Nita Strauss, the Los Angeles-based guitar shredder for the ALICE COOPER band, spoke to "The MetalSucks Podcast" about the progress of the songwriting and recording sessions for her second solo album. Strauss's upcoming disc, which is tentatively due in late 2020, will be the follow-up to her first solo LP, "Controlled Chaos", released in 2018 via Sumerian Records.
Nita said: "'Controlled Chaos' was a really selfish record, if that makes sense. I had all this pent-up angst of playing other people's songs my whole career, which is great — I'm a thousand percent not complaining about the career that I've had. I love playing ALICE COOPER songs, I love playing IRON MAIDEN songs, but so many years of my life spent as a session guitar player, I had this explosion of, like, 'I have to do my own thing, and I can't let anybody tell me what to do with it.' So now that I've gotten that out of the way, I still feel that need to create and do it on my own, but I don't feel like I need to do it without any external opinion."
She continued: "For 'Controlled Chaos', I had no producer, I had no engineer — I engineered the whole record myself. I didn't ask for any external input, even on my guitar tones or anything like that. So I feel like this time I can relax the reins a little bit and I can listen to some advice from professionals, whether it's someone helping me produce or somebody… I'm still recording all my guitars myself, but maybe bring an engineer to do the drums. That's something that I struggled with a lot — engineering drums — 'cause I had never done it before. So I feel like that's sort of the way that I've grown up in this process."
Asked if it was important for her to do everything herself on "Controlled Chaos", she said: "Hugely important. So many people said, 'Are you gonna get Alice to play on your record? Or Steve Vai, your hero, are you gonna ask him to play on your record?' And while I feel like I could have made that kind of call at the time, I just wanted so badly to stand on my own two feet with this record and not have anyone say, 'Well, yeah, of course she sold some records, because she had Alice Cooper on it, because she's in his band.' I really wanted to just make that at least for the first go-round, it just stood on its own merits."
Last month, Nita launched "Rock Guitar Fundamentals" — a three-module online guitar teaching program suitable for learners of all levels. The course is available at www.iwanttoplayguitar.com.
Nita's live show is mostly instrumental in nature, combining originals with covers.
Strauss has been playing with Alice Cooper since 2014 when she replaced Australian musician and former Michael Jackson player Orianthi. She joined Alice in time for a mammoth MÖTLEY CRÜE tour. She was recommended to Cooper by the legendary rocker's former bass player and WINGER frontman Kip Winger.