KANE ROBERTS Doesn't Know If He Was A Good Fit For ALICE COOPER's Current Touring Band: I Stuck Out 'Like A Sore Thumb'
March 24, 2023
Kane Roberts has spoken to Miles "The Shoe" Schuman about the recent announcement that guitarist Nita Strauss was rejoining Alice Cooper's band and would be a part of the touring lineup for the legendary rocker's 2023 dates.
Strauss stepped away Cooper last summer in order to join Demi Lovato's touring band. She was temporarily replaced for Alice's fall 2022 U.S. trek by Roberts, whose appearance on the tour marked his first live performances with Cooper since 1988.
Kane. whose name and abilities first came to prominence on Alice's "Constrictor" album, told Schuman that he was never supposed to be a permanent replacement for Nita. "It's not like she left, I came in, and I wasn't Nita, so they got Nita back," he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "It's not what happened. There was some talk about having me continue, during the tour. But for me, five weeks was perfect. I have to be honest with you. And Nita's wonderful. She's a friend of mine. And we talked about it. When she came by and played with us, in the dressing, just she and I, we talked about it, and we knew what the plan was."
Pressed about his comment that "there was some talk" about him staying on with Alice beyond the fall 2022 tour, Kane explained: "I think that [Nita] injured her knee or something [early last year]. So I think that's what it was. In case of an emergency, [the idea was floated that] I might have to do a few more shows. I think that was all it was. And that's what we were talking about. And Alice and I were talking about going to South America and playing, how cool that would be. But it was always under the umbrella that she'll be back [ready to return]. And I'm really glad — I'm glad they worked it out. I'm not sure what was going on, but they did work it out. The stars are in alignment again; his band is back together. So that's good."
Roberts went on to say that he doesn't necessarily feel he was the perfect choice for a guitarist in the 2023 incarnation of Cooper's touring band.
"To be honest with you, when I look at some of the tapes, the videos, I don't know how much I fit in," he said. "But I thought it was fun. And those musicians are really good.
"It's really funny — when I see Alice and I together on some of the videos, it looks right," he continued. "But when I'm just sort of walking around and playing with the rest of the band, I don't know — I stick out like a sore thumb a little bit. And the awesome thing is, Nita's stage presence — and her guitar playing, by the way — is kind of the right thing. You can really get that sense, when you see the band and they're playing and she's on stage and the energy goes back and forth with Alice and stuff like that. I think it's kind of perfect."
Kane reiterated that he was never meant to be playing guitar for Alice's band for any of the 2023 shows. "I wasn't ever intending to go beyond November, in my mind," he said. "I was okay [with it ending it then]. 'Cause I knew. But they knew that if they wanted me to [stay with them longer], I would, if they needed me. But as far as the next phase of my life, that wasn't what it was.
"And by the way, doing anything with Alice Cooper is a dream," Roberts clarified. "The greatest thing about the tour was he and I became friends on the level of the '80s. After three weeks, it was just like it was back in the day. So that was the most important thing.
"I was never scheduled to go beyond the fall — ever," he repeated.
Asked if he can foresee getting a call from Alice again if another conflict with Nita's touring schedule comes up, Kane said: "Not necessarily. But if they did call and they needed me… I owe them just about everything, when it comes to the music industry — Shep [Gordon, Cooper's longtime manager] and Alice. So, yeah, that's what it is. That, to me, is loyalty."
When Strauss first left Cooper's touring band back in July 2022, she said there was "no drama whatsoever" and stressed that she was "not pregnant." She also canceled festival dates she had scheduled with her solo band ahead of her "next adventure".
Earlier this month, Cooper shared the news that Strauss would return to his band once again, saying in a statement: "She's Back! Nita asked for a leave of absence to work with someone else, something I always encourage my band members to do. I like them to challenge themselves and try new things.
"I'm thankful to my old friend Kane Roberts for stepping up and filling in for her, but she'll be back with us for the new tour that starts up in late April. It's going to be great to have her back," Alice said.
Strauss also commented on her return to Cooper's band, saying: "From the studio to the stage, it's always an immense honor to make music with Alice Cooper!! I'm very excited to be rejoining the band on the road for the 2023 dates, and so I'll see you on the road in April. Let the nightmare return!"
As a solo recording artist, Kane landed a few Top 40 hits, and his varied musical background includes recording, writing and touring with artists such as Rod Stewart, Desmond Child, KISS, Diane Warren, ALICE IN CHAINS, BERLIN, GUNS N' ROSES, Garland Jeffries and more. He's also written or recorded music for films like "Light Sleeper", Penelope Spheeris's "Decline Of Western Civilization", "Friday the 13th IV Jason Lives", John Carpenter's "Prince Of Darkness", and more. In 1991, his second solo album, "Saints And Sinners", for Geffen Records included the Top 40 Billboard hit "Does Anybody Really Fall In Love Anymore?", originally written by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora.
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