Nita Strauss hints at future return to Alice Cooper’s band: “Everyone’s saying it’s a ‘departure’ but I don’t feel, necessarily, that I left”

Alice Cooper and Nita Strauss
(Image credit: Per Ole Hagen/Redferns via Getty)

Nita Strauss has refused to rule out a return to Alice Cooper’s band in the future, asserting she hasn’t necessarily “left” the band despite taking up a new role as Demi Lovato’s touring electric guitar player.

Last month, Strauss canceled her solo festival appearances for this summer and announced she would not be joining Cooper’s band for their upcoming fall tour. After some speculation, it was later confirmed Strauss would be joining pop star Lovato when the pair performed together on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

However, speaking to Louder about her career shift, Strauss has said her absence on Cooper’s fall tour does not equate to her official departure, with the Ibanez signature artist leaving the door open for a potential return to the lineup.

When asked about her departure from the band, Strauss challenged the choice of words, saying that only those outside the band have used the terms “quitting” or “leaving”.

“It’s an interesting thing that everyone’s picked up saying it’s a ‘departure’ but I don’t feel, necessarily, that I left,” Strauss observed. “I took a step back and I’m stepping back from this upcoming tour but I don’t think anyone has ever used the word quitting or leaving outside of other people.”

Instead, when Strauss played her last shows with Cooper, the latter hosted a “Hiatus Dinner” and made it clear to the guitarist that she was welcome back any time. To this end, Strauss has hinted that a return could happen as early as next year, depending on her touring commitments.

“There’s no shutting of a door and changing of the guard, it’s just I’m taking a step back a little bit,” she continued. “Depending on what the schedule looks like next year, I may have the chance to come back, I may not. But it definitely doesn’t feel as final to me and to the people in Alice’s band and the inner circle as it has been portrayed out in the world.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Strauss reflected on her new job with Lovato, and revealed she was singled out by the pop star’s musical director with the proposition that Lovato was planning to assemble an all-female rock band.

Strauss continued, “I actually got a text from Demi’s musical director… and essentially what it said was what we all know now: Demi is a huge rock and metal fan. And Demi wants to go back to her roots and wants to put together an all-female rock band. 

“She’s really one of the biggest stars in the world and she wants to take a step into our genre and this style of music that we love so much. When you get that text, that somebody wants to bring that type of music to the forefront, how do you say no? 

“How do you turn down this opportunity to bring this style of music to so many more people? So I was thrilled to hear about it and I jumped at the opportunity.”

Strauss has already been able to introduce her shredding skills to multiple audiences with Lovato, and even ventured as far as to say that her solos generated a level of adoration from fans that she’s “never heard before”.

“It is wild, I put up a video of the first show that we did when I was doing a guitar solo, sort of back to back power stance with Demi, and the screaming and cheering from fans is something I’ve never heard before,” she recalled. I’ve never heard a reaction like that at a rock or metal show. People are like, ‘Yeah, guitar, cool.’ 

“But to hear this audience, possibly a lot of them being exposed to that guitar solo, or seeing it in the context of [the live environment], for the first time, it’s just so exciting and cool.”

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.