goal.
ADAM LAMBERT>> In 2010 as we move forward, as we integrate and we become less of a gay
community/straight community, I think the goal is to become a human community and to
stop segregating and in the media I think the thing that needs to happen is that there
needs to show the diversity that is a gay man and a gay woman. It that there are many
different types of gay people. Just like there are many different types of straight people.
MICHAEL PIHACH>> Listen I could talk with you all day about gay politics but you know
what your a musician. So let's talk about the music for once!
ADAM LAMBERT>> I love it.
MICHAEL PIHACH>> What's on your playlist right now? What are you listening to?
ADAM LAMBERT>> Gaga of course. You know, who's not because she's amazing. BeyoncŽ of courseâ
the divas you know. All the divas are in there. You know Madonna, Christina, they are all
in there. Even a little Britney even though the singing part is a little computerized,
I still enjoy the music.
MICHAEL PIHACH>> Well you worked with Gaga and Pink on your album.
ADAM LAMBERT>> I did. Ah Pink, oh god I love Pink. I saw her concert and she was on fire.
She is such a rock star, I love it.
MICHAEL PIHACH>> If you were to cover a Lady Gaga song, which song would you cover?
ADAM LAMBERT>> It would probably have to be 'Speechless'. I just think it's so classic.
It's so that Elton John kind like piano, 70s rock Carole King type ballad and it's driving
and it's great and her voice sounds great on it. The lyrics are fantastic, the melody
is unbelievable. I would love to sing that. Working with here in the studio was such a
treat and the song that she contributed to, Fever, on the album is one of my favourite
tracks on the album. I think it's so much fun. Probably one of the most fun to do live.
MICHAEL PIHACH>> Talking about your album, an amazing album.
ADAM LAMBERT>> Thank you.
MICHAEL PIHACH>> I listen to it at the gym all the time. It's a good gym album. Gets
you really aggressive. You listen to the slow ones between reps.
ADAM LAMBERT>> To cool off.
MICHAEL PIHACH>> It's a cool off song.
ADAM LAMBERT>> The slow ones are for the pilates and stretching.
MICHAEL PIHACH>> What song on this album is the most personal to you?
ADAM LAMBERT>> Probably 'Broken Open' that was a song I wrote with Greg Wells and Evan
Bogart. It's basically dealing with helping someone be vulnerable enough to cry. Just
to fall apart. And it's a very very personal thing. There was a period in my life where
it just kept repeating itself. I would meet people, and they would be close friends that
this would happen to. But more often it was people I would have chance encounters with
whether it would be a lover or just a friend that I would meet that I didn't know that
well. Oftentimes alcohol would be involved. It was after a club or something and people
would come over to the house, you know, kick it afterwards. There was a one-night stand
in there. There was a friend that I just happen to have made that night. Some had been acquaintances
for years, and I was like "What are you doing? Come back and hang out." And it wasn't even
a hookup thing. It was like a new friend and one, or two, or three, or four, five, or six
of these people over the course of a couple of months were choosing me to just break open
to. It just kept happening. And I was like "Wow, what am I, a therapist? What's going
on here?" What is it that I am giving them that allows them to feel that way and it meant
a lot to me because it meant that I was making someone feel safe. And I was making someone
feel like they could be imperfect with me. And I think that's what the song is about,
it's what I wrote about. So imperfect is what you should be.
MICHAEL PIHACH>> What do you think of the music industry right now? Your kind of this
artist that came out queer right at the beginning. You know you weren't caught blowing some guy
in a bathroom. You weren't caught in a park. You know you didn't have a career and then
come out after.
ADAM LAMBERT>> Homo don't play that. Homo don't play.
MICHAEL PIHACH>> You've just been sort of queer from the start. Do you think we are
going to see any Adam Lambert knock offs this year?
ADAM LAMBERT>> I hope so. That would be cool. That would be really cool. It would be flattering.
It would be nice to see more visibility. I think that is the big step.
MICHAEL PIHACH>> Let's talk about your voice. How high can you sing?
ADAM LAMBERT>> Sort of high.
MICHAEL PIHACH>> What's the highest note you can hit?
ADAM LAMBERT>> (whisper). I don't know.
ADAM LAMBERT>> I'm not that singer that, and I actually hate these kinds of singers, that
are like "that was a B". You know, I'm like…I roll my eyes at a people like that, it doesn't
matter what note it was. Did it sound cool? You know what I mean. I'm not technical like
that these days.
MICHAEL PIHACH>> Your not like one of the characters on Glee? Where you want to see
how high you can sing.
ADAM LAMBERT>> Yeah it's just not my MO you know. I came from a world where that kind
of was the mentality. You know, taking voice lessons, being in theatre. Being like "Well
they hit the high E so… you know so there right here" I don't think that is really feeling
music. I don't think that is real rock and roll style. Like you just sing.
MICHAEL PIHACH>> I was wondering if you could give your fans a little teaser and sing us
something acapella?
ADAM LAMBERT>> No. It's not happening. NO. You have to buy the CD. I got two hours of
sleep yo. I'm going to be like 'ahhhh'.
MICHAEL PIHACH>> Well that's okay it will give us something to look forward to.
ADAM LAMBERT>> Put me on the spot like that. You owe me a drink
MICHAEL PIHACH>> I owe him a drink, let's go. We are going to Woodys.
ADAM LAMBERT>> I've been there. I like that place.
MICHAEL PIHACH>> Thank you so much Adam.
ADAM LAMBERT>> Thank you.
ADAM LAMBERT>> Hi, I'm Adam Lambert and you're watching