Adam Lambert interview shows respect to Billie Eilish for her ‘artistry and individuality’

Singer Adam Lambert wanted to cover Billie Eilish because he “respects her artistry” and her “individuality”.

Adam Lambert discusses his new covers album ‘High Drama’, covering Billie Eilish, and the top-secret stage musical he is working on and recently covered Duran Duran, Lana Del Rey, Kings of Leon and more for the project, and now the ‘American Idol’ alumni put his own spin on the Grammy winner’s track ‘Getting Older’ – from her 2021 LP ‘Happier Than Ever’ – for his upcoming ‘High Drama’ LP, and he chose the track after finding the 21-year-old pop megastar’s views on getting older on the cusp of her 20s to be “pretty profound”.

The ‘Starstruck’ panellist explained: “I was listening to the lyrics and I was like, ‘How did a 19-year-old land on this feeling that I feel at 40, and that I’m sure someone feels at 30?’ It’s a universal feeling the idea of getting older. All of the things she talks about in the song are timeless, you can be any age and feel that way. I thought that was pretty profound.”

The full record is released on Friday (24.02.23), and also features covers of hits by Lana Del Rey, Sia and Kings of Leon.

Speaking to MARKMEETS, Adam said of Lana’s 2014 surf-rock tune ‘West Coast’: “It’s my favourite Lana Del Rey song.

“Probably because Dan Auerbach from Black Keys produced it. I love the Black Keys. It’s just a sexy song.”

He explained that he wanted to make his version like a Led Zeppelin song.

Adam added how they thought: “We could make this electric and harder and I could sing it really hard and it’d still work.”

The 41-year-old star has performed frontman duties for ‘We Will Rock You’ hitmakers Queen since 2012, in the place of late frontman Freddie Mercury, and recently admitted he copied one of the iconic singer’s boozy vocal techniques for ‘West Coast’.

He said: “I’d just finished recording my version of ‘Sex on Fire’ and my voice felt really raw.

“Brian May [Queen’s guitarist] told me how Freddie wasn’t well when he recorded, I think it was ‘Who Wants To Live Forever’ [sometime in 1986].

“Freddie prepared his voice by having a shot of vodka and recording his vocal in one take.

“I had tequila instead of vodka, then I sang this raw and Led Zeppelin-like version of Lana’s song – in one take too.”

As well as ‘Getting Older’, Adam’s versions of Duran Duran’s ‘Ordinary World’, Bonnie Tyler’s ‘Holding Out for a Hero’ and Noël Coward’s ‘Mad About the Boy’ are already out on streaming platforms.

Lambert has been quietly working on a musical for several years now – and he made good progress during the pandemic, but says the theatre world is “definitely slower than the music business”. For Lambert, who grew up treading the boards and later starred in the US touring production of Wicked, the process is a return to his roots shaped by his evolving love of rock music. “I don’t love all musicals if I’m honest,” he admits. “But the edgier pop-rock kind of musicals, I’ve always thought [they] were cool. And with my musical, that’s the sort of approach we’re taking.”

But don’t expect it to sound typically ‘musical theatre’ at all. “I think it’ll truly contain music that people will want to listen to,” Lambert adds. “It takes place in the ’70s so it’s kind of an homage to that decade, musically. It’s about a real person – a musician from the ’70s.” Can he give us a clue? “I’m trying to keep as much of it under wraps as I can, because you know, surprise is a good thing.”

Guitar legend Brian May has insisted that Freddie Mercury would have wanted Queen to continue with their current vocalist Adam Lambert.

Since the untimely passing of Freddie Mercury, Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor have revived Queen as a touring outfit with two guest vocalists – Paul Rodgers from 2004 to 2009, and Adam Lambert from 2011.

Brian May says they believe that Queen’s fanbase simply won’t accept anyone but Freddie Mercury on a recording.

“I think if people see Queen on a record label, they still want it to be Freddie singing,” he shares. “It could be Jesus Christ on it, but they’d still want Freddie, and I don’t blame people for that.”

He adds, “There are people who feel like we shouldn’t even be going on stage without Freddie. But I think that would have been very sad, and it’s not what Freddie would have wanted either. He would have wanted us to continue developing. And of course, because we are continuing and developing, it keeps that legacy alive.”

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Shaz Salimian
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