“She’s had her share of missteps in life.” Slash explains why he invited Demi Lovato to appear on his new blues record

Demi Lovato and Slash
(Image credit: Christopher Polk/Variety via Getty Images | Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash will release his all-star blues album. Orgy Of The Damned, on May 16 via Gibson Records, with AC/DC's Brian Johnson, Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, ZZ Top's Billy F. Gibbons, The Black Crowes' Chris Robinson, country superstar Chris Stapleton, Iggy Pop, Beth Hart, Paul Rodgers and Gary Clark Jr,  among the special guests. 

One name on the album credits that sticks out is that of pop star Demi Lovato, who sings Motown classic Papa Was A Rollin' Stone. Lovato's 2022 album Holy Fvck saw her embracing her long-standing love of hard rock, punk and metal to much acclaim - Def Leppard's Joe Elliott nominated it as the best rock album of that year - but in a new interview with Rolling Stone, Slash admits that the singer's presence on his record initally raised an eyebrow or two. 

"That was so left-field for everybody involved, because she’s from the pop world," he acknowledges. "But I had this very distinct idea in my mind of her voice delivering that lyric and the emotional content of that story. I know her background. She’s had her share of missteps in life, and we’ve known each other for a little while, so I called her up and I asked her about it. It turns out that that song really meant a lot to her. So she came in and delivered a powerhouse fucking vocal that I think will be a huge surprise to people that are familiar with her other stuff."

To be fair, Slash has never been snobbish about collaborating with pop stars, having previously shared stages and/or studio booths with the likes of Michael Jackson, Black Eyed Peas vocalist Fergie, Rihanna and more. Last year the guitarist guested on Lovato's Revamped album, which found her re-recording some of her biggest hits in a rock format, playing on single Sorry Not Sorry

Slash talks about Orgy Of The Damned in much greater detail in the new issue of Classic Rock magazine. 

Classic Rock 327 - cover featuring Slash, Billy Gibbons, Brian Johnson, Steven Tyler and Iggy Pop

(Image credit: Future)
Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.