Nita Strauss Reveals How Demi Lovato Fans Reacted to Metal Elements in New Music, Reflects on Gatekeeping in Metal

Nita Strauss, a modern guitar virtuoso most famous for her work with Alice Cooper, recently sat down with Loudwire for an interview to discuss her current work. Apart from Cooper and her solo career, Nita got into the spotlight last year by joining Demi Lovato’s live band. She’s now back in Alice Cooper’s band and the legendary singer was perfectly fine with her doing other gigs.

In the interview, Nita was asked to explain how Demi Lovato’s fans reacted to having some rock and metal elements in the singer’s music. She replied:

“It was an amazing experience working with Demi. Obviously I come from the rock/hard rock/metal world and I am so used to fans being up in arms anytime something changes.

“The cool thing that I found is that Demi changed her entire style. She changed her clothing, her musical style and she reworked all her huge hits. She has a song ‘Cool for the Summer’ that has billions of Spotify plays and she did a full-on rock version with a little Metallica thrown in there for good measure.

DEMI LOVATO - “Cool For The Summer” LIVE at Rock In Rio 2022

As Nita further adds, the fans reacted pretty positively to her adding some serious metal elements to Demi’s sonic equation. And while reflecting on that, Nita also added how there’s absolutely no gatekeeping in pop music, at least in her experience, as compared to metal fans. She continued:

“And the fans loved it. The fans supported her and absolutely screamed their faces off until the end of the show. There was no pushback. There was no, ‘This is not what you’re supposed to sound like. This isn’t what we signed up for. We want the old Demi back…’ type gatekeeping that we see in the style of music that we’re more used to.

She also added:

“It was beautiful to be a part of this evolution. Demi was so happy on the road. You can really tell this is where she wants to be as an artist and to get to be a part of that along with such a great band — an all-female band, so many women on the crew [lighting director, production assistant, wardrobe, Demi’s day-to-day manager] — there are so many women in high positions on that tour as well, which was so unique.”

“It being a largely sober tour was huge for me too. I’ve been sober a long time and being in that more healthy atmosphere and environment was really nice. It was a win all around.”

Going more into the matter, Nita was reminded of all the other great rock and metal guitar players who are performing with big mainstream pop stars. She said:

“In the fall Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie are touring together, joined by Ministry who have Monte Pittman [ex-Prong] and he’s been playing with Madonna for years. There’s so much representation now. Nuno is crushing it, even if I wish he would’ve gotten a solo at the Super Bowl. They could have cut a second of the pregnancy vibe and given Nuno a minute to shine.”

NITA STRAUSS - Dead Inside (ft. David Draiman of Disturbed)

“Justin Derrico playing with Pink, Lari Basolio playing with Doja Cat… it’s happening more and more. It’s becoming more common and it’s cool. Everybody complains all the time that there’s not enough guitar in pop music and then they complain when guitar players get gigs in a more mainstream realm. I think it’s a win for guitar playing all around with more people crossing over and doing these different gigs.”

Asked about “What makes the fulfillment of teaching someone how to play an instrument different from anything else,” she replied:

“It’s kind of our job to pass on what we know at a certain point. Maybe I feel like that because my mom is a teacher and my dad, while not a teacher by trade, is like an educator. He is super knowledgeable and he taught me how to play.”

NITA STRAUSS - Winner Takes All (feat ALICE COOPER)

“There’s a lot of young women wanting to learn how to play guitar. There’s not any different way that I would teach a girl how to play guitar than a dude, but it’s just important to have somebody that is relatable and easy to understand.”

“In my guitar course, Rock Guitar Fundamentals, I think we really landed on that. It’s very easy to understand and very simple. It literally starts from, ‘This is a guitar, these are called strings, these are called frets, this is called a pickup and this is where you plug your guitar in,’ and that kind of stuff.”

“It goes all the way from easy through intermediate and an advanced level. If you start at the beginning and go all the way through, you will go from picking up the guitar for the first time to actually playing some pretty technical stuff.”

NITA STRAUSS - Summer Storm

As for her upcoming plans, Nita said:

“My solo record will come out in the summer, so I’m very excited about that. It’s been a long time in the making with a lot of hurdles and a lot of things to learn about this process.”

“Before and after that, I’m very excited to get back out on the road with Alice Cooper. The new set looks incredible. I’ve been texting with the boys in the group chats all morning, just ironing out some parts and little things like that. It’s something different than you’ve seen the last few years with Alice.”

Photo: Sven Mandel (Alice Cooper – 2017217191342 2017-08-05 Wacken – Sven – 1D X MK II – 1562 – AK8I2190)


  • 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, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.