Comedian and metalhead Jim Florentine of VH1 Classic’s “That Metal Show” recently conducted an interview with Nita Strauss, the Los Angeles-based guitar shredder for the Alice Cooper band. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On whether she has ever encountered sexism, being a female in a male-dominated field:
“The cool thing is, in my experience, and I feel very, very lucky to be on the scene at the time that I am now. Because it’s not really weird to be a female guitar player anymore. And there was the great guitar players that came [before me], like Jennifer Batten and Lita Ford and Joan Jett and Michelle Meldrum and the guitar players that sort of blazed the trail for all of us. And they were the ones that really dealt with that stuff. They were the ones that got the ‘it’s weird to be a girl guitar player’ and sexism. I can honestly say that no one has ever tried to fuck me for me to get a gig, and that’s the honest truth. ‘Cause it’s just really about your playing now. And I think, if anything, the bar might be a little higher for a female guitar player, ‘cause no one thinks you’re gonna be any good. There’s a lot of shit guitar players out there — girls and guys.”
On whether she has ever come across any male “groupies”:
“You know what’s funny? I’m so clueless with stuff like that. People always go, ‘You have groupies. You have guy groupies.’ And I don’t even notice this stuff. I’m honestly here for the bar. [Laughs] But I’ve never really… I’ve had a couple… It hasn’t really been groupies for me so much as insane stalkers that I deal with. It’s not like, you know, you imagine the MÖTLEY CRÜE in the ’80s had this parade of good-looking chicks outside their hotel room. It’s not like I have a parade of Abercrombie models outside my hotel room. It’s more like creepy people that send multiple letters to my web site and send weird presents and show up at weird meet-and-greets and hotels. It’s not as exciting as you would think… You know, only one time can I think of [it] happening [that someone would approach me very directly in that way]. It was on the last MÖTLEY CRÜE run, one of those big amphitheater shows, and I always will put a hoodie on and walk out to see the show from the crowd, from somewhere. And this guy came up and he was, like, ‘You’re that guitar player.’ He goes, ‘Listen, we’re gonna get married.’ I was, like, ‘I don’t think so. I don’t know you, dude. I don’t know you from anybody.’ He was, like, ‘No. Listen. We’re gonna get married. This is the story that we’re gonna get to tell our grandkids, how we met in the crowd.’ And I was, like, ‘You know what? ‘A’ for effort. Nice to meet you. I’m gonna go back on the bus.'”
Strauss is a longtime Ibanez signature series endorsee who made her name with THE IRON MAIDENS, FEMME FATALE and LA Kiss.