Nita Strauss has demonstrated her shredding talents as guitarist for the Iron Maidens and Alice Cooper. But that doesn’t mean she gets a free pass from hypercritical fans.
Speaking with host Jude Gold on the most recent episode of Guitar Player’s free No Guitar Is Safe podcast, Strauss talked about some of the attitudes she has to deal with from concert-goers while on tour with the Alice Cooper band. Strauss, who took over guitar duties from Orianthi about a year and a half ago, still finds herself facing the wrath of her fans.
“People say mean stuff to me all the time, ’cause Orianthi fans hate me,” Strauss says. “She is lovely and a great player, but we have such disparate styles that the fanbase doesn’t cross over. A lot of it does, and a lot of it doesn’t.
“Man, fans say weird stuff,” she continues. “It always blows my mind. It’s such a weird world that we live in now, especially when you think about the Internet… It would never occur to me to go up to a professional musician in a band I like and say some of these things. It just would never even occur to me. It’s such a strange concept.
“When I first got in the Alice band, [people would say things like], ‘I don’t think this guitar player knows anything about real rock and roll. All she wants to do is show off.’ It’s, like, yeah, it is all I wanna do. So what? That’s who I am; I’m a big show-off.”
Fortunately, Strauss notes, she’s touring with a pro who’s seen his fill of weird things during his nearly 50 years on the road.
“Alice has seen it all,” she says. “He’s been through it all. He’s been a megastar for upwards of 40 years, and to have that nearby when I say, ‘I’m getting overwhelmed with this,’ or, ‘I’m getting frustrated with this.’ Or, ‘Somebody was mean me at the meet-and-greet. Somebody was wearing an Orianthi T-shirt at the meet-and-greet and they said mean stuff to me.’ ”
“It’s great having Alice and having this sort of grounding influence,” she adds. “You can learn a lot from watching him. I’ve seen him be interrupted at dinner with his wife, or when he’s at the mall shopping, and he’s always so gracious and so cool and so humble and never once acts like somebody is bothering him. When he’s eating dinner with his beautiful wife, the last thing you’d think he probably wants to hear about is the first time somebody bought Billion Dollar Babies and the first time they heard this and that.
“But he will never turn somebody away. Even when it would be easier to say, ‘Hey, can I finish my food and then I’ll come over and talk to you?,’ he will take time out of his day, whatever he’s doing, to talk to anybody about their experience with his music, and it’s so inspirational.”
Hear Nita Strauss’s entire interview for yourself by downloading the free No Guitar Is Safe podcast. Just click on the link below.