Revolver magazine asked THE IRON MAIDENS guitarist Nita Strauss, who recently joined Alice Cooper's touring band, for her opinion on where women stand in the music industry and metal. "I read about a lot of female musicians and read interviews and they have all these horror stories," she said. "And really, when you look at someone like Lita Ford or Joan Jett, they did have it a lot harder than we do now. They were the ones that blazed the trail for us."
She continued: "I can't remember the last time someone said to me, 'You're pretty good for a girl.' People just don't say that anymore. I've also spent a lot of time making sure that my chops are where they need to be so nobody can say that. Nobody tells me I'm not good because I'm a girl, because they don't see me going out there and not playing well.
"I'm always interested in other girls' responses, too. Sure, you'll still have people that still have the outdated stereotype that girls can't play guitar, but you look at Jennifer Batten and there's so many incredible female players out there like Courtney Cox and Orianthi. People who have this idea that girls can't play guitar just need to do a little bit of homework.
"It's not like you're going to ask your doctor, 'What's it like being a female doctor?' or 'What's it like being a female auto mechanic?' It might be mostly guys but there are girls that excel in every field, whether it's playing guitar, writing about metal or being a proctologist. Actually, I'm sure most guys would rather have a female proctologist."
Asked how much she practices or plays guitar a day, Nita said: "It really depends on what I'm doing. There's not a day that goes by where I don't play for a while. For instance, this [Alice Cooper] tour I treat like a normal job. I get up in the morning and have my coffee and then I sit down and play guitar for six to eight hours. Sometimes I actually have to stop myself from playing because my hands will get fatigued if I play for more than a certain amount of hours. I stop at 10 at night and say, 'OK, I can't play again until tomorrow,' so I will be able to play the next day.
"I think the most important thing is to just keep your hands in shape. A lot of guitar players will go for weeks without playing and I think that's like if you're a runner and you go a couple weeks without doing any cardio. You just want to keep your chops up."