Queen’s Adam Lambert unafraid of bottling backlash at Sonisphere

Singer speaks exclusively to NME about playing at this year's Knebworth event

Adam Lambert has insisted he is unfazed by any potential backlash at his stint fronting Queen.

The singer was this week announced to be singing with the band at this year’s Sonisphere festival, taking place at Knebworth, taking place July 6-8. But when NME spoke to Lambert in his first interview since the announcement, he admitted to being unfamiliar with UK rock festival traditions such as ‘bottling’.

“Oh great!” he said when given the lowdown. “Well I’ll be sure to wear something that protects my helmet. I wear a helmet onstage, maybe that would be a good fashion statement.”


But the former American Idol contestant insisted that he is not trying to replace the later Freddie Mercury. He said: “The way I look at it is I’m not trying to imitate or outdo him or compete in any way, that’s not even in my mind at all, I think it’s really an honour to be asked to sing the music that he and the band wrote and get up there and put on a good show. If people are too busy trying to compare, they’re not going to enjoy the music.”

Lambert is the second singer to stand in for Mercury since Brian May and Roger Taylor, minus original bass player John Deacon, decided they wanted to tour again. The remaining members played with Paul Rodgers between 2004 and 2009, while George Michael fronted that band at 1992’s Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert.

But although Lambert would not rule out another collaboration in the future, he insisted that for now the Knebworth show is simply a one-off. He continued: “One of the things [people have said] was, ‘He’s gonna be the permanent frontman of Queen‘. And although that would be a beautiful experience, the tricky thing this year for me is I also have my album coming out, ‘Trespassing’, and that’s gonna take a lot of work and time and energy. So it’s really a one-off experience with the band, and I’m really excited for it. But I’m not joining the band and touring with them.”

Read our full interview with Adam Lambert here.

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