As Adam Lambert gears up for a globe-trotting tour with Queen, he’s done more than simply pick the brains of co-founders Roger Taylor and Brian May on the legend of Freddie Mercury. He’s gone back to the source tapes, all in an effort to strike the right balance between honoring the fallen frontman and adding new wrinkles to it.
“I’m one to really dive into the whole world when I do something,” Lambert tells News.com.au. “I’ve watched countless documentaries about Freddie; I’ve asked questions of Roger and Brian. It makes it feel more real, I’m creating a world for myself to exist in on stage. I can watch a DVD of Queen in Montreal and listen to the interesting things they did musically that might be different to the record. There are so many ins and outs; it’s a real challenge and a treat.”
Lambert has been stepping into the late Mercury’s shoes in appearances with Queen dating back to 2009, when they shared the stage during the finale of television’s American Idol. Mercury died in 1991 from complications relating to the AIDS virus, and Queen bassist John Deacon subsequently retired.
That’s left May and Taylor to carry on, both as keepers of the Queen flame and as key mentors to someone like Adam who wasn’t there when so many of the band’s most iconic moments unfolded. “Freddie was so many different things — a great vocalist, a great showman and an amazing songwriter,” Lambert says “I do my best interpreting the songs with the original intent. Brian and Roger are the icons here; I look to them for a lot of guidance.”