Songs for Black Days: Nita Strauss | Revolver

Songs for Black Days: Nita Strauss

Alice Cooper shredder shares 8 songs that have helped her through dark times
nitastrausscreditgetty.jpg, Neil Lupin/Redferns
Nita Strauss performing with Alice Cooper, London, 2017
photograph by Neil Lupin/Redferns

"'Pandemonium' did something pretty powerful for me mentally," says Nita Strauss of the solo single she released last year. "It proved to me that not only could I do what the instrumental guitar players that are my heroes do, but I could actually make something I'm extremely proud of in the genre."

With that newfound confidence, the shredder created her debut solo album, Controlled Chaos, which is due on November 16th and includes, among its 11 tracks, a sequel to her previous single, fittingly titled "Pandemonium 2.0." The Alice Cooper band member and Ibanez' first female signature guitarist says mental health is "a subject that is so close to my heart," so for our continuing "Songs for Black Days" series, presented in partnership with Hope for the Day, we asked Strauss to share some of the music that has helped her through dark times. Below is what she offered up.

Pantera - "A New Level"

It's impossible not to feel powerful listening to this song: A super aggressive reminder to never give up and never surrender.

Suicide Silence - "You Only Live Once"

When most people think of deathcore bands, they probably aren't thinking of lyrics like, "You only live one life for a very short time/So make every second divine." 

Arch Enemy - "You Will Know My Name"

Speaks for itself. Alissa's incredible vocal delivery is the icing on the cake.

Van Halen - "Dreams"

This is the first song I can remember listening to with the volume up loud when I was feeling sad as a child. To this day, any time I'm feeling down, I go somewhere there are no people around, put this song on nice and loud, and singalong to the words.

Iron Maiden - "Wasted Years"

I always used to love playing this song when I played in the Iron Maidens. [It's] a great message to stop living life searching for something you can't get back.

In Flames - "Cloud Connected"

This one doesn't cheer me up lyrically as much as sonically. It's powerful, catchy and even though the lyrics aren't particularly uplifting, it always lifts my spirits.

Dream Theater - "Learning to Live"

The message in these lyrics, about searching for the more beautiful side of life, has always been extremely meaningful to me. 

Sonata Arctica - "The Cage"

Probably the most off the wall of my choices, but I love this song. It's sung from the perspective of an animal dreaming of being free and running around in the mountains.

If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or go to for a list of resources.