The Complete Interview: Hot Chick in Hard Rock Nita Strauss of The Iron Maidens and Consume the Fire

When we interviewed Nita Strauss, guitarist for The Iron Maidens and Consume the Fire, for our Hottest Chicks in Hard Rock issue (See page 55), we discussed several topics, including her musical roots, Consume the Fire’s upcoming album and her experiences as a high schooler.

Unfortunately, due to space constraints, we couldn’t include most of the interview. But that’s what the Internet is for! Read what she has to say below!

READ MORE: Check out our new interview with Nita Strauss right here.

REVOLVER: When and how did you start playing guitar?

I come from a very musical family, but I didn’t pick up the guitar until I was 13. I had already gone from playing drums at home alone to playing bass in a terrible local death metal band. Then I saw a little movie that all guitarists should see called Crossroads. At the end of the movie, there’s an epic guitar battle between Ralph Macchio’s character and my now-favorite guitarist, Steve Vai. As soon as I saw that scene, I thought, “That’s what I’m supposed to be doing with my life.” I haven’t played any other instrument seriously, or really done anything else with my life since that moment.

How’s the Consume the Fire full-length coming along?

It’s going great! I’m actually sitting in the recording studio watching our drummer track as I write this. It’s always awesome watching your music come to life. Our debut release will be out this fall, and from there we plan to support it by touring as much as possible and bringing the adrenaline pumping, intense live CTF experience to as many cities as we can!

What’s your favorite Maiden song to play with the Iron Maidens and why?

My favorite songs to play live with any band are the ones that get the big crowd reactions. I think “Fear of the Dark” is one of the most fun Maiden songs. It’s really exciting to play, and I get that really catchy Dave Murray solo, plus it has that awesome part in the intro that gets the whole crowd singing along. When we were in South America, I saw some of the guys in the crowd actually tear up when we started that riff! It was seriously amazing.

Since this is also our “back to school” issue, some school-related questions: How would you describe your school experience?

Well, I’ve never really been much of a listener. I don’t take direction well at all. I always want to learn things my own way, by making mistakes and correcting them on my own. So the classroom environment wasn’t really easy for me. I even had to drop out of the guitar elective because by that time I had already been playing shows for a few years and couldn’t handle the teacher telling me how to play.

What kind of student were you? A nerd or a troublemaker or somewhere in between?

Aside from being stubborn about classwork, I flew under the radar for the most part. My closest friends were in my band, and none of them went to my school, so I mostly kept to myself and played guitar with a couple other kids during lunch breaks. I did plenty of troublemaking at that time, but for the most part it was outside the classroom!

What’s the worst trouble you got into while in school?

I remember at a school game in sophomore year, I shoved another girl into the sink in the bathroom because she grabbed the bottle of whiskey I had snuck in. She drank the last couple of big gulps. Someone went running to the teachers and we both got sent home. The funny part is, we only got in trouble for fighting, not for being 14 or 15 and drinking on campus!

Did you ever skip school due to hard rock or metal?

Yeah, a whole year! I was already missing school here and there for out-of-town shows, so I got my GED after junior year to focus on writing and touring with my band at the time. It ended up not being the best decision, because two of the other band members were still in school. So really all it accomplished was me having to do more work.

Did you ever have any run-ins with bullies?

I guess I was really lucky in that respect. I was always playing in local metal bands, so the guys in my band never really let anyone give me a hard time. The cool thing about being involved in your local hard rock/metal music scene is everyone kind of looks out for each other. People will join together and stand up for the outsider. I was just a weird teenage girl with short black hair playing in a metal band and running around drunk all the time, thinking I was invincible. My friends and band members were the ones who made sure nothing ever happened to me.

Did music help you get through school? If so, how?

Well, being in a band definitely did! At least at that time, playing in a band, you automatically got cool status that the general masses didn’t! In all seriousness, though, music has helped me get through everything. It’s the best outlet. Any time in my life that things get overwhelming or tough, I always can lock myself away with a guitar and shut the world out and after a while. Everything just seems right side up again.

 

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