Legendary rocker Alice Cooper kicked off his summer run with three shows in Michigan this weekend before joining MÖTLEY CRÜE's final tour as a very special guest on July 2, running through late November. The trek marks the debut of Alice's new guitarist Nita Strauss, who was recently ranked #1 on Guitar World's list of "10 Female Guitar Players You Should Know." She takes the place of Orianthi, who has toured with Alice for the past few years.
Strauss, a longtime Ibanez signature series endorsee who made her name with THE IRON MAIDENS, FEMME FATALE and LA Kiss, joins the rest of Cooper's band — guitarists Ryan Roxie and Tommy Henriksen, plus bassist Chuck Garric and drummer Glen Sobel.
Fan-filmed video footage of Cooper's June 27 performance in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan can be seen below.
Asked how she got involved with Cooper, Strauss told GuitarWorld.com: "Kip Winger was the one who actually connected the dots. We met each other on the Monsters Of Rock cruise, where he saw me play. He later heard through the grapevine that Alice was looking for someone, so he sent them a few links and videos of me performing. I was then introduced to Shep Gordon [Cooper's manager] and Bob Ezrin [Cooper's producer] who sent me over a few tracks to learn and from there. Everything just seemed to fall into place. I'm so honored and excited to be a part of this project. It's hard to put into words."
Regarding what it was like when she first met Alice, Nita said: "I first met Alice in L.A. when he was recording some material for his new album. Ezrin called and asked me if I'd like to come down to the studio and meet him. So I went down and got to sit in the studio for Alice's recording session. He's such a cool guy. The whole experience was pretty incredible."
Asked if she feels added pressure being in a three-guitar band situation, Strauss said: "I come from a band that played IRON MAIDEN songs, so the multi-guitar-player thing isn't something that's really new to me. By the same token, these are iconic songs and I really want to make sure that I do them justice."