DragonForce’s Herman Li Reacts to Nita Strauss Joining Demi Lovato’s Band, Explains What People Don’t Understand About It

The news of Nita Strauss leaving Alice Cooper’s band was a surprise. But the surprise turned into somewhat of a shock to many rock fans when, a few days later, Nita revealed that she was joining Demi Lovato’s band. In fact, some even felt that she made a wrong choice, voicing their opinion online and going to lengths to say that this was not the best move on her end.

Demi Lovato - SUBSTANCE (Live On Jimmy Kimmel Live! / 2022)

But we all know that a hard-working musician is earning their salary just like any other employee or contractor would. And aside from her “hired gun” status, Nita has her solo work.

In a recent video uploaded on his YouTube channel, DragonForce guitarist Herman Li addressed the issue and defended Nita’s decision to join Demi Lovato’s live band. He said (transcript via Ultimate Guitar):

“It is a tough move, from playing with Alice Cooper [who] is a super respected, legendary artist into the pop world. And I see a lot of backlash from fans… Just all around the internet. And I think people don’t really understand a lot of things – you got to take challenges in life.

“To be an artist, to be a guitar player, you got to go out and take challenges instead of just doing one thing. I think this is a risky move, and she has a lot to prove to the metal world, that she made a good move. But I think this is good for her.”

He also argues that Nita standing next to a mainstream pop star would also increase the electric guitar’s popularity. He adds:

“And I think she’s gonna inspire way more guitar players out there, if she gets the spot on stage live, if she gets to show what she’s capable of. In pop music, guitar players are usually disregarded, we’re just like a sideshow and the back. I’m sure there’s something going on there, where they told her, ‘Look, you get to show your skills in front of these millions, millions of people.’ Look, although Alice Cooper is a legend in the rock world, rock music is just not even close to being as popular as pop. Demi’s huge, so huge.”

NITA STRAUSS - Our Most Desperate Hour (Official Music Video)

“I think this is a huge step forward for her, and she gotta prove it – and I think she’s gonna prove it, and everyone will shut up later. But understand this also, she’s already proven [herself], she’s been in the Alice Cooper band for 8 years. And let’s be serious – it’s much tougher for women to be in this industry. Much tougher, you’ve got to take that chance when you get it.

“So, for all those people out there not understanding this, I’m giving it to you in as much as I understand it, this music world is tough. And since you’ve done the Alice Cooper gig, everyone knows who you are. Now let’s go out there on new ground, and see if you can inspire more people out there to play the guitar.I think it’s a daring move. Let’s see what happens.”

Photo: Sven-Sebastian Sajak (Sven0705) (Nova2013 DragonForce Herman Li 0001-crop), de:Benutzer:Smalltown Boy (Nita Strauss Frankfurt)


  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at Ultimate-Guitar.com, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.