Nita Strauss

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Nita Strauss
Nita Strauss performing with Alice Cooper in 2017
Nita Strauss performing with Alice Cooper in 2017
Background information
Also known asMega Murray, Hurricane Nita, The Hurricane
Born (1986-12-07) December 7, 1986 (age 33)
Los Angeles, California, United States
GenresHeavy metal, hard rock, tribute music, instrumental metal, deathcore
InstrumentsGuitar, backing vocals
Years active2003—Present
LabelsSumerian Records, Powerslave Records
Associated acts
WebsiteOfficial website Edit this at Wikidata

Nita Strauss (born December 7, 1986) is an American rock musician. She is the current touring guitarist for Alice Cooper and has a successful career as a solo artist.[1][2] Strauss was the first female signature artist with Ibanez guitars and is regularly featured on the covers of worldwide print magazines including Guitar World and Guitar Player. She was ranked No. 1 on Guitar World's list of "10 Female Guitar Players You Should Know."[3]


Strauss started touring with her own band as a teenager, leaving high school in her junior year to pursue music full time. Although initially known for her work with Iron Maiden all-female tribute band The Iron Maidens, Strauss’ career has included performing with several rock ensembles including Consume the Fire, Femme Fatale, and the video-game supergroup Critical Hit.[4][5]

In 2014, Strauss was the official in-house guitarist for the Los Angeles Kiss (LA KISS), the arena football team owned by Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons of KISS. The house band played the national anthem and provided additional music during the games.[6]

In June 2014, Strauss was hired to replace Orianthi as Alice Cooper's touring guitarist and play the remaining 2014 tour dates.[7][8] She has toured with Alice Cooper ever since.[9]

Strauss is featured as the main guitarist for seven songs on Docker's Guild album called The Heisenberg Diaries – Book A: Sounds of Future Past, released on January 21, 2016.[10]

Nita Strauss appeared in the 2017 Netflix documentary Hired Gun.[11][12]

Solo artist[edit]

Controlled Chaos[edit]

In April 2018, Strauss launched a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign for her debut solo record Controlled Chaos. The campaign was successfully funded in two hours and eventually raised eight times its initial goal. Strauss produced the record herself and did the majority of the engineering, as well as playing all the guitars and bass on the record.[13]

After the record was completed, Strauss signed with Sumerian Records to release and distribute the album worldwide. The first single "Our Most Desperate Hour" was released in September 2018 along with pre orders for the record on both CD and vinyl, with the vinyl completely selling out before release. Controlled Chaos debuted on the Billboard charts at No. 1 Top New Artist, No. 3 Label Independent, No. 4 Top Hard Music, No. 8 Top Rock, No. 8 Top Internet, No. 20 Top albums, and No. 7 on the iTunes Rock chart.[14] The album's second single, "Mariana Trench" was chosen by WWE as the official theme for NXT TakeOver: WarGames (2018).


Strauss was introduced to World Wrestling Entertainment by her boyfriend Josh Villalta. She initially started watching because it was important to him, but quickly became a fan herself.[15][16]

Strauss started performing live at WWE pay-per-view events in 2018.[17] In April 2018, Strauss played Shinsuke Nakamura’s entrance music at WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans in front of an audience of 78,000 fans and millions more who watched the worldwide streaming event.[18] On October 28, Strauss performed with Lzzy Hale at WWE Evolution.[19] Her original song "Mariana Trench" was chosen by Triple H as the official theme for NXT TakeOver: WarGames.[20][21]

Special appearances[edit]

Nita Strauss performed the Star Spangled Banner at the 2017 Rock on the Range in Columbus, Ohio.[22]

As an avid Los Angeles sports fan, Strauss was honored to play "America the Beautiful" at Los Angeles Rams Salute to Service game in November 2018.


In January 2018, Nita Strauss became the first ever female Ibanez signature artist with her own model guitar, the Ibanez JIVA10.[23] DiMarzio later released their Pandemonium humbuckers, signature pickups that were developed especially for her JIVA Ibanez guitar.[24][25]

On January 26, 2019 Strauss was honored at the 7th Annual She Rocks Awards with Inspire Award, presented to her by Nick Bowcott and her personal hero, Steve Vai.[26]

Teacher and mentor[edit]

Nita Strauss is one of the most sought after clinicians in the industry and has done extensive teaching tours across multiple continents. She has taught guitar clinics in the United States, Canada, UK, Europe, South America, and Asia.

Strauss has written articles and recorded companion videos for Guitar World and Premier Guitar magazines.[27][28]

She is a counselor at Rock ’n' Roll Fantasy Camp and was featured in the 2018 documentary Rock Camp: The Movie.[29]

Strauss and fellow musicians Rabea Massaad and Plini were tapped as celebrity judges to choose the 2019 Young Guitarist of the Year at the UK Guitar Show.[30][31]

Health and fitness[edit]

Strauss is passionate about health and fitness. She works out daily, both strength training and practicing Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. She uses her wide social media reach to teach and inspire musicians (and others) to maintain healthy lifestyles while traveling on tour. She has been featured in Muscle and Fitness and[32][33] In 2019, Strauss launched Nita Strauss: Body Shred fitness challenge, with a companion e-book titled “Body Shred: Your Guide to Feeling and Looking like a Rock Star.”[34] 

Personal life[edit]

Straus has been sober since 2015 and uses social media channels to advocate sobriety and healthy living.

She is currently dating Josh Villalta, who is her manager and played drums on her Controlled Chaos album.[35]

Her sister, Varsha Strauss, is married to Panji Adhikumoro, grandson of Suharto, 2nd President of Indonesia from his son, Bambang Trihatmodjo.[36]


Nita Strauss has recorded with Alice Cooper, Jamie Christopherson, Critical Hit, Docker's Guild, FB1964, Metal Allegiance, Kane Roberts, and We Start Wars. She has been featured on albums by Maxxxwell Carlisle, Tina Guo, Angel Vivaldi, as well as the all-female compilation album She Rocks. Strauss has played on dozens of albums, trailers, and soundtracks, including Heroes of the Storm (Blizzard) and the Grammy-nominated Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Strauss released her first instrumental solo album Controlled Chaos on November 16, 2018.[37]

Year Artist Album Tracks Credits
2009 Kill Slowly
  • Louder Than Words
  • Let Go
  • Empty Promises
2013 Consume the Fire
  • Empowered
  • Dead Man Walking
  • Everlasting Sky
  • Death of an Icon
  • There's Only Today
Maxxxwell Carlisle Full Metal Thunder
  • The Power of Metal Compels Me (feat. Nita Strauss)
Jamie Christopherson Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
  • The Stains Of Time (Maniac Agenda Mix)
Critical Hit Volume One Guitar
2015 Glenn Stafford and Jason Hayes Heroes of the Storm Soundtrack Guitar
Maxxxwell Carlisle Visions of Speed and Thunder
  • The Power of Metal Compels Me (feat. Nita Strauss)
Tina Guo Cello Metal Lead guitar
Docker's Guild The Heisenberg Diaries, Book A: Sounds Of Future Past Guitar
2017 We Start Wars
  • The Animal Inside
She Rocks Volume 1: A Collection Of Kick-Ass Guitar Goddesses
  • Pandemonium
Alice Cooper Paranormal Guitar, backing vocals
FB1964 Störtebeker
  • Hexenkessel
Guitar solo
Angel Vivaldi Synapse
  • Serotonin (feat. Nita Strauss)
2018 Alice Cooper The Sound of A Guitar, backing vocals
A Paranormal Evening With Alice Cooper at the Olympia Paris
Metal Allegiance Volume II: Power Drunk Majesty
  • King with a Paper Crown
Nita Strauss Controlled Chaos
  • Prepare For War
  • Alegria
  • Our Most Desperate Hour
  • Mariana Trench
  • Here With You
  • The Stillness at the End
  • The Quest
  • Hope Grows
  • Lion Among Wolves
  • Pandemonium 2.0
  • The Show Must Go On (Queen)
Guitar, bass
2019 Kane Roberts The New Normal
  • King of the World


Nita Strauss has long claimed to be the decendant of Austrian composer Johann Strauss.[38] No documented evidence has yet been offered to substantiate the claim.[39]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Reesman, Bryan (June 3, 2019). "Guitarist Nita Strauss on the Evolution of Rock: 'Now It's Totally Normal to Have Girls in a Band'". Billboard. Retrieved September 18, 2019.
  2. ^ Full Metal Jackie (June 10, 2019). "Nita Strauss: 'There Are No Apologies for Being Female in Heavy Metal'". Loudwire. Retrieved September 18, 2019.
  3. ^ Whitmore, Laura B.; Blumenthal, Anna (July 23, 2011). "Exposed: 10 Female Guitarists You Should Know". Guitar World. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  4. ^ Besim (October 6, 2012). "Interview with Nita Strauss Iron Maidens and Consume The Fire". Live4Guitar. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  5. ^ Erikson, Anne (June 18, 2019). "Beyond the Boys' Club: Guitar Virtuoso Nita Strauss". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved September 18, 2019.
  6. ^ Mosqueda, Ruben (October 22, 2018). "Hurricane Nita: An Exclusive Interview With Guitarist Nita Strauss". KNAC. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  7. ^ "Alice Copper Parts Ways with Guitarist Orianthi, Taps the Iron Maidens' Nita Strauss". Blabbermouth. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  8. ^ Roche, Jason (July 21, 2014). "Alice Cooper's Words of Warning to Guitarist Nita Strauss". LA Weekly. Retrieved September 18, 2019.
  9. ^ Woods, James. "Guitarist Nita Strauss Talks Touring with Alice Cooper, Gear and Three-Guitar Attacks". Retrieved June 23, 2014.
  10. ^ "Docker's Guild – The Heisenberg Diaries – Book A". Docker's Guild Official Website. Archived from the original on February 16, 2016. Retrieved January 31, 2016.
  11. ^ Hired Gun on IMDb
  12. ^ Konow, David (June 22, 2017). "Documentary Hired Gun Puts the World's Best Backing Musicians in the Spotlight". LA Weekly. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  13. ^ Ives, Brian (April 6, 2018). "Alice Cooper's Guitarist Gives Her Solo Album a 'Kickstart'". Loudwire. Retrieved September 18, 2019.
  14. ^ Tolinski, Brad (December 11, 2018). "Nita Strauss Steps into the Spotlight with Her New Solo Album, 'Controlled Chaos'". Guitar World. Retrieved September 18, 2019.
  15. ^ "How Alice Cooper's guitarist came to perform Nakamura's WrestleMania theme". WWE. April 8, 2018. Retrieved September 20, 2019 – via YouTube.
  16. ^ Nita Strauss and Beck Lynch: Stay the Course, Part 1 on YouTube | Nita Strauss and Beck Lynch: Stay the Course, Part 2 on YouTube
  17. ^ Childers, Chad (January 15, 2019). "Nita Strauss Plays Favorite Riff, Talks Wrestlemania + Triple H". Loudwire. Retrieved September 18, 2019.
  18. ^ Kielty, Martin (April 9, 2018). "Watch Nita Strauss Play Shinsuke Nakamura's Theme at WrestleMania". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  19. ^ Benigno, Anthony (October 28, 2018). "Lzzy Hale and Nita Strauss opened WWE Evolution with a musical performance". WWE. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  20. ^ "Nita Strauss' "Controlled Chaos," featuring TakeOver theme song "Mariana Trench," available now". WWE. November 16, 2018. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  21. ^ Rees, Adam (September 24, 2018). "How Nita Strauss became a 21st century guitar hero". Metal Hammer. Future Publishing Limited Quay House. Retrieved September 18, 2019.
  22. ^ Nita Strauss US National Anthem May 20, 2017 Rock on the Range 17 Columbus, OH on YouTube
  23. ^ Sharma, Amit (February 25, 2019). "Nita Strauss: "To be the first female Ibanez signature artist – that's what I've dreamed of since the very beginning"". MusicRadar. Future Publishing Limited Quay House. Retrieved September 18, 2019.
  24. ^ "Nita Strauss Demos DiMarzio's Pandemonium Pickups". Larry DiMarzio. July 2, 2018. Retrieved September 20, 2019 – via YouTube.
  25. ^ Bohlinger, John (July 31, 2019). "Rig Rundown: Nita Strauss". Premier Guitar. Retrieved September 18, 2019.
  26. ^ "Macy Gray, Lisa Loeb and Nita Strauss to be Honored at the 2019 She Rocks Awards". Guitar Player. October 5, 2018. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  27. ^ "Articles by Nita Strauss". Guitar World. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  28. ^ Strauss, Nita (May 3, 2013). "Drop Dead Shred: Sweep City". Premier Guitar. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  29. ^ Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camp | Rock Camp: The Movie on IMDb
  30. ^ "Young Guitarist of the Year judge Nita Strauss: "Relax, show us your best and have fun!"". MusicRadar. May 31, 2019. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  31. ^ Parker, Matt (August 8, 2019). "Young Guitarist of the Year 2019 finalists revealed!". MusicRadar. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  32. ^ McNulty, Rose (October 25, 2018). "Badass Guitarist Nita Strauss Talks On-the-Go Fitness, Sobriety, and Her Upcoming Album". Muscle and Fitness. Retrieved September 18, 2019.
  33. ^ Schmaltz, Jim (January 9, 2019). "Meet Music's Most Shredded Ax Player". Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  34. ^ "Introducing Nita Strauss: Body Shred!". Nita Strauss. May 8, 2019. Retrieved September 20, 2019 – via YouTube.
  35. ^ "Nita Strauss Says 'It's Been Great' Touring With Her Manager/Boyfriend Josh Villalta". Blabbermouth. Retrieved August 17, 2019.
  36. ^ "Fakta Menarik Varsha Strauss, Bule Austria yang Dipinang Cucu Soeharto". Retrieved July 26, 2020.
  37. ^ "Nita Strauss: 'Controlled Chaos' Solo Album Details Announced". Blabbermouth. Retrieved August 17, 2019.
  38. ^ Bienstock, Richard (October 27, 2015). "Nita Strauss Proves Shred Guitar's Not Dead". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 18, 2019.
  39. ^

External links[edit]