Nita Strauss
Hi Nita, first of all congratulations on getting the gig with Alice Cooper, that’s huge news.

Thank you so much! I’m beyond excited about it.

Before we talk about Alice, let’s rewind a little. People will probably know you best as one of the members of The Iron Maidens with Courtney Cox, how long have you been part of that?

I’ve been playing with the Maidens since 2011. Before that I played guitar for Jermaine Jackson’s band, and before that did extensive touring of the US and Europe with other projects.

The Iron Maidens seem to have a pretty big following in the US and South America you must have played some pretty big shows?

Yeah, the Maidens have a great following all over the world. We’ve headlined big venues in South America and Asia just to name a few, and some festivals with upwards of 20,000 people! Before I was playing with them they also did shows all over the US, and also in Europe and Iraq and a ton of places I’m sure I’m forgetting.

Have any of you guys had the chance to jam with Iron Maiden?

I don’t think any of the band members have actually played with Iron Maiden. I definitely haven’t, it would be amazing though!

You also joined Femme Fatale with Courtney recently, was that just for one tour?

No way! Femme Fatale has been going strong since Lorraine Lewis first re-formed the band in 2012. They have some killer shows coming up this summer that I’m very sad to be missing.

More recently you announced that you had got the job as guitarist for the LA Kiss band, which for those who don’t know is an Arena Football League (AFL) team owned by, you guessed it, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. What exactly does that entail?

Actually, there isn’t an LA KISS band it was just me on my own. Basically, my job with the LA KISS was sort of to fill the role that often times you hear an organ playing at sports games. Getting the crowd pumped up and chanting during game breaks, etc. So I would lead those chants on the guitar. I also got to go out and take a couple solos during time outs. My favorite part was playing the National Anthem though, it’s such an emotional moment and it was an honor to get to do it at the home games. Courtney will be taking over the job, so fans are definitely in for a treat.

It seems that all this live work to thousands of people is the perfect build up for touring as part of the Alice Cooper band?

I guess it is. I’m definitely grateful for all the experiences I’ve had until now for getting me this far.

So how did this gig come about?

It was Kip Winger who first connected the dots. We had played on the Monsters Of Rock cruise together a few weeks prior, and when he heard that Alice was looking for a female guitarist he threw my name in the ring. From there I met Shep Gordon and Bob Ezrin, they sent me a few songs to learn and it all moved forward quickly from there.

How are you preparing for the tour?

A lot of practice for sure! It’s a long set. There are also a lot of the elements of the stage show to learn, so I’ve been watching a lot of videos of the live show to start getting it in my head.

Are you just doing the US tour or don’t you know at this stage?

Right now 100% of my focus is on the upcoming US and Canada run. Anything can happen of course. I certainly hope so though.

Much of this tour will be with Motley Crüe, is your liver prepared for that? ;)

For the record, my liver is prepared for anything! Haha! But I think those guys don’t drink these days, and of course Alice doesn’t, so I think this tour will be a welcome break for my liver actually.

You have an arsenal of Ibanez guitars, which will you be taking on the road?

I have 2 beautiful new S series that will be my main guitars for this tour. I’m also taking my RGT320z that has been my main weapon of choice for years, and a new one which will be unveiled at the first show.

I think you may need another custom with some kind of horror graphics a la Kirk Hammett for this tour?!

Maaaaybe! You’ll have to wait for the first show to see.

I noticed you posted a photo of a new Blackstar Series One amp, will you be using this on the tour?

Yes, I’ll be using the Blackstar Series One EL34 and the matching cabs.

You have previously used a custom Bogner and a Peavey JSX is that correct?

Correct! I still have and love both of them.

Did you fancy a change or do you just need a reliable endorsement for a tour of this magnitude?

With a band like this with such a classic, undeniable sound, you have to get the right amp. The Blackstars were that amp for me. They’re extremely versatile and reliable on the road, plus they’re midi switchable which is big for me since I use mostly rack- mount effects.

Good luck with the tour and thanks for your time Nita.

Nita Strauss