“I was fried and disillusioned,” says the pop star.
He was “second-guessing” his music and feeling “detached in my personal life,” so he hunkered down and asked himself the tough questions: “Am I doing this for money? Am I doing this for attention? Am I doing this because I love music?
A few things became clear: Making and playing music were still his passions, but the business side of the industry was “making me sad”.
“I was making my happiness dependent on my commercial success,” he explains. “It was unhealthy. I had to rethink things.”
The result is his new EP, Velvet: Side A – a liberated, funky take on ’70s rock that provides the missing link between Queen and the electro-pop of his solo albums.
Critics have all called it his “best work yet,” and it will be followed next year by Velvet: Side B, featuring the previously-released songs Feel Something and New Eyes.
Dressed in a long, sheer poncho and festooned with jewellery (including a gigantic silver ring in the shape of a sphinx), Lambert sat down with the BBC for a wide-ranging chat about sexuality, new music, the future of Queen, and why he’s an advocate of electoral reform.