Candace of Albany, New York radio station Q103 conducted an interview with ALICE COOPER lead guitarist Nita Strauss prior to the band's October 4 concert at The Palace Theatre. You can watch the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On whether she's bothered by the fact she's often surrounded by male musicians while on tour:
Nita: "Not at all. These guys are like my big brothers. The great thing about this tour is it's such a positive environment. We're all so close, we're all such good friends. There's no #MeToo stories happening on this tour. It's just like being in a band with your five big brothers. It's a blast."
On how she came to join Alice Cooper and how her playing has progressed since then:
Nita: "I started playing with Alice in 2014 when we were about to start the MÖTLEY CRÜE tour. They were looking for a new guitar player. It was actually Kip Winger who put in a good word for me. He said, 'Hey, I know somebody who you should check out.' I'm eternally grateful to Kip for that. I started playing with him on the MÖTLEY CRÜE tour. From then, it just carried on. We've been doing about nine or ten months a year since then. Alice is always on the road and I just recorded and completed my first solo record, 'Controlled Chaos', which is due November 16 on Sumerian Records. I'm beyond excited. That's been the biggest step in my evolution as a guitar player, to step out and do a solo project."
On whether she thinks it will be difficult for listeners to get into her solo album since it's all instrumental:
Nita: "In some cases, I would think so, but what I really tried to do with 'Controlled Chaos' is make an album that the average rock fan can listen to. Yes, there's a lot of notes being played, of course, but I wanted to make a sort of a gateway drug rock album into instrumental guitar music. The casual rock or metal fan might go, 'I don't want to listen to music without words. It's one long guitar solo.' I wrote songs. I wrote songs with a verse and a chorus and a bridge and a guitar solo section, a big giant solo section. I think the audience will really get that. They will totally understand that."
On whether her work in the ALICE COOPER band has influenced her solo career:
Nita: "Immensely. I think the biggest thing that I learned from learning these songs is how to let songs breathe and how to let the song sometimes rest, whereas I would normally just try to fit in as many notes as I could just to say, 'This is what I can do. Look at me. Look at me.' I learned how to actually let the song grow and progress and do its own thing. I think that shows on my record."
On the biggest piece of advice she's received from Alice Cooper:
Nita: "I don't know if it's a verbal piece of advice I could say, but the biggest thing I could take away from being in a band with Alice is that he's such a consummate professional. He's 70 years old this year. I'm 31. I'm less than half his age by a lot. And, if he can go onstage and put on a show that he puts on every single night, night after night, and just absolutely slay it, then nobody else has any excuses. To do the schedule he does between our tour and HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES and the charity work he does and always be on as he is, it's an inspiration to all of us to play in a band with him."
Strauss will team up with Angel Vivaldi on "The Guitar Collective" tour which kicks off November 19 in New Bedford, Massachusetts and wraps December 21 in Ashbury Park, New Jersey.
In August, Cooper released the live album "A Paranormal Evening At The Olympia Paris".
The legendary rocker is continuing to tour in support of his most recent album, 2017's "Paranormal". The current leg of the trek runs through October 29, ending just in time for Cooper to celebrate Halloween.
Photo credit: Larry Dimarzio