Adam Lambert talks up his upcoming tour with Queen and the end of ‘American Idol’


23 February 2016 by Gary Graff

Adam Lambert
Adam Lambert performs onstage during the 2015 “CMT Artists of the Year”
at Schermerhorn Symphony Center on Dec. 2, 2015 in Nashville, Tenn.

With the U.S. leg of his Original High Tour jumping off Tuesday night in Huntington, N.Y., Adam Lambert is waiting to see if a couple years of playing Queen will turn rockers into Glamberts.

“Probably, yeah,” Lambert tells Billboard. “The interesting thing about being on tour with them was that I saw such a cross-section of different ages and races and genres. It was a very broad audience, and that’s sort of similar to what I see at my shows. I see kids. I see their parents. I see their parent’s parents. With (Queen) it really came down to me just having to prove it, that I had a right to be there, which is good. I like a challenge. It’s easy to write off somebody from a TV show talent competition but…I think we were successful.”

Original High is Lambert’s first U.S. trek of his own in nearly five and a half years, and with a whole new album of material in his pocket (last year’s The Original High) and a Queen song (“Another One Bites the Dust”), he’s anxious to re-establish his own name on stage. “It’s definitely long overdue,” he says. “What’s exciting about this is there’s a lot more production to it. There’s a lot more special thought given to the set and how it goes and how it looks and how it feels, so I’m really excited. And this album is something I’m really proud of. I think it represents my personality really well, but more than that I think it actually represents people. I think it represents us. I think it represents what people are experiencing right now.”

The U.S. dates wrap up April 2 in Los Angeles, and Lambert then heads to Europe in April and May, which will lead into Queen + Adam Lambert’s 15-date European summer festival tour. “I loved working with them,” Lambert says. “They are classy and inspiring and they’ve given me a lot of freedom within the music, which I’m very grateful for. Roger (Taylor) and Brian (May) have introduced me to B-sides that I wasn’t familiar with, so who knows what we’ll get into this summer. I’m sure there’ll be some surprises and stuff we’ve never done.” Creating new material is still not on the table, however. “There’s no talk of that, no,” Lambert says. “I think at this point it’s a live collaboration.”

TV also beckons for Lambert during the spring. He’ll definitely be returning to his roots for a guest appearance during American Idol’s farewell season, though he’s not mourning the show’s impending end. “It’s an end of an era,” Lambert says. “Idol will always go down in history for what it is and what it did and what it represents for people. It came long at a time when I think we, as a country, we needed to come together and we needed to believe in something hopeful and give underdogs a chance and celebrate music and the diversity of music in our country. I think they did a great job, and it’s time to pack it up.”

During April, meanwhile, Lambert will be filming his role as the doomed delivery boy Eddie in Fox live musical version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which airs this fall. Lambert joins a cast that includes Laverne Cox, Victoria Justice, Ryan McCartan, Reeve Carney and Staz Nair, as well as original the Dr. Frank-N-Furter, Tim Curry, in the narrator role. “I love that movie, I absolutely love it,” Lambert says. “It’s such a cult favorite. I just think it’s incredibly silly and campy. It’s way out to lunch. I think that they’ve assembled a great cast to bring it into this era, and I’m really looking forward to how it turns out.”