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NITA STRAUSS was given advice to hide boyfriends from fans


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: “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 CooperNita 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 www.iwanttoplayguitar.com.

Strauss recently underwent a miniscus surgery. 

Nita previously discussed her torn meniscus in October in an interview with Meltdown of Detroit’s WRIF radio station. At the time she said: “I’m babying myself right now because I’ve been touring with a torn meniscus since May. So I’m actually not as injury prone as I usually would be, because I’m taking it a little easier. I have surgery scheduled at the end of this tour, between Rams games and everything else I have going on. So right now I’ve been playing through the most serious injury I’ve ever had and really just trying to take care of that, make sure it doesn’t get worse before it gets better.”

Asked if she has had to take cortisone shots in order to deal with the pain while performing on stage in recent months, Nita said: “I’ve had two. I now can’t have any more because it’s too close to my surgery date. It’s getting tough now, but we’re making it through.

“All I can really do is keep it under control,” she explained. “It’s just the realities of running around on stage for 20 years; every once in a while you’re gonna get hurt.”

Nita made her live debut with Demi on July 14 with a performance of Lovato‘s new 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.

Back in February, 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. So I think the next single will be instrumental — kind of go back to the roots — and then another radio single after that.”

Asked if she could talk about some of the other guests that appear on her new solo album, Nita said: “Not just yet. I will say that we’ve got a really, really cool blend of some legacy people as well as some new singers that I’m really excited about, and some amazing male vocalists and some incredible female vocalists as well.”

In early December, 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 also participates in health stimulation, with her Nita Strauss “BODY SHRED!” fitness challenge. From lifting weights to Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu and having her very own 90 day ‘Body Shred’ Fitness Challenge, she has built a community of support and accountability for music enthusiasts to get fit. She furthermore states she will never drink alcohol ever again, which she stopped in 2015.  Nita was also the first ever female guitar player to have her own signature model at Ibanez Guitars.

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