NITA STRAUSS Reflects On 'Really Bad Advice' She Got Early In Her Career

January 4, 2023

During an appearance on the latest episode of Knotfest's "She's With The Band", the show hosted by Tori Kravitz and Alicia Atout aiming to amplify the voices of women on stage, backstage and in the business, former Alice Cooper and current Demi Lovato guitarist Nita Strauss was asked about "a jaw-dropping misstep" early in her career and the lessons she learned from it. She responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Early in my career, I got a lot of really bad advice. I was a young guitar player. I started this career really, really young. I did my first national tour at 15 and dropped out of high school at 17 to try to do this full-time. And at the time, I had so many people telling me what I needed to do in order to be successful in this industry — people saying, 'You need to show more skin'; 'If you have a boyfriend, you can't say that you're dating anybody because you need to appear available'; all this kind of stuff. And looking back, obviously, that's not the kind of attention that I wanted to get; I wanted to be known as a guitar player, and that was it. So once I realized that, I went the complete opposite way and I started really dressing down. I dyed my hair darker — not 'brown brown' but darker, darker blond — to stand out less. And I'd wear a men's large t-shirt onstage and baggy cargo shorts and started touring with heavier bands. And I was, like, 'I don't wanna be a hot chick. I just wanna be a guitar player.' And that's not who I am either. And I kept getting pulled back and forth through this dichotomy of, like, 'No, you have to be the sex symbol,' and, 'No. You don't wanna be known for that. You have to just be a serious musician.' And the reality is where I am doesn't fit into either of those molds. And it wasn't until I started just dressing how I wanna dress and acting how I wanna act… And, yeah, if I have a boyfriend, I'm gonna tell the world about it because I love him. And I don't need to appear single and I don't need to have fans think they have a chance with me in order to be respected and have people coming to my shows. And once I just started embracing who I actually am as a person, that's when great opportunities and great successes started coming to me. And when I was trying to just fit into some mold or another mold, I was just chasing something that wasn't authentic; it wasn't really who I am. So I just wish that I could go back and tell my younger self, 'Stop trying to fit into what other people tell you you should be, and just be who you are.'"

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. It 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.

Nita released her debut solo album, "Controlled Chaos", in 2018 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

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