NITA STRAUSS 'Would Love To Do Something More Mainstream' And 'Heavy' On Her Next Solo Album

June 2, 2024

In a new interview with Ultimate Guitar, Nita Strauss was asked about her plans for the follow-up to her sophomore solo album, "The Call Of The Void", which came out last July via Sumerian Records. She said: "I don't want to lose the momentum of this one. It was five years between 'Controlled Chaos' and 'Call Of The Void'. I don't want to wait another five years. It has been kind of hard to think of any concrete ideas because I've been on the road the entire time, literally from the month before the record came out. We started touring to promote the record, and I have not had more than two weeks home since then. It's been almost a year. So it's been hard to sort of sit and be creative, but I plan to do it."

She continued: "I plan to sort of get into the meat potatoes of it after I get back — we're [Nita and her husband, manager and drummer Josh Villalta] going on honeymoon next week. Then, after that, I'll sort of sit on that stuff during the Alice Cooper tour and start trying to piece some ideas together."

Asked if there are some other collaborations that she hopes to have in the future, Nita replied: "I think, on the next record, I just want to go further in both directions. I would love to do something more mainstream; maybe it's with someone like Demi [Lovato], which would be a dream come true, or somebody like Pink. And then I want to do something heavy because the stuff that I listen to on my own time is pretty heavy. So I would love to just explore more of my range in different ways. I think a cool thing that we did on this record is we brought everybody into a new space for them. You're hearing Chris Motionless [MOTIONLESS IN WHITE] sing on a more mainstream style of song. It's still heavy, but it's a little bit more mainstream. We just tried to push everybody in different ways. So I'd like to keep doing that."

Nita previously talked about her upcoming third solo album last month in an interview with Ronni Hunter of the 99.7 The Blitz radio station. She said: "Well, when we made 'The Call Of The Void', I had a specific vision in mind that I wanted to branch out, and this is a vision that Josh, as my manager, has been very insistent on for a long time, to push me out of just doing instrumental music and move out into the wider and broader audience and show more people what we can do as a band. And so that'll be the goal for the next one — just keep on expanding, keep on stepping out of the comfort zone and trying new things, working with different people and really just growing."

Strauss also talked about why she doesn't play any other instruments or sing on her solo albums. She said: "The thing is I can sing a little, I can play the other instruments a little bit, but I have such a great drummer, why would I play the drums when I can work with somebody that's so good? I'm an okay singer, but if I can have someone like Lzzy Hale [HALESTORM] sing a song, or someone like David Draiman [DISTURBED], who is, like, the best singers in the world, what kind of ego would I have to have to be, like, 'No, I think I'll do it.'"

She continued: "I love playing guitar. I don't really like singing. I'm not particularly good at it. I think if I did go out and step out, I think I would probably get some people that liked it, and the vast majority of people would be, like, "Why would you do that? Stick to playing guitar.' It's, like, 'I know. I'm not very good. Just let me play guitar in peace.'"

Earlier this year, Nita told Rob Rush of Long Island's 94.3 The Shark radio station about the challenges of writing and recording songs with vocals for "The Call Of The Void". While Strauss's first LP, 2018's "Controlled Chaos", was all instrumental, her latest effort saw the Alice Cooper guitarist teaming with a different vocalist on at least half of the tracks — Cooper, Draiman, ARCH ENEMY's Alissa White-Gluz and Hale, among others.

Nita said: "Yeah, it was a really educational experience as a songwriter, going in and not writing songs that were only for myself, if that makes sense — thinking a lot about the structure of the song and the format of the song and what key it would be in for the singer not to be too high or too low or too fast or anything like that. [That part was] completely [ to me] — I mean, not entirely new. I've been in bands before, but as far as writing as a solo artist, it was a completely new experience, because as an instrumental solo guitar player, you can just write whatever you want — you can write a one-minute song, you write a 10-minute song. It's not gonna go to radio — there's no format for it. So it's just stream of consciousness. It doesn't have to have a beginning, a middle, an end, a chorus — it's just whatever you feel. And so working in this new medium, for me, was almost like learning how to write a haiku when you're used to just doing like a beat poem. So I'm out there in the corner of the coffee shop with my beret on, just feeling my poetry out, and all of a sudden it's, like, 'Okay, now you've got to have the syllables and lines and the rhymes and the stuff.' So I found it really educational learning how to do it, and I think I grew a lot as an artist and a creator over the course of making that record. So I'm just so excited that it was as well received as it was."

The Los Angeles-born guitarist has become a force to be reckoned with, dazzling over a million audience members per year around the world. Fans may recognize Nita as the touring guitarist for rock legend Alice Cooper and superstar Demi Lovato, the official guitarist of the Los Angeles Rams, as well as her successful career as a solo artist. She has played multiple sports events, including NASCAR races and WWE pay-per-views, most notably her critically acclaimed performance at "WrestleMania 34" in 2018.

"The Call Of The Void" debuted as the No. 1 Top New Artist album on the Billboard chart, No. 1 on the iTunes Rock chart, and No. 4 on the overall iTunes chart, behind only Taylor Swift.

With the album's first single, "Dead Inside" featuring Draiman, Nita became the first female solo artist to have a No. 1 single at rock radio in 32 years.

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".

In March 2023, it was announced that Nita would return to Alice's band for his 2023 tour and beyond.

Nita spent eight years playing with Alice before joining Demi Lovato's band in the summer of 2022.

Strauss has 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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