Women of Rock - Nita Strauss

It goes without saying that we are majorly stoked to have one of our favorite guitar players, Nita Strauss, kick off our new blog series Women of Rock!

Between touring the world with Alice Cooper the LA based super girl just started the all-female rock group "We Start Wars", which made it's debut at the Whiskey on May 25.

We sat down with Nita to talk about the girl power behind her new band, life on the road and that one thing that no one knows about her:

In a male dominated music industry you just started an all-female Rock'n'Roll band. Tell us about your new project “We Start Wars” and what inspired you to create it?

I've always wanted to create a strong, all female lineup that showcases great musicianship first and foremost. It's no secret that skill has been very underrepresented with female musicians for a long time- we're here to change that.

Why did you choose the name "We Start Wars"? 

The name We Start Wars has a double meaning- it refers to the old saying that some of the greatest wars in history were fought over a beautiful woman, and also to the battles that women still have to fight to this day, no matter what field they're in.

We're all excited to know, are there any plans for a tour or an album yet?

Right now we're writing like crazy, and have a big part of the writing for our debut album complete. It's hard right now with me being on the road with Alice Cooper so much, but we're making it work.

You've been in the entertainment business for quite some time now. When did you start and what made you want to pick up the guitar in the first place?

I started playing at 13. My dad was my first inspiration. He gave me my first guitar and taught me my first chords.. and then I saw the movie Crossroads, with Steve Vai, and that's when I really started practicing.

What was the biggest lesson you've learned when you became a professional guitar player?

I think the biggest lesson was to stay true to myself. As a musician, there are always going to be people trying to pull you one way or another, and bring you down if you don't conform to what they're saying. Look a certain way, play another way, be nice to this person, use these guitars, those amps... I'm thankful I never fell into that trap. Although I do try to be nice to everyone!

You've been on tour with Alice Cooper for about three years. Can you tell us any funny anecdotes that happened on the road?

I'm trying to think of one!! I think the funniest might have been when Alice put a life size skeleton in my bunk to scare me when I opened the curtains, complete with someone's phone playing Halloween music under the covers.

You have an amazing style, who are your style icons?

Haha!! This is the first time anyone has ever told me that!! Honestly, I give all the credit to my amazing friends for helping me dress. Katt, my keyboard player in We Start Wars, is responsible for just about anything cool that I wear in photo shoots, and all my accessorizing. On stage, I just try to go for stuff that is comfortable, durable, and breathable... and black.

If you could be another person for one day who would it be?

I'd like to be one of the really, REALLY great guitar players, like Vai or Satriani. I think if I had that crazy technique for one day, I'd be able to bring some of it back with me when I became me again.

Tell us one thing that no one knows about you?

I still have every guitar I've ever owned, except one, which I traded along with $500 for my first car.

What advice would you give women entering the music industry?

Always be early. Be polite, respectful, and professional, but don't take shit from anyone. Remember the people who helped you, and also the people who try to take advantage of you. Be yourself, no matter what direction you're being pulled. And above all, don't read the comments!

Photos by: Michelle Star