While touring alongside Queen, Adam Lambert has had the tough task of filling Freddie Mercury’s shoes and now Lambert says the first shows with Queen made him shake in his boots.
Lambert first gained notoriety in 2009 after he was named the runner-up on season eight of American Idol. During the season eight finale of the show, he joined Brian May and Roger Taylor on stage for the first time singing, “We Are the Champions.” Lambert then rejoined the band in 2011 and became the official frontman in 2012 touring as Queen + Adam Lambert.
The first time, the first couple of months, actually, were terrifying — because I thought, ‘There’s no way I should be doing this.’ And I had the confidence of the band and they were really lovely about it. And they were, like, ‘No, no, no. You’re great. We love it. Do what you want.’ But in my head, I kept going, ‘No, I don’t know.’ And the audience was the final judge. And the first audience we had was very supportive, and each audience afterwards was supportive, so slowly, little by little, I was, like, ‘Okay, all right, okay, I can do this, kind of.’ But there’s no comparing to Freddie.
Lambert said he has gained a lot of experience and settled into his role by “asking a lot of questions, checking in with the guys and sort of focusing more on the song itself as opposed to the recording of it.”
The intention of the lyrics, the mood of the song, if I kept those things in the forefront of my mind as opposed to, ‘How did Freddie do it?’, I usually would find my way there.
He also went on to say that he didn’t start listening to Queen until he was older, but noted that Freddie Mercury’s persona helped inspire him as an artist.
I was late to the game; I think I was in my early 20s when I really discovered their full power and majesty, if you will,” he said. “And I was, like, ‘This guy [Freddie] is the coolest guy I’ve ever seen,’ ’cause he’s running around on stage doing whatever he wants, he’s wearing whatever he wants… I mean, he was so free and didn’t care, and that’s ‘rock star’ to me. So he’s definitely top three rock stars of all time, in my mind.
Lambert’s time with Queen has not only helped him grow as an artist but now he feels more comfortable than ever with the band.
I think that working with the band has taught me a lot. I think that I’ve learned a lot about songcraft and about how a song can connect with a mass crowd. I think Brian and Roger, individually, are… they’re, like, wealths of information and experience and artistry, and so just being around them, through osmosis, I think I’ve learned a lot — I’ve expanded my mind. It’s a family now, so, yeah. It’s great.”
Queen + Adam Lambert are currently on their Europe and UK tour, with dates extending through 2018. Check out Queen and Adam Lambert’s performance at the Toyota Center in Houston below: