Nita Strauss, the Los Angeles-based guitar shredder for the ALICE COOPER band, has admitted that she initially had some reservations about putting out an album of instrumentals with her debut solo LP, last year's "Controlled Chaos".
"I always thought that instrumental music was for 'better guitar players' than me," she wrote in a new Instagram post. "I listened to it, but it took me a long time (and a push from [Steve Vai]) to find the faith in my ability that I could do it. That's a weird thought now that I look back on it, but let's face it — writing music that's essentially all solos is intimidating. It wasn’t until I started writing 'Controlled Chaos' that I realized there was a part of me that NEEDED to express myself that way."
She continued: "An instrumental song is one of the most pure forms of expression. It can be about whatever the listener needs it to be in that moment... just pure emotion, without being restricted by the use of words. I love that about it.
"Carving this new path as a solo artist has truly been one of my most cherished experiences of the decade and I can't wait to see where this second album takes me as I write it."
This past May, Strauss told the Long Island, New York radio station 94.3 The Shark that she was originally advised against releasing an all-instrumental album.
"Everyone said that I had to put out some tracks with vocals — that was the vast consensus among the people in the industry," she recalled. "And I have to say I'm really glad that Josh [Villalta, Nita's longtime boyfriend and manager] and I stuck to our guns and I put out the album I wanted to make. Maybe I could have made more money if I would have made it more marketable, maybe I could have had more success and [gotten airplay] on bigger radio stations and what have you, but it wouldn't have been the album I wanted to make. So I'm really, really glad… Sometimes, as an artist, you just have to stick to your guns and say, 'This is the album I wanna make.' And thankfully, for an instrumental guitar record to debut in the actual Billboard Top 200 — not in the instrumental Top 200, but in the real Top 200, and to be at No. 7 on the iTunes Rock chart, and No. 2 Best New Rock Artist on Billboard… It did really, really well, especially given that it has no vocals and the attention span of the modern person. So I'm really grateful, I'm really thankful to everyone that checked out the album and supported it, and I can't wait to play it live."
Nita's second solo LP is tentatively due in late 2020.
The guitarist's live show is mostly instrumental in nature, combining originals with covers.
Strauss has been playing with Alice 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.
Image courtesy of YouTube user singemfrc
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I start every solo show very much like this... down low on the front riser, in the audience’s faces. I feel like it sets the tone for the set and lets me connect with everyone for a few seconds... saying, we’re on this ride together for the next little while. ? I always thought that instrumental music was for “better guitar players” than me. I listened to it, but it took me a long time (and a push from @stevevaihimself) to find the faith in my ability that I could do it. That’s a weird thought now that I look back on it, but let’s face it, writing music that’s essentially all solos is intimidating!! It wasn’t until I started writing Controlled Chaos that I realized there was a part of me that NEEDED to express myself that way. An instrumental song is one of the most pure forms of expression. It can be about whatever the listener needs it to be in that moment... just pure emotion, without being restricted by the use of words. I love that about it ? Carving this new path as a solo artist has truly been one of my most cherished experiences of the decade and I can’t wait to see where this second album takes me as I write it. . Planning some solo shows for 2020 in between @alicecooper tours... What cities should we come to?? ? @edwin_daboub
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