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Adam Lambert is preparing to release his salivatingly anticipated second album, Trespassing, and Reality Rocks recently had the chance to speak to him about it in thrilling detail. From the album's lyrical themes (love gone wrong and love gone good, being an outsider, being gay, growing up), to its many musical influences (Michael Jackson! Prince! Nineties house!), to the foolproof way the music was tested (on a party bus!), this interview covers a lot. And there's more in part 2! But right now, check out the first installment below, along with a handy cribsheet of some of Adam's juiciest part 1 quotes.
On finding his true voice: "I think I'm fully embracing the gay community on this album, maybe even more so than the last one. I think I'm really talking about where I come from."
On the American Music Awards controversy: "I think that whole thing was kind of me proving a point. I think I had something to say that was bigger than just the music. Now I'm going back to, 'Let's make some great songs.' I don't have as much of an agenda or a point to prove. I think it's been done."
On Trespassing vs. For Your Entertainment: "With this album I was able to play it for friends along the way--in various states of consciousness! Like on Halloween, I rented a party bus with friends and we were having a great time, and I played some of the dance music to see how they would react, and it was like an explosion....The last album was kind of this showy, theatrical, over-the-top thing; it was me kind of escaping into this rock-star fantasy that I had always had, almost like a big game of dress-up. I think this one came more from the inside out. It came from me saying, 'Well, what do I want to talk about in my music? What do I want to express from a personal place?'"
On past relationship troubles, before falling in love with his boyfriend Sauli Koskinen: "There was a lot of me trying to be a 'fixer.' I was that kind of guy. I'd meet someone who had 'so much potential' that needed 'help.' I think that was kind of my curse for a long time."
On turning 30 on January 29: "There's a little part of me who's like, 'Whoa, 30, that sounds so crazy!' But I also feel changes coming and happening. I feel much more solid in who I am right now."
On the new song "Cuckoo": "It's basically owning how crazy how think I am. I know I'm a little insane! But there's something kind of cool about being a little bit crazy."
On working with Pharrell Williams: "When they said, 'You're going to go in the studio in Miami with Pharrell,' I said, 'I'm not cool enough! He's too cool for me.' I was intimidated, I was nervous!"
On the new song "Kickin' In": "I think people are gonna be like, 'That's Adam???' It's me, but it's a totally different sound....it's me narrating and giving my commentary of a hot-mess girl at a bar. But I played it for some of my gay friends and they were like, 'Oh yeah, that's about our friend!'"
On the title track: "The song is basically saying, 'You're saying I'm an outsider and to keep out, and I say, f*** you!' I'm gonna do what I want to do, and I'm gonna do it the way I want to do it."
On collaborating with Queen again: "I actually think this year there's going to be some more Queen stuff--so stay tuned! I would be honored to sing with them again."