INROCK March 2012
Note: I’m not a native Japanese speaker and I don’t translate professionally. There are some phrases in Japanese that are beyond my ability to translate properly to English so some liberties had to be taken. I hope there aren't any major errors as my Japanese reading comprehension abilities are really rusty. /o\
Please DO NOT reproduce this translation on your own sites without permission.
Adam Lambert Speaks on His Thoughts on His New Album
"Meeting my present boyfriend was an extremely powerful and important event"
On 11 January, at Adam Lambert's management office, we were able to have an early preview of six tracks off his upcoming album Trespassing (due 28 March). (With the exception of "Better Than I Know Myself", his first single due 22 February, the songs were still in a rare, pre-mastered, rough-mix state.) Although the single this time is a gorgeous and dramatic ballad, the other five songs are quite varied.
"Kickin' In" and the album's title track, "Trespassing" – written with N.E.R.D's Pharrell Williams – are dance numbers with extremely funky bass and beats that make one want to get onto one's feet. In both songs, Adam's vocals are a little reminiscent of Michael Jackson and uplift the spirit. "Cuckoo", written with Bonnie Mckee (Katy Perry's "California Gurls", "Teenage Dream"), is an extremely enjoyable dance-pop piece.
These songs are balanced out by the other tracks: For instance there's the slightly dark ballad "Broken English"; and there's also "Underneath", which is a really gorgeous song that begins with just Adam's vocals accompanied by piano. The songs are all brilliant. It seems that Adam has decided to split the songs in Trespassing into two halves of light and dark songs. Both these sides of fun as well as serious, soul-penetrating songs will surely make the album an enjoyable one.
Later in the evening, a media event was held in a room of a stylish hotel near the management office. Adam had been fielding questions as well as getting photos taken by media from Japan and Europe all day. We were last and by the time it came to our turn, it was already past 8PM. Despite all that, Adam was cute and smiley as he answered our questions.
- In the latest press release, you said, "[Trespassing has been] an exciting journey through the past two years of my life. It's been a transformative period." Let's talk about events that have stood out to you in the past two years. What comes to mind?
Adam Lambert: I think it would have to be meeting my present boyfriend. That was an extremely powerful and important event. By building a relationship with him, my life has really changed. It's really enriched my life; it's inspired me and made me feel really good. It's really exciting. I've been seeking a relationship like this for the longest time. My boyfriend feels the same way too.
- Which song in your new album Trespassing reflects this experience?
Adam: There are a few songs that do that. I don't think you've heard it yet, but "Broken English" is a song that reflects the challenges and rewards of this relationship; "Naked Love" also reflects my relationship. There's also "Shady", which is about the night I met my boyfriend. There's also "Outlaws of Love"; well, I've found love – but there are others who are in similar relationships yet face adversity. This song talks about that. The gay and lesbian community faces many obstacles that crop up in different forms. There's lots of positive things for sure, but there are also some very troubling, sad things. I've heard that even in Japan it's difficult to come out. This song is about that. By being open about the love you've chosen, you become an outlaw. Because of this love, you'll never find peace of mind. It's really difficult. And that's why this song is very honest and very real. I hope this song will cheer and uplift people, because it is a song that evokes emotions, and that people can relate to. By bringing these feelings to the forefront, perhaps people that carry this burden of sadness would come to realise that they aren't alone.
- I've heard that the theme of "Outlaws of Love" is on gay marriage. I guess it's not just about that, is it?
Adam: Well, it does include that aspect. But it's not just about marriage, it's also about what it means to be gay. Yet, what's cool about this song is even though I wrote the song with that meaning in mind, when I let friends and family listen to it, their interpretations of it were quite varied. The song is written in a way that's open to interpretation. And that's why, it can be a song about a "Romeo & Juliet"-esque pair of unfortunate lovers; or it could be about the judgement and persecution one faces because of the person one's chosen to love. The song's message is really universal.
- It's something that no matter who you are, you'd be able to relate to, isn't it?
Part 2 of this interview will be continued in the April edition of INROCK.