NITA STRAUSS: 'I Was A Really Functioning Alcoholic'

December 20, 2018

Nita Strauss, the Los Angeles-based guitar shredder for the ALICE COOPER band, was recently interviewed by Forrest of the Boise, Idaho radio station 96.9 The Eagle. The full conversation can be heard below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On whether she knew that her THE STARBREAKERS bandmate Jill Janus was struggling with anything prior to her suicide this past August:

Nita: "Yes. Jill Janus was one of my best friends. So, yeah, I knew everything. We got sober around the same time, and Jill, she was very open about her struggle with depression and with mental illness, and she didn't hide it from fans, she didn't hide it from the world. And, actually, she really used it as a force to help a lot of people, by being open with her struggles and what she went through in her life. So it was really more sad… I don't know if there ever is a 'more sad' than anyone else, but it was really, really sad to see it overcome her in the end."

On whether it was ever tough to be playing with Alice Cooper, who has been sober for decades, and not be on the "sober train":

Nita: "Oh, no. The great thing about Alice is he's so inclusive. He doesn't judge anybody. We could drink a beer or have a cocktail in front of him — his wife Sheryl will have a glass of wine here and there at dinner — and he doesn't mind; he will never say a word. The only time that he would ever get on anyone — which, thankfully, never happened to me — is if it started to affect your job. If I was going on stage sloppy, wasted, falling down, missing notes, forgetting parts, I'm sure I would have had a talk from Alice. But I was a really functioning alcoholic. I liked to drink; I have always liked to drink. I've been touring since I was a young teenager, and the only way to fit in, I thought, at that time, the way to fit in with this older crowd, was to have a beer with them. And that just sort of became my crutch. That's how I survived being a young female in the world of rock and roll. I'd be, like, 'Hey, let's have a beer together,' and that's kind of the equalizer. And it wasn't until [later that] I realized it's actually not all that important. I have never met somebody since I got sober that offered me a drink and I said, 'No, thank you. I don't drink,' and they judged me for it. And I always thought that would happen. I always thought it would be some kind of weakness or something if I don't drink. And as soon as I got sober and I started saying, 'Oh, no, thank you. I don't drink,' it was never, like, 'What? Oh, that's crazy!' They [go], 'Oh, okay.' No big deal. And it's even more common for musicians to be sober than to be wild partiers now."

Nita's debut solo album, "Controlled Chaos", was released on November 16 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.

Earlier this 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.

Find more on Nita strauss
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).