Demi Lovato is distracted.
Her tour bus parked backstage at last month's Bamboozle Festival at the Meadowlands is so close to the main stage that the thunderous guitar riffs of Billy Talent are actually rocking her ride.
The 16-year-old star of Disney Channel's "Camp Rock" and "Sonny With a Chance" springs up on the leather banquette where she had been reclining and suddenly shouts, "C'mon, let's go!"
It's not an act, you see. Lovato really wants to rock.
And as she embarks on her first headlining arena tour, which stops at Nassau Coliseum Wednesday, and readies her second album, "Here We Go Again," due out next month, Lovato is set to prove it.
"I know a lot about myself now," she says. "When I first started out singing, I made a demo of very, very pop songs, but I wasn't completely happy singing them because it's not who I am. Once you find yourself - or at least have an idea of who you are and your musical style and sense, because it's gonna keep changing - it gets easier."
Album hits No. 2
It also gets easier when your album "Don't Forget" hits No. 2 and when you get introduced to young music fans as a pal of the Jonas Brothers. "They gave me a lot of help because I was so new to this," Lovato says. "But with this next album, it gets a little bit more personal, a little bit more in tune with my past, with things that I've been through. And it's a different sound so I'm excited for this one."
One thing that hasn't changed, though, is help from Nick Jonas. "Something a lot of people didn't know is that Nick Jonas did a lot of the background vocals on the first album," says Lovato, adding that she was leaving the next day to wrap up recording her vocals on the new album. "He'll do it on this one, too."
Another way Nick and his brothers have helped Lovato is with the strain of fame at a young age.
"I think the only pressure I have is the pressure people put on me, but I don't really feel it because I don't really care," she says. "I'm making music. I hear from a lot of people, 'Well, her album didn't sell that much.' I don't care. It sold more than I thought it would. What are you expecting of me? I'm just making music and having fun doing it. Everyone else can just deal."
That doesn't mean Lovato doesn't care what her fans think, though - especially rock fans.
"It's such an honor for a girl from Disney Channel to come out here and play for you guys," she told fans during her set at the Bamboozle Festival. "To tell you the truth, I was nervous about playing for you guys, but you have been nothing but amazing."
In rock heaven
The whole Bamboozle experience was a little bit of rocker heaven for Lovato.
"I got here at like 4 p.m. and didn't leave till it was over," she says, adding that she caught the sets of Metro Station, Boys Like Girls, Cobra Starship, All Time Low, We the Kings and headliner Fall Out Boy. "I grew up listening to all these bands. I saw Family Force Five, and, to me, it was like a dream come true. They played at my church a few years ago, and I went out onstage and danced with them. It was really quick, really random. I thought, 'I'm gonna embarrass myself,' but I did it anyway."
Lovato says the festival gave her a rare break from her tight schedule of shooting TV shows and movies - including "Princess Protection Program," which she stars in with her pal Selena Gomez; it debuts Friday on Disney Channel - and recording. "I was hanging out with people close to my age, rather than hanging out on a set with adults or record-label executives," she says, laughing. "It was nice. It was really nice. It was like a party. It was fun."
Sure, Lovato says she wishes she could spend more time writing and playing music and less time dealing with the business aspects, but she recognizes that work and play have to go together.
"Dealing with this whole crazy thing is just a part of the journey, and no matter what you go through you have to accept it," she says. "Sometimes you get caught up because you're so tired or you're just completely worn out, and you get depressed. You're like, 'Snap out of it!' Because look where you are and look where you would be if you didn't have all of this. Hard work really pays off."