NITA STRAUSS Wanted ALICE COOPER To Guest On 'Very Modern, Heavy Active Rock' Track For Her New Solo Album
March 28, 2023
ALICE COOPER guitarist Nita Strauss spoke to the "Appetite For Distortion" podcast about her recently released single "Winner Takes All", featuring a guest appearance by the legendary rocker. The track is taken from Nita's upcoming sophomore solo album, tentatively due later this year via Sumerian Records.
Regarding how her latest collaboration with Alice came about, Nita said: "I knew that I wanted to do something with Alice on this record. We sort of have this approach… We have a lot of guests on the upcoming record. There are some instrumental songs, like on the first record as well, but it's a lot of guests. And I thought, 'How cool would it be…?' — we all kind of put our heads together and thought, 'How cool would it be to showcase Alice's voice on very modern, heavy active rock kind of track?' 'Cause everything he does is sort of in that more classic rock kind of vein. Even the new music that he's come out with in the last few years has had that classic Alice sound. And I thought, 'Well, since we're not gonna get a song like this from Alice himself, let's bring a song to him. Let's make something for him.' So my first call was to Tommy Henriksen, who does a lot of the writing for the Alice project and the HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES project, and I said, 'What key does he like to sing in? What's his vibe?' And Tommy gave me some options. And so we ended up dropping to a seven-string [guitar] and wrote this really mean heavy riff, like very driving, very get in your car and put the pedal all the way down and speed down the highway. And between Tommy and myself, we wrote the melody and the lyrics and sent it off to Alice. He loved it. And he loved it so much, and we sent it to him in Phoenix, and he was, like, 'Cool. I'm gonna go and record it.' I think he recorded it in his studio in Phoenix the next day, or within a day or two, was how fast it happened. And from there we were off to the races."
Nita continued: "The plan, actually, was not to release the song until the tour. We thought maybe we could just drop the song and show up on stage on the same day, kind of like old-school 'Wrestlemania'. But then, between his schedule and my release schedule and all the label politics and all that, [we decided to] put it out early, help promote the song, go out on tour and all that good stuff. So it all worked out for the best. The song had a super-strong first week, which is amazing. Alice sounds like a rock star, as always. And, yeah, I feel like it just went great."
"Winner Takes All" is the third song Nita has 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 last year with the release of single "Summer Storm", a fast-paced, emotive shred-fest. In October 2022, Nita dropped "The Wolf You Feed", an epic headbanger of a track featuring the insane vocal talent of Alissa White-Gluz of ARCH ENEMY.
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 2022, 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 2018's "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".
Earlier this month, it was announced that Nita would return to Alice's band for his 2023 tour.
The Alice Cooper North American tour, with an all-new show dubbed "Too Close For Comfort", kicks off in late April in Michigan and continues through late September, including a handful of August stadium shows with DEF LEPPARD and MÖTLEY CRÜE, followed by a co-headlining late summer "Freaks On Parade" tour with Rob Zombie.
Nita spent eight years playing with Alice before joining Demi Lovato's band last summer,
Strauss played her first full live show with Demi on August 13, 2022 at the Grandstand at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield, Illinois.
Nita made her live debut with Demi on July 14, 2022 with a performance of "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.
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