The American Idols Live tour is in full swing, but Adam Lambert still has one eye on his debut album, due in November via AI's 19 Recordings through a licensing deal with RCA. When Lambert stopped by the RS offices last week to discuss Paula Abdul's departure from Idol, he stayed tight-lipped about any possible song names, lyrics or the album title — "Nope, can't tell you yet — it's all a surprise," he says — but stressed that assembling the album quickly is only adding to its intensity.
"We did a surprising amount of work before the tour started, we had about a month," he says. "I got a lot of co-writing done, some great initial vocal material recorded, and just general collaborations with different producers." His list of collaborators has grown to include OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder (Kelly Clarkson, Beyoncé), along with Lady Gaga producer RedOne, Linda Perry, Greg Wells and Sam Sparro. His only promises: "a lot of surprises" and "it's going to feel really sexy." (Watch Lambert talk about his first album in our video interview, above.)
On tour, Lambert reports his David Bowie medley of "Life on Mars," "Fame" and "Let's Dance" is "going over really well, and I have a blast doing it." Fans are clearly having a good time too — the list of objects thrown at Lambert has grown from bras to light S&M gear, he reports. So what should fans do to get his attention? "Just clap and scream and have a good time," he says. "It's not about you guys getting my attention, it's about you living your life in a positive way. If you feel sexy when you hear a song, just be sexy and feel gorgeous. You don't need to throw a bra in my face to let me know that you feel sexy, though it cracks me up."
Offstage, Lambert is currently listening to Muse's new single "Uprising" ("It's very glam rock and very cool") as well as the new LPs by Kasabian and Peaches, and the latest from IAMX, one of the former singers from the Sneaker Pimps: "This recent one is gorgeous, it's just epic and the production's great, his melodies are awesome."
After after a month on the road with the Idols tour, Lambert says he has definitely learned a few things that'll come in handy down the line. "When you dance and move around it creates a different reaction from the audience — they love it," he says. "And getting a sense of interaction with them, I love that. It's like a trial run, a test audience for things to come. I would love to do a live show with dancers and fashion and scenic elements — definitely bring my love of the theater to a concert-style performance."
• Adam Lambert's RS Cover: Photos, Video and More
• Adam Lambert, Kris Allen Hit the Stage Again As American Idols Tour Kicks Off in Portland
• Lambert, Iraheta Get Pumped for American Idols Live's First Gig
To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here
MUSIC 9 Classic Devo Videos
OLYMPICS 18 Epic Opening Ceremonies