Adam Lambert: The Out Interview, Part Two

11.15.2009

By Shana Naomi Krochmal

Who are your biggest allies?
The producers. Linda and I have had a lot of great conversations. Same with Greg Wells. They're both very pro creative/artistic vision. Other allies are my friends that get it, that know. People that I did The Zodiac Show with. People that I've been performing with for years, that I did theater with. They get it. They get the line between integrity and commercialism. Big theater is like that. I was in Wicked! That's a perfect example of a great piece of musical theater, but it's also very, very finely constructed to have mass appeal to women, mostly. They knew their demographic. It's totally calculated, but it is good. That's kind of the way I look at what I'm trying to do. Something that does have mass appeal, and does have commercial appeal, and will be successful, but at the same time, it has quality. I definitely straddle the line -- I'm a business person, but I'm an artist.

How do you balance that yourself? How do you go home and chill out?
It's been hard because I don't compartmentalize as well as I'd like to. So I tend to be thinking a lot about the music. But the relationship has been very helpful, as an escape in a way.

And you get to see each other enough?
Yeah? I mean, we didn't for a while because I was on tour. But now we're in the same city. We're both busy, but it's definitely better.

You've talked in other interviews about how much falling in love for the first time changes you.
It really does change you, though, you know? But this is only the second relationship I've had in my entire life, and I'm 27 years old.

What did you learn about yourself from the end of that first love?
What you realize is that when you fall in love, especially for the first time -- the first major relationship that you have where you're with somebody for a long time -- is how much of an impact somebody can have over you. And how much they can shift who you are, both in your own discovery of yourself and how they rub off on you a little bit. That was weird for me. I always thought of myself as extremely independent, and I do have a lot of independence about me. But when it comes to love, I have to fight codependence a little bit. I get a little clingy, I think, and it's very out of character for me. So it becomes very confusing, because I'm like, wait, I'm usually fine. But all of a sudden, I'm like [waves hands] "Ahhhhh."

Like it's easier to walk in and talk business.
Oh yeah. That's something I actually said to him yesterday. I said, "You know, it's funny. I've figured out a lot about life, and I have a lot of life experience, but I don't know shit about love."

What was the wall you hit with him?
Sometimes it's hard to, like, be a boyfriend for somebody, because you don't know what that means. What does that mean? Especially if you haven't been in many relationships. And being in the gay community, we don't grow up with any role models for that. We don't know what we're supposed to be. And I think that's funny because there's so much -- again, it's something that's being evolved out of, but in the gay community there's so much promiscuity. It's socially accepted in the gay community to be promiscuous. It's like, oh, we're both men, we're supposed to want to fuck all the time and cheat on each other. And it's OK, open relationships are fine because we're all men. And I'm not judging that, but I don't think that's for me. I don't think it's emotionally healthy.

Then you have to balance that with being away so much, being on tour.
So who knows, you know? The other thing that's really hard is that you have to decide whether or not you have the focus and the energy to give to the other person. That's a difficult thing, too. And who knows what the future could hold with that. I might have to say, 'You know, this is how much I love you, that I have to let you go. I can't give you what you deserve right now, so this isn't going to work.' Hopefully it works. I want it to. But we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Out of the love I have for him, I don't want to neglect it. [Sighs.] God, I can't believe I'm saying all this. I think we put all these expectations on relationships and create this idea of, oh, this is how it's supposed to be, because this is what all these other relationships that I see, that's how they are. I think it's really hard but really necessary to be like, but what are my needs? And what are your needs? And that's our relationship. And that's the hardest thing, because no one tells you how to do that.

And you don't have all these other models. Not that they necessarily fit so well for straight people.
No, but there's more of them. Even in the arts, a lot of art is about love and relationships, and there's a lot of hetero art about it. But when it comes to the gay community, there's just not a lot. And some of it's so -- I have such a love-hate relationship with the concept. Like, I can only watch Logo for a couple minutes. It's a little too --

Well, if it's not good, it's not good.
Yes, if it's not good, it's not good. That's the best way to put it. I think when you're more impressionable it's more important. Like, seeing gay movies was important when I was young. But they were horrible. It'd be nice to see a movie about gay people that was well acted.

What else do you want to talk about?
I don't know. [Long pause.] My job is to make this look easy and fun. That's the illusion, the vibe I'm trying to create for people to feel. That's what I want to do as an entertainer, create a mood that rubs off on people. This is scary, and it is a lot of work. And I'm OK, I'll be fine. But, wow, this is a lot. And I hope that people are compassionate about that. I took a chance, stepped my life up a little, have some opportunities, have a little money, and I'm doing the best I can. I'm doing the best I fucking can, you know?

To read Editor in Chief Aaron Hicklin's open letter to Adam Lambert, head here.

For more details on what happened when journalist Shana Naomi Krochmal met with Lambert and his team, and in part inspired this letter, head here.

To see the full 2009 Out 100 portfolio, head here.

Send a letter to the editor about this article.

Tags: Interviews, Music
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