Nita Strauss

Last updated
Nita Strauss
Nita Strauss - Wacken Open Air 2017 11.jpg
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
Genres Heavy metal, hard rock, tribute music, instrumental metal, deathcore
Instruments Guitar, backing vocals
Years active2003—Present
Labels Sumerian Records, Powerslave Records
Associated acts
Website Official website OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg

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 #1 on Guitar World’s list of “10 Female Guitar Players You Should Know.” [3] She comes from a long line of classical musicians - one of her ancestors on her father's side of the family is the Austrian composer Johann Strauss. [4]



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. [5] [6]

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. [7]

In June 2014, Strauss was hired to replace Orianthi as Alice Cooper's touring guitarist and play the remaining 2014 tour dates. [8] [9] She has toured with Alice Cooper ever since. [10]

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. [11]

Nita Strauss appeared in the 2017 Netflix documentary Hired Gun. [12] [13]

Solo artist

Controlled Chaos

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 raising 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. [14]

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 #1 Top New Artist, #3 Label Independent, #4 Top Hard Music, #8 Top Rock, #8 Top Internet, #20 Top albums, and #7 on the iTunes Rock chart. [15] 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. [16] [17]

Strauss started performing live at WWE pay-per-view events in 2018. [18] In April 2018, Strauss played WWE Superstar 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. [19] On October 28, Strauss performed with Lzzy Hale at WWE Evolution. [20] Her original song “Mariana Trench” was chosen by WWE superstar Triple H as the official theme for NXT TakeOver: WarGames. [21] [22]

Special appearances

Nita Strauss performed the Star Spangled Banner at the 2017 Rock on the Range in Columbus, Ohio. [23]

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. [24] DiMarzio later released their Pandemonium humbuckers, signature pickups that were developed especially for her JIVA Ibanez guitar. [25] [26]

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. [27]

Teacher and mentor

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. [28] [29]

She is a counselor at Rock ’n' Roll Fantasy Camp and was featured in the 2018 documentary Rock Camp: The Movie. [30]

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. [31] [32]

Health and fitness

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 [33] [34] 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.” [35]  

Personal life

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. [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]

2009Kill Slowly
  • Louder Than Words
  • Let Go
  • Empty Promises
2013Consume 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 HitVolume OneGuitar
2015Glenn Stafford and Jason Hayes Heroes of the Storm SoundtrackGuitar
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 PastGuitar
2017We Start Wars
  • The Animal Inside
She Rocks Volume 1: A Collection Of Kick-Ass Guitar Goddesses
  • Pandemonium
Alice Cooper Paranormal Guitar, backing vocals
  • Hexenkessel
Guitar solo
Angel Vivaldi Synapse
  • Serotonin (feat. Nita Strauss)
2018Alice CooperThe Sound of AGuitar, 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 StraussControlled 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

See also

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