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 Post subject: Adam Revisited in Out Magazine (November 2011)
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:13 pm 
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Adam Revisited ... -revisited


Adam Lambert tells Editor in Chief Aaron Hicklin what he's learned in the two years since he appeared on the cover of the 2009 Out100.
Two years ago, in the 2009 Out100, we anointed Adam Lambert “Breakout Star of the Year,” and shot him for the cover, alongside Dan Choi, Wanda Sykes, Cyndi Lauper, and Rob Marshall. In the accompanying editor’s letter I took the entertainment industry to task for the way they control and limit access to the gay press, using our experience with Adam’s publicist at the time as my example. In hindsight, I was mistaken to address the letter directly to Adam: Although the massive response from his loyal fan base started a valuable debate, my letter was received as a personal attack that muddied the message. Lambert rightly sought to defend himself, in part by demonstrating his independence at the American Music Awards, when he simulated oral sex and kissed one of his band members. A lot of time has passed, and we can look back on that firestorm with cooler heads—so cool, in fact, that we were able to chat together, something we should have done first time around. This year we are honoring Adam for the way in which he has held true to his identity as a gay man while managing a successful musical career, a balancing act that is no mean feat. As he told The Advocate recently, “No one teaches you how to be a gay celebrity.” In a very real way he is leading the way.

Adam Lambert: I heard your name and thought, Oh, here we go!

Aaron Hicklin: You know, I was putting this together, and I realized that it was two years since we put you on the cover of the 2009 Out100. It struck me as important that this time we actually speak to each other.
I agree. I have no hard feelings. That was then, and I’ve learned a lot.

I have too. And I learned a lot from the experience of using my editor letter [as a critique of the entertainment industry]—good and bad, frankly. For a start, I realized you have a gazillion passionate fans and every single one was determined to make sure I knew they existed [laughs].
Yes, they’re very verbal.

They certainly are, and some of them still communicate with me, and I’ve made an effort to respond to as many as I can.
It’s an interesting dynamic, because I think the thing that’s ironic about it is that the photo session for Details [in which Lambert posed, controversially, with a nude female model], the one that we were talking about, was kind of done to play out the fantasy of many of my female fans.
They have deep imaginations, and there’s a lot of fantasy fiction that’s written on the Internet. I try not to read it because it can be a little creepy, but I know it’s something they really get into. So, for me, it was like, OK, I’ve lived my entire life as a gay man; I’m very comfortable with that. And all of a sudden, I have the opportunity to do this photo shoot, to play the opposite stereotype of the straight, butch guy. I found it really interesting, creatively, and didn’t think for one minute that I was toning anything down or trying to change who I was, so much as playing into a fantasy that I knew was really, really present, having been on tour all summer, having women throw their bras at me, and all that crazy shit. I will say that, on the flip side, timing is everything. That’s one thing that I’ve learned a lot about this year. I was still introducing myself to the masses then and, to me, on my own personal journey, it seemed like an interesting thing to do.

Sometimes I’m not as objective as I could be, and I don’t look at things from the perspective of a first-time audience. That definitely was somewhat the case with the American Music Awards performance [when Adam simulated oral sex and kissed his keyboard player]. I didn’t quite put myself in the position of the viewer at home that had watched me on American Idol and, the next time they see me on TV, it’s that performance. The AMA thing was maybe a little too much, too soon, and the photo shoot for Details, although very beautiful, maybe it wasn’t the right timing.

But two years on, I’m curious about what you’ve learned about yourself in this process since you’ve, very transparently, gone from a contestant on a show whose success represented a radical breakthrough to becoming a superstar. It must have been pretty exhausting and demanding and emotionally draining in many ways.
Yeah, it was definitely a lot to take on. But whenever I would feel overwhelmed or stressed out, the thing that kept me balanced is that I really do appreciate the opportunity I have. If I was a little younger, I wouldn’t have dealt with it so well. I’m 29, and having been in the entertainment industry throughout my entire twenties in Los Angeles, I grew almost, like, a Teflon coating, rather than being a kid from Ohio just jumping into it.

So you were prepared to some extent?
No one can really prepare you fully. There were things I was very surprised by [laughs] and had to learn quickly, and had to learn the hard way.

And you probably weren’t prepared to have me pouncing on you…
No, but all’s fair in that game. I think it’s been character building, which is great, and it’s definitely put me where I’m at now. I think the hardest thing about being a gay celebrity is that we’re in the middle of a social rights movement and it’s a very hot topic, so we’re at a very pivotal time. Coming out was great, but there are certain issues that always surprise me and I think, Why is this an issue? I live and I’ve grown up in a space that is very accepting and open-minded; I surround myself socially with people that are artists and very bohemian and I forget sometimes that, OK, we’re dealing with mainstream culture now, which does not have the same mentality as I do. I think, too, that by nature I’m very contrary. If you tell me I can’t do something then I’m gonna push back harder and do it. I’m kind of rebellious, but I try to do it with a smile. I’m not a jerk about it.

Do you fear that there is a trade-off in success and sales when you’re as true to yourself as you have been?
There’s definitely a bit of a conflict. I think I spent a lot of energy trying to find my footing and expressing my sexuality one way or the other. And I think now that I have established who I am and I’ve gotten it out of my system, what’s really important—without denying or downplaying my pride as a gay man—is the music. Looking back, I think the other things trumped the music a little bit. With my new album, what’s exciting is that I’m definitely in the driver’s seat. I’m working with producers and my label directly. I’m not being puppeted around in any way, shape, or form. It’s about the music now.

And is that in contrast to earlier on in your career?
Well, I mean, we were trying to focus on the music, but there were so many other things being thrown at me and it was so fast. You don’t have time to think. We put the last album together in a month and a half—while I was on a nationwide tour with American Idol. I didn’t have time to think, to sleep. I was just doing what I could. And that’s hard when you don’t have perspective. Things get lost and you kind of forget the basics a little bit. And during this writing process for the past six or seven months, I’ve been living in a house in Los Angeles, I’m in a great relationship, I have some time to spend with my friends, I’ve had what has been the closest to a normal life since the whole American Idol thing. It felt really good.

The next album is that dreaded sophomore album, dreaded for a lot of people because an artist typically puts so much into their first album because it's been percolating in their head for years and the second, they’re under pressure to produce quickly.
I feel like it’s almost the opposite in my case. The process of making the first album was so fast. This is definitely the album that I want to make. I’m getting time with it, I’m able to say, ‘I want to re-record that vocal,’ or ‘Lets bring this song to another producer or a different beat put on it’. So I’m getting to immerse myself in the process. I feel like I’m getting to take the necessary time.

For you, when you’re writing a song, does it come from personal experience?
Well, the majority of the music on this second album I have written. There are a couple songs written by other writers, but for me to sing a song that I didn’t write, it has to be something that I can relate to personally, 100%. So when I get in the booth and I sing it, it’s coming from the most real place possible. It’s funny, when I started the writing process I felt totally exhausted. It’s like a decompression that happens after you’re on the road for so long. Real life feels so foreign and bizarre, and I was actually a little bit depressed when I first came back because I just didn’t know what to do with myself. I felt a little bit lonely and I was trying to get back into my friendships, but it felt like I had been gone for so long, it was strange. And I was trying to get over a couple of failed dating situations that didn’t go so well.

I’m sorry.
So my writing, in the beginning, gravitated towards something darker and moodier and angstier. And slowly over the course of this writing process, my relationship solidified, this was someone that I had met while I was on tour who had come to visit a couple of times at the beginning of this process and is now here permanently. I just got really, really happy and satisfied with life. I wanted my music to reflect where I’m at, and I can tell you that one of the first people I worked with on the album that was a physical turning point was Pharrell Williams.

In what way?
We had a really long conversation and it was interesting to get his perspective on where I was as a person and as an artist, because he’s someone that doesn’t know me—our lifestyles are very different—but he’s an incredible artist and a very intelligent guy and deep and spiritual as well. So we talked about life and everything that goes with it—about being an artist, about being a person overcoming adversity. And we wrote a song together that I think people are going to be really impressed by. After my session with Pharrell, I started working with some other writers and going in that direction. Going along with the trend of dance music was something I really wanted to go with on the album. I love my fans, and I want to give my fans the songs that they really eat up, but I also want to expand my audience if I can. And I want to make some music for my gay brothers and sisters. You know what I mean? I want to make the kind of music I would listen to if I were out in a club.

Which is what kind of music?
Dance music! My challenge was, how do I make dance music authentic to what I’m capable of vocally and what I do. That’s when I started getting into the funk arena. I mean, it’s still electronic, but it’s funky and it has a swing, and I was listening to a lot of Michael Jackson and Prince and we just started going in that direction.

What music inspired you as a kid?
My two biggies were Madonna and Michael Jackson. They were king and queen. And they both wore just as much makeup and were fabulous in their outfits and had music videos that were theatrical and cinematic, and that’s kind of the type of artist I see myself as—one that wants to create from the ground up, not only an amazing song, but on with a beat and a story and a look and a theme. I’m really hoping this album allows me those opportunities and that I can take my audience on that kind of a journey.

"'re the only one that knows me better than I know myself... " ~ Adam Lambert from his upcoming 'Trespassing' album



 Post subject: Re: Adam Revisited in Out Magazine (November 2011)
PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:12 pm 
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Reinventing Adam Lambert, the Outtakes ... e-outtakes

By Matthew Breen (@matbreen)

In the complete interview, Adam Lambert describes his fashion influences, 1970s glam inspirations, his song “Outlaws of Love,” and what it’s like to be in the media spotlight.

The Advocate: When did you first know that you could sing?
Adam Lambert: I had been doing children’s theater for a while, at a theater company in San Diego and we were doing a production of Fiddler on the Roof. There’s this part the Russian soldier who sings this big powerful operatic solo in the middle of the song “L’Chaim” and I’d been cast in that role, and I just opened my mouth. You have to hold this one kind of high powerful note for a long time, for dramatic effect, and I just remember this director was like, “Wow,” and stopped me had me do it again, used it as instruction for the other kids. When I finally did it in front of an audience I heard a few gasps. It was children’s theater so the level of expectation was kind of low. So that was the first time I went wow, maybe this is something I’m better at than the other kids. I’m good at something.

Performing was a natural impulse as a child?
Yeah, I was pretty precocious. My mom thought at one point I had ADD, and took me to the doctor and the doctor was like, “no he’s just precocious, he’s just got a lot of questions and has a lot of horsepower.” I always had a pretty vivid imagination, playing dress up and make-believe, and when I had my toys I had a story.

You also talk about knowing that you were different. How did that manifest itself?
I just knew there was something kind of taboo, that felt wrong but so right, about some of the other guys — like looking at the other boys. It was when I started becoming a sexual human. When puberty started setting in, I was like, that does something for me that the girls don’t quite do it the same way. It’s still a struggle at that point because obviously that doesn’t feel “normal” so I was still trying to see if it would change, that I just hadn’t met the right girl.


Your mom asked you if you wanted a boyfriend. But before that, when did you understand that for yourself?
In high school. I didn’t really date in high school. I didn’t have any girlfriends. My friends were mostly girls. I pretty much knew at that point. I was like any boy, gay or straight, you know, like jerking off looking at porn on the computer — you know, really slow Internet connections at the time, like in 1997. You could see like a blurry one frame per minute. At that point I knew, but even though I was in southern California, it was a pretty conservative upper middle class area. I don’t think any of the other students were gay — not out anyway. It’s hard. I was really secretive and worried about my sexuality, and I definitely didn’t do anything to indicate that, yes, I was definitely gay. But I also didn’t do all that much to try to convince the other way, I was kind of in the middle. I was really involved in theater and choir and all those performing arts things. In a high school of kids that were all dressing in Quick Silver and surf clothes, I was going to Banana Republic. And I found it really necessary to have a messenger bag. I definitely went against the grain early, so not much has changed — except I would never shop at Banana Republic ever again. You couldn’t catch me dead in a pair of chinos.

Even though I was uncomfortable dubbing myself gay I wanted to express my individuality. A love for fashion and costume and the way I presented myself visually was always very important to me. But I was kind of bougie, I want nice things, I want nice clothing that looks classy and professional — that was back then.

Your aesthetic now is obviously very different. You talked making a change in your style in Germany.
That was the most dramatic turning point. Slowly but surely moving out of San Diego, moving to Los Angeles, living here, just discovering myself, meeting new people, turning 21, getting to go out, go to bars, just you know, expression, it’s just something that sort of develops.

Being out of the country helps, too.
There was a whole other world of options, to dive into a new community, a new pool. There was a lot of hardcore clubs and ravey type places, and different music. It was
really exciting.

Who do you look to for style inspirations?
Even back then and to this day I get a kick out of looking at runway show stills and videos. I love fashion, for the longest time it wasn’t something that I could afford. I mean high fashion is really expensive! Growing up here in L.A., coming into my own here, the best thing I could do was going to Wasteland on Melrose Ave. and buying something from six seasons ago and try to make it work. Or cut something with a pair of scissors. I was pretty adventurous with my homemade alterations — even though I can’t sew to save my life. And what’s funny is, I look back and most of the stuff I tried to pull off was rather tacky and horrible, but fuck it! I also feel that’s part of the expression in fashion. At some point it just kind of has to be for you, and not for everybody else. So if I feel great in the weird asymmetrical blousy cotton shirt [gestures to his shirt] then I’m going to wear it.

That’s part of the fun of it, trying something new. One of the things I hear a lot, especially when making small talk with somebody and I’m wearing something kind of eccentric, is, “Oh, I could never pull that off.” It’s one of my pet peeves, that phrase, because the only thing you need to pull it off is the desire to do so. That’s what separates people who are taking fashion risks from those that aren’t, is that they just choose to do it. It’s just a choice.

It seems reasonable to me that a designer or label should approach you and ask you to put your name on something.
That’d be really cool. I’ve had some discussions. It’s not something that I’m pursuing yet, but I totally would, when the time is right. The focus right now is — for the past five months I’ve been writing and recording at least a couple days a week, so that’s my focus. And I’m not the best multi-tasker in the world. When I get involved in a project I put all my eggs in that basket. It’s a blessing and a curse. It can be really great because I have a lot of energy to put into it but I don’t always juggle other things as well as I could.

Today is “A Day in Gay America.”
I got a smoothie and I pumped gas!
(RELATED: See photos from Adam Lambert’s Day in Gay America shoot)

What are your days like now?
What I did this morning before coming here [to the recording studio] is truly a normal day for me. When we got the schedule they were like, “We need you at the studio on Friday and we’re doing this [photo shoot] on Friday,” so it just makes sense. These are my days. I woke up, I got on my treadmill at my house this morning and ran for 20 minutes and got ready. I love this juice place because this is called “The Singer’s Remedy” and it’s like lemon and cayenne. It clears your throat and gets your chords ready. And it’s something I actually do. And I need gas to drive, it’s a normal day.

How much time are you spending in the recording studio?
It’s a tedious process, it’s really time consuming. It takes time to get it right. I don’t know how other artist do it, but for this project I’m kind of adopting the mentality of just keep writing and keep recording as much as possible, and then when we know that we’re ready to decide which tracks are going to be on the album, we’ll look at everything and narrow it down, and when I say we, it’s myself, my A&R for my label, and my manager.

You don’t know what will be on the album now? What are you recording now?
You never know. I have no idea what’s going to be on there and what’s not.

How would you characterize the music that’s driving you most right now?
There are three lanes I’ve been chasing down, depending on who the producer or the writer is that I’m working with, there are about three different kind of vibes. I’ve been experimenting with a lot more funk this time —

With Sam Sparro?
Yeah, I did a song with him, and we’re going to do some more work next week. He’s great. I love Sam. He and I wrote a song on my last album, as well. It was on the international release, called “Voodoo.” He is so easy to work with and we laugh a lot because we have a similar sense of humor, and we write really well together. It’s a really balanced equation. We throw the ball back and forth. He’s got amazing ideas, amazing melodies, great style vocally and conceptually, and I think we kind of share a similar head space.

So funk is one track…
I guess you could call it electrofunk, and then there’s some darker synth pop — a little bit Depeche Mode, a little bit ’90s industrial. Nine Inch Nails meets George Michael. I know that’s a weird mashup but that’s what it feels like. Then there’s some more singer-songwriter emotional, vocally driven. No matter what the genre is that we’re working on, it’s all very person. Even on upbeat fun tracks it’s all very real. The last album was a little bit more of a fantasy escape with the exception of maybe “Whattya Want From Me?” and a couple of other songs, but even my image for that last album felt very theatrical, and kind of over the top and intentionally tacky. There was a choice there with the album cover — I get a kick out of making artistic statements that are kind of ridiculous, you know? There’s something like overtly weird about it, or tongue in cheek or campy. I think it was more campy than provocative. But in America, camp is not something that is mainstream. It’s not something that is always grasped. You kind of have to hit people over the head with things, especially pop music, so there were some challenges with that.

That last album cover reminded me of a Jobriath album cover.
That’s definitely a reference — ’70s glam. Also the ’80s hair metal bands with their high glam. There’s something really fun about that because it’s so ridiculous. But I think it was also really unexpected for someone coming off of Idol because of what the audience is used to seeing from that show, which is a bit more boy next-door, girl next-door, wholesome, normal. And I’m definitely not normal. In fact sometimes I try too hard not to be normal. I’ve always tried to do the opposite — I don’t even know why I do it. I think contrarian is a good word for it. I like to do the other thing, just to do it.

Are you worried about sophomore slump?
There’s a different pressure. There are more expectations in certain respects, but there’s less in certain respects. I think an artist breaking into the scene without American Idol, without a platform like that, it’s a different set of circumstance. But for me I [had] all the hype of a TV show, and now that’s two years in the past, so now we have to create hype, attention, and focus on the music, so we have to re-splash. But people recognize me, people know who I am, so hopefully that’ll help. I don’t know. It’s hard. Any sort of creation of art is hard to present to people if they have a very strong idea of what you are or were. This album is more personal, and I think it’s going to let people underneath my façade a little bit. It was a self-created and totally admitted façade. There was something very theatrical about the last album, it was glam, it was intentional. And I think that’s pretty popular in pop music right now, a cartoon sensibility, like a heightened kind of gimmick, and that was the gimmick I wanted to run with. But this one is a lot more current, it feels a lot more now, and lot more personal. I think the thing I’m trying to convey to my audience is that you really can’t judge a book by its cover, and there’s more to the universe than you can see with your eyes. Without being pretentious or preachy, there’s a lot of themes in the album that are kind of spiritual in a way. It’s like existential pop. There’s some things that I’m writing about and exploring that are a bit deeper than where I went on the last album.

I knew I was doing this interview with The Advocate today, and the VH1 thing [“Behind the Music”] just came out, and it’s so funny because it’s been the weirdest battle with identifying as a gay man in mainstream culture. Because there’s not a lot of us, especially in the music industry. After I was given the opportunity to open up and do interviews after Idol, I was like yeah, yeah yeah. I didn’t want to do that. I came out, but this isn’t what I wanted to do.

I think The Advocate is an exception. I think a respected gay publication treats it differently, but regular journalism they make such a big deal out of homosexuality! It’s gotten to the point where I feel like fans and gay people know that I’m gay and I feel like we’ve beaten it over the head. It’s nothing I’m ashamed of. I’m totally proud of it and open about it but I do feel like there’s something really, it’s creating like a vicious cycle. Because of the sensationalism that the media lends to sexuality I feel like it’s holding us back from moving past it. I’m starting to grow really fond of the post-gay concept. Because I haven’t really thought about being gay since I was coming out of the closet. It just was after the fact. In my whole 20s in L.A. before I was a celebrity, I went to gay clubs and I met guys, but I also had a life outside of that. My life wasn’t defined by my sexuality, and becoming a celebrity it’s kind of gone backwards, and all of a sudden it’s all about being gay. And it’s not for me, that’s not how I feel, but that’s how I feel the media wants to spin me. To almost use me as a catalyst. In some respects a lot of good can come from that. Kids coming up — when I was a kid I didn’t have that many people to look up to. And if I’d had people in the public eye who were really upfront about it, it probably would have helped me.

Is the fact that you don’t think about being gay very much a function of living in a big city and being surrounded by a culture where you’re less likely to be beat up or spit on? Post-gay is a nice idea.

Describe the feeling of the scrutiny for the first time when you are able to do interviews.
I’m getting used to it now, but when it all started it was really overwhelming. I was being asked questions that I hadn’t really thought about in 10 years, since coming out. It’s tricky. It brought a lot of things to light that hadn’t really crossed my consciousness since I was struggling with it.

After Idol and your first album was coming out, you’ve variously said, and I’m paraphrasing, “I want to be an artist, not a gay artist. I want to be a performer, not a politician.” But it seems you’ve changed your approach. You are doing activism now.
Yeah I have gotten further into that. I’m more comfortable with it. I’m more comfortable with myself in the public eye. That’s an adjustment. It was such a quick experience. Being on Idol you’re catapulted so fast. It took me a minute to figure out what I wanted to contribute, how I wanted to contribute. I’m far from perfect, I fuck up, I make missteps, I wear the wrong thing, I say the wrong thing, I sing the wrong thing. I hope I’m also singing, saying, and wearing the right thing.

I think you can see how some in the gay media were confused by you. You said, “It’s not about wearing a t-shirt that says ‘gay,’” but then kissing your guitarist at the VMAs.
I kind of asked for it in a way. That’s the other thing about being a celebrity and being an artist. Not everything is so premeditated as people think it is. There are things that just happen, there are things you just do.

You mean the kiss?
Yeah, it just happened. It was an impulse. Because we’re in L.A. there’s such a film industry, and everything is so scripted in film. Songwriting is scripted, but live performance is something else. I love being spontaneous — there are spontaneous notes I hit when I sing a song from this time to that time, I don’t stand in the same place, I don’t have moves — unless it’s a choreographed routine. Things do have a life of their own —that’s where the magic is. But what you say is true, there was a certain level of — I think it was a bit reactionary on my part. I think I was a little overwhelmed at that point with everything, and I’d faced some criticism from a gay publication over another choice that I’d made, which was a post-gay decision — me taking a picture with a girl I thought it was just sexy.

Details magazine?
Yeah, I didn’t think it was intended at all to make me straight. I thought it was kind of funny. I thought it was like two girls kiss at a bar for a guy to kind of toy with him, that’s what it felt like to me. It was to fuck with people a little but, like, “Oh weird, I didn’t expect to see him there.” I’ve made out with girls, I may have done more than that too, but so what? I’ve heard people criticize that, “Oh, he’s just trying to seem bi.” No I’m just being, I’m not trying to seem anything, that’s just the truth. It’s not as premeditated as it seems, I don’t know how to do that.

Is this all something you have to think about in a different way than before?
If anything the photo shoot for Details was to toy with a double standard, and to just kind of mess with stereotypes and with people’s perceptions of what is and isn’t. And it was a fantasy. Most of my fans are female, and it was kind of a fantasy for them, and why not for a minute?

Because there’s no question—?
There’s no question in their minds — no question in my mind, not an ounce. And I do believe in a gray area of sexuality. I don’t think it should be so black and white.

But you’re subjected to a different level of scrutiny, when people see a narrow sliver of your life and project more about you based on that. When people see certain things, do they expect that you’re sending a message, conveying a deeper meaning about something in your life?
That performance was really spur of the moment, when I look back with hindsight it was kind of me reacting a little bit to that, like you know, you’re not gay enough thing. At that moment for whatever reason I was like, well is this gay enough? It was me being a little bit pissed off!

I come from a theater, which on one hand is very controlled, but on the other hand, in my 20s I would do performances at clubs and Burning Man, and the Zodiac Show, and a lot of what I did was very performance art, free spirited, ad-libbed, spontaneous expression, and that’s the part of the art form I’m in love with. I don’t like being told what to do or how to do it, I don’t like every step being choreographed. I like being spontaneous.

You’ve talked about having an epiphany at Burning Man about the direction of your career. You were in Wicked, but not feeling satisfied.
I just wasn’t satisfied, and I didn’t know what I was looking for. And at Burning Man, it just sort of clicked all of a sudden. I realized I was kind of in my own way, I wasn’t really going for it. Somewhere in my head I thought I wanted something and I wasn’t making it happen. And I think that was the kind of flip, it’s like, you have control over your destiny, you have to be proactive to achieve your goals and dreams, and that was the thing I wasn’t doing. I was being lazy about it.

I wanted to make music and do my own show, and do my own expression my own art, where I could be at the helm of it, making decisions. I’ve been in professional theater where you’re directed, and I wanted to direct myself. I wanted to write my own music. I’d started to write stuff on my own, and I had done stuff with a couple of producers. The other thing I realized was, if I could just get with some of these major writers and producers that make things sound amazing, we could collaborate and make amazing songs. So I started thinking, how the fuck am I supposed to get myself in front of some of these people, because it’s a hard business to break into. And the big pop mainstream music industry is very heterosexual. A lot of the pop girls that you see coming up, they use their feminine wiles to persuade producers to work with them. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, that’s part of their charm. But a lot of the music industry is driven like that. If it’s male artist, they make the feel the producer feel cool, because they’re cool. It’s kind of high school.

The fame wasn’t part of the desire. Another motivating factor was that I had nothing saved in the bank. I wasn’t struggling, I had a theater job, I was able to pay the rent and live pretty comfortably, go out to eat, go out to a bar, see a movie, go buy an outfit. But I had no savings. I was in a studio apartment and getting older, talking to my parents about taxes and life. So I The fame part is the weirdest thing — the fame part is like a job unto itself.

started thinking about how do I make some money — that was another motivating factor.

How much can we talk about your boyfriend, Sauli Koskinen?
You know honestly, it’s when you start talking so much about your relationship… it opens the door too much.

When did you meet?
In Finland in Helsinki in a bar after a show I did there.

He is a reality TV personality in Big Brother — so he’s famous.
Which is great because he understands some of the things I go through. It was an instant connection, but I didn’t know [that he was famous] until after we met. I approached him. There was physical attraction but also a great energy, like a glow. There was something very connected about the eye contact, the communication just flowed very easily.

And you went on a date from there?
That’s all I’ll say. [Laughs]

How long have you been seeing each other?
That was in November.

And he lives…?
That’s all I’m going to say. I’ve only been in one major long-term relationship prior to this, and I’m really, really happy. It’s done a lot for me, and it’s grounded me, and it has inspired me as a writer, as a performer, and I just think everybody wants that connection, and I’m really happy to have found it.

He’s inspired a lot. I’m writing about love and relationships. Before meeting Saul —which is a great positive healthy exciting relationship — I had some not so healthy situations. Heartache is great for songwriting.

Tell me about the song “Outlaws of Love.”
Even though I’m trying to go to this post-gay mentality, which also I think is a generational thing, 100%, “Outlaws of Love” — I just wanted to write about the struggles the frustration that many gay people face. And I wanted to do it in a simple portrait and compare it to being on the run from the law. You just can rest, you can’t settle, you’re always on guard, you’re always looking over your shoulder, looking for that peace, that solace. That is a concept we’ve all seen in movies, like Bonnie & Clyde or Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. I wanted to write it to communicate it to someone who doesn’t understand. I’m really proud of it, because I feel like it’s important and says it in a really accessible way.

I’m learning so much about songwriting on this album, I’m learning so much from the other people that I’m writing with. I’m very lucky to have the opportunities I have. I wrote it with BC Jean and Rune Westberg.

Gay marriage is like, our love is outlawed, literally.

Let’s talk about your fans. Do young gay fans come up to you at shows?
From what I can tell there’s more of a gay presence internationally than domestically, which I found interesting. It’s great [when gay kids come up] because I feel like the ones that I meet are like the ones that kind of feel weird. I don’t think I’m cool, I think I’m kind of a dork. I pick up this kind of energy among young people that like, it might not be the coolest thing to say you like Adam Lambert’s music. I just feel like people don’t think that I’m cool, but I think that’s great. So I love that I have the kids who are like ballsy enough to be like, “Fuck it, I like Adam’s music,” and who have the guts to say that “I don’t care if you don’t think he’s cool because I like the music.” I mean I am kind of a nerd.

I feel like there’s a collective eye-roll when it comes to me, in the media, and just in general consciousness, with the exception of my amazing Glamberts, my hardcore fans who are the opposite.

This shit’s hilarious. When I’m not being stressed out by fame or Oh my God, am I gay enough for you, or not gay enough for you?, when all that’s said and done there’s something really funny about this, I mean really ridiculous, especially because this happened to me at 27 years old and I went though my 20s not having this job. And so that’s the thing that kind of keeps me fine about it. That’s the part of me that keeps it in perspective and keeps me grounded. And it’s pretty funny. It really is a dream job, and it’s really cool. I do stop and keep it all in perspective. This is pop music, and it’s not fucking brain surgery. I mean some of it’s serious and some deals with issues like outlaws of love but some of it’s just really fun fucking dance music. And I’m wearing eight pounds of makeup because I fucking want to. Why not?

"'re the only one that knows me better than I know myself... " ~ Adam Lambert from his upcoming 'Trespassing' album



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