North Amer­i­can rhap­sody

Queen and Adam Lam­bert are hav­ing too much fun tour­ing to think about an al­bum

The Hamilton Spectator - - A&E - WAYNE PARRY

Queen has clearly found some­body to love in Adam Lam­bert.

Since join­ing forces with the “Amer­i­can Idol” run­ner-up for a se­ries of shows in 2012, the band that ruled rock ra­dio in the 1970s and early ‘80s has en­joyed tremen­dous suc­cess, with au­di­ences em­brac­ing Lam­bert as the heir to Fred­die Mer­cury’s ons­tage legacy.

They’ve been sell­ing out ar­eas around the world for five years now, and have just an­nounced a 25-city North Amer­i­can tour be­gin­ning June 23 in Phoenix. They hit Toronto July 18 at the Air Canada Cen­tre.

But there’s one thing they haven’t dared try yet: record­ing a stu­dio al­bum of all-new Queen songs. And de­spite their box of­fice suc­cess, it might not hap­pen soon, if at all.

“We get asked that ques­tion con­stantly, but we re­ally haven’t had much of a con­ver­sa­tion about it in­ter­nally,” said Lam­bert, who main­tains a solo ca­reer be­tween Queen tours. “It’s to­tally pos­si­ble. But

what is it? I would never rere­cord a song that Fred­die recorded be­cause that would be sac­ri­lege. If I were to record some­thing brand new, would it be called ‘Queen?’ Would we have some su­per­group name?”

Lam­bert said he and found­ing mem­bers Brian May (gui­tar) and Roger Tay­lor (drums) have not recorded demos of any new ma­te­rial.

May said the band took its cue from the ho­hum re­sponse to a stu­dio al­bum it did with Bad Com­pany singer Paul Rodgers in 2008, “The Cos­mos Rocks.”

“The world kind of turned a blind eye to it, and I think we sub­con­sciously ab­sorbed the mes­sage that peo­ple wanted to hear Queen with Fred­die,” May said. “That’s what they ex­pected; they didn’t want to hear any­thing else. I don’t know if that’s a cor­rect con­clu­sion or not, but that’s kind of the mes­sage we got, so I think we turned our at­ten­tion to live.”

Tay­lor said record­ing a new stu­dio al­bum “seems like an ob­vi­ous thing to do, but re­ally, we don’t plan ahead that much or that far. The band is work­ing beau­ti­fully, so we don’t want to stop that un­til it’s not work­ing beau­ti­fully.”

May is more re­cep­tive to the idea of a new al­bum now with Lam­bert on board.

“If the mo­ment came up, if there was a real rea­son to make a new record­ing, a new song, if the right song came up, we would go with it in the snap of a fin­ger,” he said. “But at the mo­ment, we’re very happy tour­ing.”

That en­tails stag­ing an en­tirely new show from scratch, with a new set list, light­ing, video screens — and the way the band in­ter­acts with the au­di­ence. Mer­cury’s give-and-take with the crowd, in­clud­ing dar­ing them to match his a cap­pella vo­cal ac­ro­bat­ics, and May’s acous­tic sin­ga­longs on “Love of My Life” and “39” be­came in­te­gral and en­dur­ing parts of a Queen con­cert.

When Mer­cury died in 1991 of com­pli­ca­tions from AIDS, “Brian and I thought ev­ery­thing was kind of over,” Tay­lor said. “But Adam Lam­bert is an ex­tra­or­di­nary ta­lent and just fits in per­fectly with us.”

“It was good when it started, but now I feel like it’s more se­cond-na­ture,” Lam­bert said. “I feel like I’ve crawled into these songs and can run around in them now.”

CHRIS PIZZELLO, THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Brian May of Queen, left, and Adam Lam­bert: Since join­ing forces The Amer­i­can Idol run­ner-up and the band that ruled rock ra­dio in the 1970s and early ’80s have en­joyed tremen­dous suc­cess tour­ing.

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