Nita Strauss recently stepped away from Alice Cooper’s band to be the touring guitarist for pop star Demi Lovato. During her time on tour, she noticed one big difference between pop music fans and rock fans.
The guitarist discussed this in a new interview with Full Metal Jackie. Strauss was impressed with how Lovato’s fans took to her embracing a rock sound and esthetic. She said how she’s ” … so used to [rock] fans being up in arms anytime something changes.” That was far from the case with Lovato’s fans.
“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,” said Strauss. “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.”
A prime example of gatekeeping in the rock world happened last summer following Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” being used in Stranger Things. On the band’s TikTok, someone left a comment on a clip of a live performance of “Master of Puppets.” The comment read, “I’m sorry Metallica for all the fake Stranger Things fans love ya.” Metallica responded to said fan with, “Don’t be sorry. Everyone is welcome in the Metallica Family. If they like Puppets, chances are they’ll find plenty of other songs to get into.”
The band went further in another comment. It read, “FYI – EVERYONE is welcome in the Metallica Family. Whether you’ve been a fan for 40 hours or 40 years, we all share a bond through music. All of you started at ground zero at one point in time.”