DEMI LOVATO: 'I Admire NITA STRAUSS For Being Such A Bad-Ass Rock Guitarist In A Male-Dominated Field'
September 15, 2022
Pop star Demi Lovato has commented on her decision to hire Nita Strauss for her solo band, saying that the former ALICE COOPER guitarist is "definitely someone who I learn from each day".
Nita, who has also appeared in all the recent music videos for Lovato's new album, "Holy Fvck", made her live debut with Demi on July 14 with a performance of "Substance" on ABC's Emmy Award-winning late-night show "Jimmy Kimmel Live!".
The 35-year-old musician played her first full live show with Demi on August 13 at the Grandstand at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield, Illinois.
Nita's new gig was first reported as a rumor on July 11 on the Metal Sludge web site.
In an e-mailed statement to Variety, Lovato said about her new solo band: "Once the sonic journey that my latest album, 'Holy Fvck', takes listeners on became clear, I knew I wanted to bring in a band for the 'Holy Fvck Tour' that is not just very skilled at live instruments, but also know how to have a good time on stage, and are performers in their own right. Nita fit that description and more — we have so much fun rocking out in rehearsals and on stage. My band also happens to be all-female, which is empowering to me.
"Working alongside Nita has helped me rebuild my skills on the guitar and she's definitely someone who I learn from each day," Demi added. "I admire Nita for being such a bad-ass rock guitarist in a male-dominated field."
Strauss told Variety that she was excited about helping Lovato put together a band to bring the harder-edged "Holy Fvck" material to life in a live situation. "Who wouldn't want to play with one of the biggest pop stars in the world who wants to bring this style of music — this hard music that we love — to a massive mainstream audience," Nita said. "What a no-brainer of an idea."
Strauss also addressed the fact that some of her fans were less than thrilled about her new career move.
"I think no matter what you do, wherever there is change, there's bound to be some backlash," she said. "It definitely hasn't all been easy — I even recognize some people, longtime fans that I've met tons of times and always had lovely interactions with, taken tons of photos with over the years, etc., now in the comments section calling me names. So that part is hurtful. But at the same time, as an artist you have to always grow and change and when things change, you can't please everyone."
Earlier this month, Nita spoke about how she ended up playing with Lovato, telling Louder: "So I actually got a text from Demi's musical director when I was on the road with my solo band on the BLACK LABEL SOCIETY tour, and essentially what it said was what we all know now: Demi is a huge rock and metal fan. And Demi wants to go back to her routes and wants to put together an all-female rock band. She's really one of the biggest stars in the world and she wants to take a step into our genre and this style of music that we love so much. When you get that text, that somebody wants to bring that type of music to the forefront, how do you say no? How do you turn down this opportunity to bring this style of music to so many more people? So I was thrilled to hear about it and I jumped at the opportunity. This was all way back in May. It's been in the works for a really long time."
She continued: "I've seen a lot of stuff out there saying, 'She jumped ship really fast'. There was nothing that happened fast, I think people just found out about it all at once. First and foremost, I went to Alice and [his wife] Sheryl for their blessing which they were so happy to give. Then I went to Alice's management and started rehearsal with Demi. I did my first TV appearance with Demi, I believe it was three days after the last Alice show, so it was really out of the frying pan and into the fire. But her team has been really fun to work with, the band is incredible, the musical director, Demi herself, it's just been a really good experience overall."
On July 11, Nita announced that she would sit out Cooper's fall 2022 tour. She has also scrapped the festival dates her solo band had planned for the rest of the year. The 35-year-old said in a statement that her "touring year" was "still VERY full" and revealed that she was "on a flight straight into the next adventure," adding cryptically that she would "be on stage again much sooner than you think."
A couple of Nita's Cooper bandmates commented on her post, with guitarist Ryan Roxie writing: "No words — just notes... and lord knows we harmonized a lot of them over the years... nothing but love and respect." Drummer Glen Sobel added: "You're super pro and prepared no matter what the situation. We're gonna miss you but we're also proud to be associated with Hurricane."
Strauss had been playing with Cooper since 2014 when she replaced Australian musician and former Michael Jackson player Orianthi. She joined Alice in time for a mammoth MÖTLEY CRÜE tour. She was recommended to Cooper by the legendary rocker's former bass player and WINGER frontman Kip Winger.
Last October, Nita shared "Dead Inside", her first new solo music since the release of her debut album, 2018's "Controlled Chaos". The track was her first-ever solo collaboration with a vocalist, David Draiman, frontman of Grammy-nominated rock icons DISTURBED. Her new instrumental solo track, "Summer Storm", arrived on August 30.
Nita released "Controlled Chaos" to mass acclaim from fans and media alike, with Metal Injection calling it "a great debut that — as its creator intended — leaves no doubt", and Guitar World stating "'Controlled Chaos' is a panoramic view of Nita Strauss's many strengths".
As well as performing with Cooper, Nita has also played with R&B star Jermaine Jackson, early MTV darlings FEMME FATALE, video game supergroup CRITICAL HIT and popular tribute band THE IRON MAIDENS.
In April 2020, Nita launched "Rock Guitar Fundamentals" — a three-module online guitar teaching program suitable for learners of all levels. The course is available at www.iwanttoplayguitar.com.
Nita's solo live show is mostly instrumental in nature, combining originals with covers.
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