NITA STRAUSS On Stepping Away From ALICE COOPER's Band: 'No One Got Fired'
September 6, 2022
Nita Strauss, who spent eight years playing with Alice Cooper before recently joining Demi Lovato's touring band, was asked in a new interview with Metal Injection if it was a "nerve-racking" experience telling the legendary rocker that she wanted to step back from performing with him. The guitarist responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I wouldn't even say nerve-racking, because… I mean, it was a big decision, of course, but it definitely wasn't as dramatic as it has seemed online, if that makes sense. We had just started the U.K. tour when I got the offer to come and play with Demi. And I just went into Coop's room — I went to his hotel room and I talked with him and his wife. And I said, 'Look, I have this opportunity.' He asked, 'Would it conflict with anything on this tour?' I said, 'No, but it would conflict with the fall dates, so I'd have to step back from the fall tour.' And he said, 'Go and do it.' He gave his blessing. He gave me a big hug and said, 'Go and have fun. Shine your light, and let us know what next year looks like and we'll work it out.' So it was a lovely and loving conversation — no big blowup; no drama; no one got fired; no one stormed out. And I took a step back and I'm trying something different. And we'll see what happens in the future."
According to Nita, "it didn't help" that the news of her joining Demi's touring band "got leaked before anybody had a chance to really say anything. I don't really know how that news got out, 'cause it was all pretty close to the vest," she said. "But somebody found out, somebody decided to put it out before anybody really could make a proper statement about it, and I think that's how these things get twisted around into something that it's not.
"We had a — Alice literally called it a 'hiatus dinner,'" Nita added. "One of our last shows in Greece, we had a couple of days off, and we had a big 'hiatus dinner' and we all laughed and cried and hugged and they gave me a little parting gift. And if that was the last show at the end of the tour, it'll be okay. But there was no big dramatic exit that people were speculating. And now that I'm clearing it up, there is also no backtracking. [Laughs] I think people just love to speculate without really knowing the actual workings of what's going on."
Nita played her first full live show with Demi on August 13 at the Grandstand at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield, Illinois.
Nita made her live debut with Demi on July 14 with a performance of "Substance" on ABC's Emmy Award-winning late-night show "Jimmy Kimmel Live!".
Nita's new gig was first reported as a rumor on July 11 on the Metal Sludge web site.
Nita told Louder about how she ended up playing with Lovato: "So I actually got a text from Demi's musical director when I was on the road with my solo band on the BLACK LABEL SOCIETY tour, and essentially what it said was what we all know now: Demi is a huge rock and metal fan. And Demi wants to go back to her routes and wants to put together an all-female rock band. She's really one of the biggest stars in the world and she wants to take a step into our genre and this style of music that we love so much. When you get that text, that somebody wants to bring that type of music to the forefront, how do you say no? How do you turn down this opportunity to bring this style of music to so many more people? So I was thrilled to hear about it and I jumped at the opportunity. This was all way back in May. It's been in the works for a really long time."
She continued: "I've seen a lot of stuff out there saying, 'She jumped ship really fast'. There was nothing that happened fast, I think people just found out about it all at once. First and foremost, I went to Alice and [his wife] Sheryl for their blessing which they were so happy to give. Then I went to Alice's management and started rehearsal with Demi. I did my first TV appearance with Demi, I believe it was three days after the last Alice show, so it was really out of the frying pan and into the fire. But her team has been really fun to work with, the band is incredible, the musical director, Demi herself, it's just been a really good experience overall."
On July 11, Nita announced that she would sit out Cooper's fall 2022 tour. She has also scrapped the festival dates her solo band had planned for the rest of the year. The 35-year-old said in a statement that her "touring year" was "still VERY full" and revealed that she was "on a flight straight into the next adventure," adding cryptically that she would "be on stage again much sooner than you think."
A couple of Nita's Cooper bandmates commented on her post, with guitarist Ryan Roxie writing: "No words — just notes... and lord knows we harmonized a lot of them over the years... nothing but love and respect." Drummer Glen Sobel added: "You're super pro and prepared no matter what the situation. We're gonna miss you but we're also proud to be associated with Hurricane."
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.
Last October, Nita shared "Dead Inside", her first new solo music since the release of her debut album, 2018's "Controlled Chaos". The track was her first-ever solo collaboration with a vocalist, David Draiman, frontman of Grammy-nominated rock icons DISTURBED. Her new instrumental solo track, "Summer Storm", arrived on August 30.
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.
Nita's solo live show is mostly instrumental in nature, combining originals with covers.
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