You do not want to mess with the "Glamberts." Adam Lambert's superfans eat up everything written about the singer, and Lord help a writer if it's not 100 percent positive. They will defend their man to the death.
Interestingly, the Glamberts are mostly female, and their feelings for Lambert are decidedly not platonic -- even though he's been out as a gay man since 2009, soon after his American Idol run ended one step from victory.
But sex is not Lambert's only appeal: He also has robust vocal chops, honed on the stages of L.A. as part of the rockin' Zodiac Show and the chorus for Wicked.
Indeed, though he's from San Diego by way of Indianapolis, Lambert is very much an L.A. success story. Much of his beguiling flamboyance reflects his time as a club kid, frequenting the city's liveliest dance spots: Mustache Mondays, Miss Kitty's Parlour, Dragstrip 66.
Today the Hollywood resident's penchant for glitz, inspired by L.A.'s gay and pansexual nightlife, is evident in his new record, Trespassing. A departure from his previous pop-meets-glam rock efforts, Lambert, 30, hopes it will be a hit on the dance floors he frequented long before he was a household name.
"I did everything I could to go back for this record," he says, "before Idol, before the fame, before traveling and having the expectations of record labels."
He's just finished a photo shoot at the Federal Bar in North Hollywood, close to where he lived when he first came to L.A. more than a decade ago. Wearing tight leopard-print jeans, he's sassier in person than he comes off on TV. It's easy to see why both sexes go bonkers for him.
"I thought, 'How do I get back to what I love?' What I love is being in a club and that infectious thing, and you get stink face and you're, like, 'Oooh,' " he says excitedly.
He plays a few tracks from his cellphone, bouncing his head.
So why didn't he go the dance-friendly route from the beginning? Blame Idol -- he needed to show his range. Plus, "There was no 'rock' performer on the show, so that was my thing," he says.
Trespassing better reflects his personality, lyrically and musically. "This album is cunty," he declares.
"It's not the C-word. Maybe add an 'ie,' " he suggests. "It means fierce, it has attitude."
Does that mean he's going more gay? "The beauty of this album is that, at the end of the day, anyone can relate to it. It's not specific. It's about the human experience. What it could accomplish in the larger picture is to say, 'Hey, you know what, I'm different, I'm gay, and we go through the same shit. You feel the same way about relationships as I do. You want to go out and get drunk and get crazy, too. You had your heart broken, too.' It's kind of post-gay. It's a post-gay record."
Which makes perfect sense coming from a post-gay pop star. "Hopefully this gives you a taste of the real Adam," he says. "Professionally, celebritywise, and as well on a personal level -- it ticks a lot of boxes. I hope every alternative community gets strength from that."laweekly.com: Adam Lambert: Now 50% More Fabulous