Reinventing Adam Lambert

BY Matthew Breen

October 17 2011 4:00 AM ET

ADAM LAMBERT PUMPING GAS XLRG (SCHWABEL) | ADVOCATE.COMAnd that Details photo shoot? “Taking a picture with a girl — I thought it was just sexy. Most of my fans are female, and it was kind of a fantasy for them, and why not? There’s no question in their minds” that he’s gay. “No question in my mind, not an ounce.”

A generally more speculative matter is the content and release date of his new album, which, as of press time, is untitled and tentatively scheduled for a November release. Lambert describes a more personal album, driven by vocal singer-songwriter tracks, electrofunk, and synth-pop in a “Nine Inch Nails meets George Michael” sort of way. “I know that’s a weird mash-up, but that’s what it feels like,” he says.

“No matter what the genre is, it’s all very personal, even on upbeat, fun tracks. The last album was a little bit more of a fantasy escape…even my image for that last album felt very theatrical and kind of over-the-top and intentionally tacky. I get a kick out of making artistic statements that are kind of ridiculous.”

The pop sensation thinks the last album cover 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 in pop music.”

He’s going slow with the sophomore release. “It takes time to get it right,” he says. “I don’t know how other artists do it, but for this project I’m 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.”

There’s a different pressure with a second album, especially with the helpful hype of the TV juggernaut a full two years behind him. “But people recognize me, people know who I am, so hopefully that’ll help. I don’t know. It’s hard.”

Of the new album’s personal nature, he says, “I think it’s going to let people underneath my facade a little bit — a self-created and totally admitted facade. I’m trying to convey to my audience 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. It’s like existential pop.”

Lambert is of two minds when it comes to gay visibility and his place as a gay cultural figure. He’s become increasingly involved with gay rights organizations, yet he asks, “How many ways can I spell G-A-Y? Everybody knows I’m gay. And the thing that’s hard is, where’s there balance for me? I’m a musician and I’m writing music. I’m also becoming more involved sociopolitically, I’m getting involved with the Trevor Project and Equality California — these are things that I really do care about. But I do want to maintain a balance. What am I going to be known for in 15 years? I want to be known for my music, that’s my art. That’s what I’m contributing actively. I think visibility is a great tool, and that’s one other reason that I’ve been so verbal about it, but the irony is that here we are, talking about it.”













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