Nita Strauss, the Los Angeles-based guitar shredder for the ALICE COOPER band, was recently interviewed by "Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon". You can now listen to the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On what she plans to do after Cooper retires from touring:
Nita: "I'm not sure. I'm not putting too many things set in stone. I think that Alice has plenty of career in front of him to keep him busy for a nice long time. I'm 31, and maybe in 15 years, when I'm 46, maybe I'll wanna settle down. Alice has 10, 15 years [of touring] left, and when I'm 46, maybe I'll want to settle down a little bit and not be on the road 10 months out of the year. Maybe I'll wanna have a family at some point. But I definitely never say never to any opportunities. Who knows? I could be playing with Alice next year. I could be playing with Pink next year. Or I could be playing my own solo stuff next year. I'm keeping myself open to all possibilities."
On what it was like to appear on Cooper's latest release, "A Paranormal Evening At The Olympia Paris", a recording of his December 7, 2017 concert at the world-renowned Olympia venue in France:
Nita: "It's a dream — it is an absolute dream. And I'm pretty sure, actually, that I'm the only one [from Alice's current band] that has never actually been on an Alice Cooper record before. Of course, Ryan [Roxie, guitar] and Chuck [Garric, bass] have played on so many classic Alice Cooper records. And Glen [Sobel, drums] has played on… I think he played on the [HOLLYWOOD] VAMPIRES record, and all these different things. And Tommy [Henriksen, guitar], of course, did a lot of the guitaring on 'Welcome 2 My Nightmare'. So everybody else has had the experience of recording with Alice except me. So I think I'm actually the only one in the band that has never played on any of Alice's recordings. So, for me to open up an Alice Cooper record and get to see my name and my picture in there and hear my guitar playing along with Alice's iconic voice and his incredible, timeless songs is just an absolute dream come true. And the icing on the cake is that this album was actually recorded on my birthday. So when you hear, at the end of the album, when Alice is introducing the band and wishes me a happy birthday, that's a really, really special moment caught on tape forever. So that's really awesome."
On why fans have embraced her as much as they have:
Nita: "I think that the fans like me because they know that I'm one of them. I'm, first and foremost, a rock and metal fan. I love going to concerts. I love playing guitar. I love this business. Of course, I don't love everything about it. But I love what I do, and I think that's what, first and foremost, drives people to me. And also, I take social media pretty seriously. I'm on it myself. No one else runs my pages except me. The only person that even has access is [Nita's longtime boyfriend and manager] Josh [Villalta], and the only time he ever uses it is if he needs to block someone that I've already blocked from my personal account. But besides that, anytime you see someone commenting back or messaging back or interacting, it's always me personally. And keeping that personal and direct connection with people goes such a long way in this impersonal age that we live in. So it's a full-time job, but it's one that I really, really enjoy."
Strauss has been playing with 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.
Nita's debut solo album, "Controlled Chaos", was released in November via Sumerian Records. The disc was fueled by a Kickstarter campaign which generated over 600 percent of what Strauss was hoping to raise to help offset the costs around creating the record and touring it.
Last year, Strauss became the first female to have a signature series guitar with Ibanez. Nita is also the first female to have signature DiMarzio pickups.