NITA STRAUSS on Upcoming Solo Album, Touring & Challenges As An Artist
Nita Strauss, the Los Angeles-based guitar shredder for the ALICE COOPER band, is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to finance her debut solo album, "Controlled Chaos". In less than a month, she has raised nearly $120,000.
Speaking to Metal Wani, Strauss stated about the overwhelmingly positive response to her crowdfunding campaign (hear audio below): "It's amazing. Every new thing that you step into in life, you always have a little bit of trepidation, I think. For me, it was, 'Yes, I have people that follow me on social media, but are they really interested in what I do, or do they follow me because I play songs they like?' Whether I'm playing the Alice songs or IRON MAIDEN songs or videogame songs, or whatever it is. So getting that support… I mean, we hit our 30-day goal in two hours. It was just a really great validation. To see that people actually wanna hear what I'm gonna do is amazing."
Asked about the musical direction of "Controlled Chaos", Nita said: "It'll be an instrumental record. I may have a guest singer on one song. It's somebody that I've been wanting to work with for a long time that I've been talking to. But besides that, it will be instrumental. And it'll be in the vein of my single 'Pandemonium', which I released last year. So by and large, it'll be an instrumental metal album, but I've been [doing] some experimentation with some different styles of music, so I think it's gonna be an interesting result at the end."
Like "Pandemonium", "Controlled Chaos" will feature the drumming of Nita's boyfriend, Josh Villalta. "And for a couple of reasons — not just because I'm a little biased and I think he's awesome," Strauss said. "I really don't know a better drummer. Honestly, if that wasn't the case… I'm not really the type to just put somebody on my record because I like them [personally]. Josh, aside from us having really awesome chemistry as a couple, he's also my manager, so we work together in every aspect. But aside from having great chemistry, he really is technically one of the best drummers I know, and his style adds so much to my style. He's really heavily influenced by SEPULTURA and tribal drums, so having that added bonus into my metal background is really, really cool."
According to Nita, her solo album will also feature a guest appearance by one other guitarist. "I wanted this first record to really just be — it's kind of a weird thing to say — but I wanted it to be just about me," she explained. "I didn't want anybody buying it saying, 'Oh, she's only leaning on all these other guitar players. That's the only way she can make a record — by getting a bunch of guests.' I really just wanted to do this one myself. I have so many people I wanted to collaborate with, but I think the next record is gonna be my chance to do that. The first one I really just wanna do on my own terms and on my own merit. And that's why we did the Kickstarter [campaign]. That's why we did this our own way rather than having to get label approval for, 'Is this artwork okay? Can I go on tour at this time? Can I say this in my interviews?' I just wanted to do one thing that was just my own thing. I think that's what we're accomplishing here."
Strauss is planning to tour in support of "Controlled Chaos", which is tentatively due in September. "The tour budget was already included in the initial Kickstarter campaign; it already allowed for some tour support," she said. "So now that we have reached the goal so handsomely, there'll be more touring, for sure. I've already got the routing for the first one, which is looking like it's gonna be in November of this year. And then, hopefully after that, we're gonna continue on in 2019."
Nita added that her first solo tour will see her sharing the bill with "some other guitar players," but she didn't offer any more details.
Strauss, who previously played with THE IRON MAIDENS and FEMME FATALE, joined Alice Cooper's band in 2014. This year, she became the first female ever to launch a signature-series Ibanez guitar.