Interview | South Florida
27 Feb 2016
Adam Lambert thinks he’s found that original high with his new album, “The Original High.”
“It means different things,” Lambert says. “The title song means different things. Look, I’ve lived a very colorful life. I’ve had a lot of adventures. I’ve seen a lot of things. I’ve always been a lover of the nightlife, going to a lot of clubs, going to a lot of after-hours until the wee hours, in Hollywood and New York and in Europe. At some point, it starts to become redundant, and you’re like, ‘What am I going for?’ I’m still chasing that first feeling of being 22 and being out, and it was so glamorous. And then, it’s like you’re always chasing that first big epiphany.”
In support of his third studio album, the “American Idol” alum is bringing “The Original High Tour” Saturday, March 12, to Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
“This [album] is looking back over my life, the last 10 years or so … my personal life,” Lambert says. “This is sort of what [the song] ‘Ghost Town’ talks about. I wanted to do something that reflected the state of things a little bit. With this album, I wanted to look at it, the ups and downs, the gray that are in between.”
Lambert recently talked about the album from a tour stop in Nashville.
Is it true you recorded “The Original High” in the middle of your tour with Queen?
Sort of. When I would have a break from the world tour, I would record different parts instead of everything. I had two months in Stockholm before the Queen tour just working on this album with an amazing team of producers, you know, Max Martin and Shellback. It allowed me to just relax and be an artist.
You did a bit of acting on “Glee,” and I read that you’re going to be in the live TV broadcast of “The Rocky Horror Show.”
When I heard about the project, I was so excited. They originally came to me to play Dr. Frankenfurter. I was flattered and [thought] that would be fun, but I thought for me, a white man, to play a transgender role feels like, in 2016, doesn’t feel appropriate. It’s been such an amazing time for the trans community and the liberation for that group. So I’m happy that they’ve cast Laverne Cox as Frankenfurter, because I think that is brilliant and brave casting. You can’t really re-create Tim Curry. He’s so iconic in that role and so funny and lovely. It’s smart to go in a different way.
Are you watching the final season of “American Idol”?
I have not been able to watch. I’ve been on tour, and I was overseas. And I’ve not been by a TV during prime time.
Is that kind of phenomenon over with? How can a singer launch a career these days? It’s so hard to get everyone’s attention.
I think that is one of the reasons why things are packing up. Things have changed. It’s not the same. I think Phillip Phillips was the last Idol to have any chart success since my season. I think YouTube has become a huge way for artists to build an audience. I think what you are seeing is a lot of this sort of DIY grow your audience.
After earning your chops in “Wicked,” “Hair” and “The Ten Commandments: The Musical,” do you have any interest to return to the musical-theater stage?
Right now, I’m getting to be myself onstage after so many years auditioning. And being part of that theater scene is one of the things that motivated me to go and audition for “Idol.” I wanted more control creatively. The only time you can do that in theater is when you originate a role. Before “Idol,” I was a chorus boy, essentially. But I wanted to change, to be an artist … and create my own show. But that background in theater makes me a great bit more aware of how to put on a great show and connect to a mass audience.
I am obsessed with your fashion sense. Is that you or stylists who make you “Glambert”?
[laughing] I certainly hire different stylists for different moments. But usually, I’m pretty sure of what I want. I’ve been known to have an opinion. [laughing] There was a point when it was all about a costume. I wanted some things referencing the ’70s, Freddie [Mercury] and David Bowie or Marc Bolan. I took a lot of inspiration from what they wore back then. Over time, I grew more and more fond of what was happening in contemporary fashion. I’ve fallen in love with the research of it. Each season, I pick apart what I like and what trends are happening. I’m drawn more lately to avant-garde street fashion. I love pieces that are special and different. Mostly onstage, everything I’m wearing is a designer piece. It’s all kind of based on look books, editorials or fashion shows I’ve seen.You’ve been to South Florida a lot. What’s your favorite hangout?When I’m in Miami, I love SoHo Beach House. It’s really chic. Adam Lambert will perform 8 p.m. Saturday, March 12, at Hard Rock Live, 1 Seminole Way, in Hollywood. Tickets cost $54, $64 and $74. To order, call 800-745-3000 or go to SeminoleHardRockHollywood.com