Adam Lambert on the difficulties of updating old Queen material: ‘That was tricky’

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A return to his solo career has put Adam Lambert’s on-going collaborations with Queen in perspective. He remains proud of his contributions in keeping the band’s memory alive, even as he marvels over the collaborative experience of presenting hero Freddie Mercury’s legacy to a whole new generation.

“Their catalog goes so many different places,” Adam Lambert tells the LA Times. “One minute, I’m getting to be super-campy and over the top and flamboyant and effeminate, and then the next minute I’m tough and macho. Then there’s a sensitive acoustic moment, then something huge. And I got to wear all the weird stuff I’d ever want to wear. That was all me, by the way. They let me run with that. It might be interesting for you to find out how much input I had.”

Adam Lambert, of course, had to walk a fine line between loving tribute and any attempt to inject his own personality into the Queen material. But he says band stalwarts Brian May and Roger Taylor, with whom Lambert has worked off and on since 2009, give him a surprisingly wide berth.

“That was tricky, but I wasn’t getting a lot of pressure from them. I wanted to make sure I had my moments of putting my own stamp on things, but straying too far from the original would feel self-indulgent and sort of sacrilegious,” Adam Lambert admits. “I knew that in this audience there would be a lot of people that were there because they love Queen. And winning them over in the first place, not being Freddie, was going to be hard as it was. If I went too far, it would’ve killed them.”

His next shows with Queen, dubbed the “Don’t Stop Them Now” Tour, kick off on September 16, 2015 at Sao Paulo, Brazil and continue through the month in South America. Adam Lambert’s third solo album, titled The Original High, was released on June 12, 2015, via Warner Bros.

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