Demi Lovato Will ‘Reenvision’ Their Pop Hits as Rock Bangers on Upcoming Album ‘Revamped’

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Lovato talks to Rolling Stone about tapping Slash for “Sorry Not Sorry” and reveals they’re in the “really early stages” of making an album of new work

WHEN DEMI LOVATO went on tour for their punk-rock-leaning album Holy Fvck last year, they wanted to find a way to seamlessly incorporate their pop hits into the setlist in a way that felt natural: “How am I going to play ‘Sorry Not Sorry’ next to ‘Skin of My Teeth’?” they remember thinking.

With their band, Lovato reimagined their pop chart-toppers as rock bangers, featuring new arrangements that worked with the live show they had prepared. And it worked. “The fans loved it,” they tell Rolling Stone. “When I got home from tour, I was like, ‘Why don’t I just record those versions and release them?’”

Now, Lovato is preparing to release studio versions of those rock reimaginings on a 10-track album titled Revamped, featuring some of their biggest songs — Rolling Stone can exclusively reveal. The album will drop on Sept. 15.

“I love revisiting these past moments in my career,” they say. “We’ve done a great job of reenvisioning the songs, and I’m really happy with them.”

Accompanying the album announcement, Friday also marks the release of “Sorry Not Sorry (Rock Version),” which features a guitar solo from Slash, whom Lovato says they’ve known for “several years” now. “When we were thinking about who would sound fucking rad on this song, there’s only one person that came to mind, and that was Slash,” they say. Slash recorded their guitar solo while he was on tour with Guns N Roses in Europe.

Although Lovato isn’t ready to reveal Revamped‘s full tracklist just yet, they said they plan to include previously released reimaginings of “Cool for the Summer” and “Heart Attack,” along with new versions of 2017’s “Tell Me You Love Me” and 2011’s “Give Your Heart a Break,” which they performed for the first time in five years last week.

“Getting to perform [‘Give Your Heart a Break’] live after not performing it in so long felt really good. The crowd was happy, and that’s what it’s all about,” they say. “It has to come from inside: If you just think about what the audience wants, you sometimes ignore what your needs are, and it takes the fun out of it when you’re only catering to other people.”

“Keeping in mind what the fans will want, plus what I want to do, and finding that balance is what’s really important,” they add.

While making the album, Lovato says they made sure that the tracks didn’t lose their essence and “familiarity,” instead just giving the tracks that already exist more of an edge. “I changed the melody a little bit in certain spots and then try to hit higher notes than the originals,” Lovato says. The only lyrical change on Revamped exists on “Tell Me You Love Me.” Before the chorus lyric, “No, you ain’t nobody ‘till you got somebody,” Lovato sings, “They say.”

“I interject a little because I don’t want that negative connotation of ‘You’re only somebody if you’re with somebody’ and that’s something that’s always bugged me about the song as I’ve performed it on the road,” Lovato says.

With Revamped, Lovato gives a fresh take on some of the tracks that have documented their emotional state over the years, especially after breakups, but they now see those songs in a different light.

“It’s interesting. Sometimes I’ll perform songs that were breakup songs, and I used to think about the person,” Lovato says. “I perform them now, and I just don’t think about the person I wrote them for. It’s just different. I don’t know. I think as you grow, you move on from the situations, and the songs mean different things to you.”

Revamped arrives as Lovato goes through a high point in their life and as they’re “totally immersed” in making music, including an album that will follow. “I’m pretty transparent when it comes to what’s going on in my world, but I am doing really good,” they say. “I’m very happy. I have an incredible boyfriend and two very sweet dogs and have just been working on the album and a newer album too.”

What’s on the new album? Lovato says they’re still in the “really early stages” of knowing what the music will sound like: “Will it go into a [darker] direction? Or will it go more pop-rock?” they ask. “That’s what I’m playing with right now.”

Lovato says they have a “summery, indie rock vibe” playlist they’re listening to a bunch lately. It features the all-women band the Beaches (“They have a couple songs I really fuck with”) and the Maine, which recently dropped a song called “Blame” they like.  “I was listening to a bunch of metal. And now, I’m trying to wrap my brain around more pop-sounding stuff, just in case my music wants to take that direction,” they say.

They’re also looking forward to Child Star, a documentary they’re co-directing with Nicola Marsh that looks at Hollywood actors and celebrities like them. Lovato says the project, set for release on Hulu, explores how being in the spotlight has “affected their lives, families, and shaped them into the people they are today,” they explain. “I’m excited to make my directorial debut.”

For now, Lovato is excited for their fans to be able to listen to the Holy Fvck-ier versions of their biggest hits at home and enjoy the music that’s out.  “I think what’s important is that you just listen to it with an open mind and be receptive to the new genre of music that it’s in,” Lovato says. “I think my fans will know and love these songs still.”

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