NITA STRAUSS On Her Upcoming Solo Album: 'I've Grown A Lot As An Artist And Songwriter'January 3, 2023
Former Alice Cooper and current Demi Lovato guitarist Nita Strauss spoke to Guitar World magazine about her upcoming second solo album, to be released later this year via Sumerian Records. She said: "I'm a really emotional musician and person, and I write about what I'm feeling and what's going on in my life. Making this album, and especially doing a lot of the writing during 2020, when everything was shut down and uncertain, brought out a lot of emotion in my songwriting.
"I've grown a lot as an artist and songwriter since [my debut solo album] 'Controlled Chaos' came out in 2018, and I'm excited to show a higher level of playing and more depth and maturity in these new songs. I've improved a lot as a musician, my technique has gotten better in the last four years, and I've gotten more comfortable in my own style, so I feel I've come into my own as a guitar player."
Last October, Nita dropped a new single and accompanying music video, "The Wolf You Feed", featuring the vocal talent of Alissa White-Gluz of ARCH ENEMY. The lyrics of this song were inspired by "The Story Of The Two Wolves", a legend widely attributed to Native American storytellers. An old grandfather was teaching his grandson about life: "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy. "It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil — he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued: "The other is good — he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you–and inside every other person, too." The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf will win?" The grandfather simply replied: "The one you feed."
"The Wolf You Feed" was the second song Nita had released featuring a star guest vocalist, the first being the enormously successful "Dead Inside" which featured guest vocals from DISTURBED's David Draiman and saw Nita become the first ever solo female to have a No. 1 hit at Active Rock radio. She also returned to her instrumental roots earlier last year with the release of single "Summer Storm".
Nita made her live debut with Demi in July 2022 with a performance of Lovato's single "Substance" on ABC's Emmy Award-winning late-night show "Jimmy Kimmel Live!".
Strauss had 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.
Back in February 2022, Nita told SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk" about her upcoming LP: "It's gonna be half and half — six tracks with vocalists and six tracks of instrumental [music]. We've been doing ['Dead Inside'] live on the solo tour and it's been getting a super-good reaction from our crowds."
In early December 2021, Nita told "The Mistress Carrie Podcast" about her decision to make the upcoming LP half vocal songs and half instrumental: "I did feel, and the label and everybody agreed, it's still important for me to keep my identity as a guitar player and not just branch off too much and go, 'Okay, well, now it's just guests.' Let me still have a little of what makes me me, which is the instrumental shred stuff. And the instrumental pieces that I've written on this record are, I think, better than anything I did on the first one — definitely more… I don't know if it could be more emotional but they're very emotional pieces of music and I think a little better crafted this time around. So I think all the songs in general are more well thought out, better put together this time around. And I do have some of my absolute favorite [singers guesting on it]. I have three amazing powerhouse female vocalists on this album so far."
Nita released "Controlled Chaos" to mass acclaim from fans and media alike, with Metal Injection calling it "a great debut that — as its creator intended — leaves no doubt", and Guitar World stating "'Controlled Chaos' is a panoramic view of Nita Strauss's many strengths".
As well as performing with Cooper, Nita has also played with R&B star Jermaine Jackson, early MTV darlings FEMME FATALE, video game supergroup CRITICAL HIT and popular tribute band THE IRON MAIDENS.
In April 2020, Nita launched "Rock Guitar Fundamentals" — a three-module online guitar teaching program suitable for learners of all levels. The course is available at www.iwanttoplayguitar.com.
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