Translation of interview with Danish magazine Poplick.
This is a fairly rough translation of the interview. There isn’t any new information. The interviewer has a very specific style of writing, which is slightly ironic/pop smart, but I have probably managed to mangle that up completely.
[First off, Adam is mentioned in the editorial on the index page]
It is so trivial to talk about the weather but I’m going to do so anyway, because it came close to cancelling this edition’s front page. The night before my interview with the glam idol Adam Lambert I was horrified to read on his Twitter that he had a fever. That the damned Scandinavian ice-winter had caught up with the American pop star’s delicate health. What now? Would he cancel in the 11th hour?
Luckily not. Adam Lambert handled the fever and the subsequent cold as a man and did not seem ill in any way when I sat down with him. On the contrary, he was friendly, engaged and ready to be bombarded with my questions about sexuality, scandals, and, of course, his new album. Which I, after having heard the first couple of tracks, feel confident will throw some warm pop-love all over this cold season.
[Yada yada – talking about the cold and other features in the magazine]
No more talk about the cold. If we ignore it, it might disappear. Until then, take it like a man – like Adam.
[The interviewer is also the editor of the magazine, Kristian Dam Nygaard (KDN)]
[The black box on the first page of the interview is titled Glambert for beginners and is a short fact box of birth date and sales stats]
“I have many fans who cannot deal with the fact that I am gay”
He was the favourite to win American Idol. But in the middle of the show he was caught kissing a man. And then he only got to second place in God’s own, uptight, country. Today the winner is forgotten while Adam Lambert has rocketed to become an icon for a generation of outsiders. KDN went to Stockholm to meet the king of glam and pop-provocation.
Danish liver pate [traditional Danish dish] is granted an audience with American caviar. I’m sitting in a brown hotel lobby in Stockholm across from the glam-idol Adam Lambert. Where I have forgotten to cut my nails and maybe am in need of a haircut, Adam looks like he just stepped out of one of his own music videos: Black lacquered nail, left ear pierced, rings on every other finger, black-coloured hair with a hint of brown, long high-collared leather jacket and a relaxed, high-pitched [not the perfect word: direct translation is light but meaning not deep] American accent to lean against.
“How is your head?” I ask, knowing that Adam the night before on his well-groomed Twitter profile had written the following: “How did I come down with a fever so fast? Oof, dizzy!”
“It feels a little empty today,” he says and smiles. “I really had a bad cold yesterday, and I’m fairly woozy today, but the fever is gone, so I’m sure it’ll be ok. Arrived three days ago and was supposed to promote my new album last night. But when I woke up from my afternoon nap, my head was just chaotic”.
It started with a mushroom trip
Chaos is a very good description of Adam Lambert’s first year in life [?] and on the pop stage. The 30-year-old pop star grew up in San Diego on the American west coast, 200 km south of glamorous Hollywood. San Diego was far from being friendly to showbiz and flappy wrists [sorry, couldn’t think of the appropriate translation – but means gay] and as a child he felt left out. “I didn’t have a lot of friends. I felt different, didn’t have anyone to reflect. There were no gay role models, and I was probably a little introverted. There was no one like me,” he says.
Later he found a community in a theatre group, which finally provided a place for ‘all of the weird kids’, and at the age of 21 he travelled the world with the musical ‘Hair’. He describes this time as pure ‘sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll’ and it was while tripping on mushrooms he, in 2008, decided to enter the world’s largest televised talent show, American Idol. Here he easily swept through the initial auditions and went all the way to the finale as the big favourite. Halfway through the show, pictures of Adam caught kissing a man surfaced and shock swept across the sexually scared USA. Could you let a gay guy win AI? You could not, and Adam received the fewest votes from viewers in the finale, and was beaten by the sexually more water-combed [meaning normal, or dare I say it; straight] Kris Allen (whom only a few outside the AI fan base know today). However, Adam’s talent was not to be denied. Shortly after the show he released his debut album ‘For Your Entertainment’, from which the single WWFM became a global monster hit. As the first AI-contestant he subsequently went on a large world tour and since then has not shied off pushing countless homophobic people’s boundaries for what one can get away with on stage.
A threat to decency
“When you perform you kiss your male bass player, simulate oral sex with the microphone and smoke joints on stage. I Malaysia you have even been proclaimed to be a threat to decency and harmful for the children. Do you like to be provocative?” I ask and make Adam laugh out loud.
“Yes, it’s amazing. Sometimes I do it on purpose as a political statement, but mostly I just can’t help it. It’s so easy. But it’s also part of the art. Art has to provoke and make you react. And it is ok if it is a little dangerous.”
He clears his throat and sits up straight in the chair: “I’m a little uncomfortable being proclaimed a role model. I’m not perfect. I’m just trying to live my life. I’m totally open about the fact that I’m gay, and if my being confident about that can help others, then it’s great.”
During my research I have had trouble finding articles about Adam where his sexuality has not been a topic.
“Have you ever given an interview, where you weren’t asked about being gay?”
The answer is prompt and is followed by a little thinking accompanied by a wrinkled brow.
“Maybe a couple of times … But … It is … yeah. You see, I have many fans who cannot deal with the fact that I’m gay. They really like my music, but then … Yes, it’s strange. It really shouldn’t matter. It should be a lot more like here in Scandinavia,” he says and smiles again.
I ask Adam if he remembers when he in November 2010 visited Store Vega [concert venue] in Copenhagen on his world tour. He looks like someone searching for a diplomatic answer.
“That tour might be a little fuzzy?” I help him out.
“Yes. Unfortunately I don’t remember so much. I’ve been so many places, but that whole part of the world …”
“Yes, people are so beautiful. They really are. It is something about their eyes. They have an energy that I really like.”
“You’re just saying that because you know I’m from DK and it would make your Danish fans happy”.
“Haha, no, no. I would really like to come here more and figure out what it is. Maybe it’s because you give each other more space. You don’t interfere so much in each other’s lives”.
Adam’s manager, Jocke, who during the interview nicely has kept to the background clears his throat and inform me that we have to finish. Adam has a long day of interviews ahead and has to have time to get a bit of lunch before the next team arrives.
Thus, I start in on the reason why the interview was arranged in the first place: Adam’s new album, ‘Trespassing’, which will be released in a moment. As opposed to the debut album, which was rapidly put together by pop stars like P!nk, Lady Gaga and Matthew Bellamy from Muse, Adam is supposed to have left more of his personal touch on this record.
“I have written most of the songs myself and have taken part in producing the album. It’s a lot more electronic and I have attempted to divide it into a dark and a light part. The light songs are sexy party tracks and the dark deal with everything that shows up when the party is over: grief, anxiety, insecurity. All of the hard stuff. All of us have good days and bad days”.
He enthusiastically talks about the song OOL, which deals with people’s problems with homosexuality and then shakes his head looking defeated. Adam is currently dating a Finnish reality star (yes, a man, ed.) and time and time again he realises that people think he has a flamboyant gay lifestyle.
Never going back in the closet
“You say that after you met your boyfriend you’ve become more boring and settled. That you’re just staying home in your Hollywood villa watching TV and eating popcorn. Is it the end of rock’n’roll and provocative liveshows?”
“Hahaha, yes I definitely feel more relaxed and I’m evolving constantly. But I can promise you that I will continue to express myself on stage to the extreme”.
Before Adam’s manager leads me out of the hotel room I realise that our entire talk about Adam’s problems with fans wishing he wasn’t gay has to have a nice finish, somehow. When the viewers ‘threw’ him off AI for being gay, he shortly after gave a big ‘Adam Lambert comes out of the closet’-cover interview to RSM.
“How would you like it if you go back in the closet in this interview? It would make for a cool ending and you would make a lot of girls happy?”
“I am not going back in the closer. Fuck no! Never, hahaha”.
[Black box about Queen]
Does not want to be the new Freddie Mercury
Last November AL performed with the legendary rock band Queen at MTV EMA in Belfast as replacement for his big idol, the late Freddie Mercury. Since then the rumours have said that Adam is supposed to be the band’s new, permanent lead singer. When Poplick asks about it he denies it.
“It was amazing to perform with them at the EMAs. Really, I am so honoured to be allowed to do that. It is something I’ve not even dared dream about, but we haven’t made any deals. Nobody can replace Freddie Mercury and I would never dare try. He was one of a kind. But it would be amazing to tour with his songs and we’ll probably try to do something about that in the future. But right now I want to make my own music”.