Nita Strauss – ‘My Dream Band Is the One I’m on the Road With Right Now’
The guitarist's career is definitely on the rise, and she gives credit to the close group of musicians that currently form her band for helping to put her on this path, adding that she one day hopes to reach Metallica-level heights with the same collective intact.
Strauss also opens up about the collaborative process, working with a slew of notable singers and even bouncing around ideas with fellow guitarist Marty Friedman. Check out more of the chat below.
On the show with us this week is the one and only Nita Strauss. How you doing, Nita?
I'm so good. I was just saying right before we got on to talk about this record, how lucky am I? Thank you so much for having me back.
You are so sweet. Congrats on the release of your new record, The Call of the Void. It's been a long time coming and it's out now. What is always thrilling about release day and getting a record out, no matter how often you experience it?
This is actually only my second solo record and so I definitely still have that rush. It's not like these bands that have like 10 and 15 albums out like this is number two. So it's the first one I've ever had songs that go to radio. I've had so many milestones on this record. I'm just so happy that it's finally out to the world that people can hear the record and the concept in its entirety. And I'm just so proud of it.
You described the new album as "being born, kicking and screaming." Why is toiling inherent and maybe necessary to your creative process, particularly with this album?
I think if you're going to advance as an artist, you have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. You have to do things that you didn't necessarily think you were going to do to push yourself in new directions artistically, because if you just keep doing the same thing over and over again at a certain point, you're just gonna get stagnant. So, working with these incredible guest vocalists, with one of my guitar heroes Marty Friedman crafting totally different styles of songs from what I was doing before, I think all of it helped me grow and get better and better as an artist.
Nita Strauss Featuring Marty Friedman, "Surfacing"
Some vocalists on the record like Anders Friden from In Flames and David Draiman of Disturbed brought their own melodies and lyrics. What fascinates you most about tracing the schematics of other people's creativity?
I thought it was so cool. I love that those were the two that you mentioned because those were the vocalists that I had absolutely no hand in part of what they did. David and Anders both. I sent them an instrumental song and they sent me back a fully complete vocal, melody and lyrics and everything. And it was such an interesting way to create because I couldn't possibly have written a melody like either one of them did.
Anders gave us this very sort of classic old school In Flames vibe, and David, with his sort of signature octaves and staccato vocals. And it was so cool for me to get to put a piece of music out there and have it come back in their signature styles. So it was a very, very cool and unique way I felt to create.
Nita Strauss Featuring Anders Friden, "The Golden Trail"
A ton of touring is coming up; The "Summer Storm" tour happened, and of course later on is the Rob Zombie-Alice Cooper tour you're gonna be doing. And the "Summer Storm" tour put your name front and center on the marquee. Why is it important to you that people leave the show talking about the rest of your band?
Oh yeah. I have the best band in the entire world. I've been asked many, many times, especially, doing all the interviews for this album cycle. If you could put together your dream band living or dead, who would be in it? And honestly, with no hesitation, I can say that my dream band is the one that I'm on the road with right now. I have the best band and crew in the world. Everybody here works so hard to make this show a reality.
My fiancé is my drummer, my best friend is my keyboard player. The guys in the band and I have been working together seamlessly since my first record in 2018. So someday I hope this show gets to Metallica level heights opening up for, bands like Metallica or Iron Maiden. And when that happens, I wanna have the same team with me that I do right now.
Nita, your career has been built with hard work and being astute about pursuing good opportunities. What and who taught you that strong work ethic?
Honestly I attribute a lot of that to my aforementioned fiancé Josh. I have always had that drive and that will to succeed and keep going, but he has definitely been a big part of my strength over the last few years, in these new endeavors, new musical heights that we've reached together, with him sort of at the driver's seat and me playing guitar in the passenger seat. He's saying, 'We're going that way.' And I'm like, 'Okay, here we go. Take the turn.' And he really has been sort of that driving force in, in helping me continue. And keeping me from feeling like I'm, I'm getting overwhelmed or burned out.
Our thanks to Nita Strauss. Pick up her new record, 'The Call of the Void,' see her out on the Rob Zombie-Alice Cooper tour later on in the summer. Dates can be found here. You can also stay up to date with her through her website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Spotify. Find out where you can hear Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio show here.