Adam Lambert Rocks With Lady Gaga, Pink on Debut LP

Glamming up and blasting off with pop divas and seventies rock & roll, the singer's new album is inspired by Mötley Crüe, whiskey and David Bowie

November 26, 2009
Lady Gaga, Adam Lambert
Lady Gaga and Adam Lambert
Michael Buckner/AMA2009/Getty Images for DCP

With stunning vocal prowess and equal-opportunity sex appeal, Adam Lambert is American Idol's first real rock god. Just six months after taking second place on Idol, the 27-year-old singer is releasing his debut, For Your Entertainment, a retro-futuristic dance-pop collection featuring tunes penned by Lady Gaga, Pink, Rivers Cuomo and Muse's Matt Bellamy. "The vibe is a blend of old and new, to take a classic-rock-sounding track and ask, 'How can we modernize this, how can we give it an electronic edge?'" Lambert says. "I want it to be a little bit over the top and tongue-in-cheek, and at other times, I want to do something vulnerable and real."

When you put your album cover online, it got a lot of criticism for being too campy and too gay.
But that's what I was like on Idol! When I did "Ring of Fire," that was pretty camp, so I don't understand why the cover is a surprise. People are forgetting me at my wildest – with platform boots and rhinestones around my eyes. Is the album cover that much of a departure? Hunky Dory and Velvet Goldmine were a big inspiration, along with old Poison and Motley Crue covers. It's fun – it's supposed to be kind of campy.

Do you think some people feel differently about you since you came out?
Gene Simmons spouted something, that he thought I'd ruined my career by coming out. He's obnoxious, and what a hypocrite – all he talks about is his sex life. He was being a dick – and he's not the greatest singer. I guess he's a good businessman, I'll give him that.

What are your go-to tunes when you're getting ready to go out?
Goldfrapp's Supernature was on rotation for, like, a year. It's electronic, but it has an organic, psychedelic feel to it. When I heard they were working with Christina Aguilera, I was like, "Aw, she beat me to it."

Any music you don't like?
I really respect Bob Dylan — but I just can't get into his voice. And I'm not a huge Kanye West fan — or of rap in general — but he's got sick visuals.

Lady Gaga wrote a song for you. What was it like working with her?
Even though she seems super-eccentric and out there, as a person, she's really down-to-earth – very New York. The song was a demo of hers from three or four years ago. At the end of the session, we had a drink – and then recorded more after some whiskey. The song captures us partying.

There's also a tune by Justin Hawkins of the Darkness.
Their song "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" is a great example of kitschy, glammy rock & roll. I told the producer, "I want it to feel like it's a time capsule to the Seventies, and we're going to blast off into space." It's a rock song at the core, but it has all this sonic ear candy all over it.

What did you dress up as for Halloween this year?
I walked over to a Hollywood Boulevard costume shop and bought a pair of fangs and creepy white contacts. I was a "glampire" — it's a vampire with full-on fashion.

This story is from the November 26, 2009 issue of Rolling Stone.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“You Oughta Know”

Alanis Morissette | 1995

This blunt, bitter breakup song -- famous for its line "Would she go down on you in a theater?" -- was long rumored to be about Alanis Morissette getting dumped by Full House actor Dave Coulier. But while she never confirmed it was about him (Coulier himself says it is, however), she insisted the song wasn't all about scorn. "By no means is this record just a sexual, angry record," she told Rolling Stone. "The song wasn't written for the sake of revenge. It was written for the sake of release. I'm actually a pretty rational, calm person."

More Song Stories entries »