Alice Cooper’s touring guitarist Nita Strauss has spoken out about dealing with criticism as a woman in the music industry.
She began: “Honestly, my advice for girls is the same as my advice for young dudes — it really is. And it holds true for both. So I’m just gonna give it for both, but it really, really applies for both. And that’s there are always gonna be people that doubt you, no matter who you are, no matter where you live, no matter how great you are.”
“I was just having this conversation this morning with [boyfriend and manager] Josh [Villalta]. You take a band like Metallica — we were just talking about Metallica — the biggest metal band that has ever existed in the history of metal bands, and they put out something new, and people trash-talk it all over it,” she continued.
“If [Led Zepplin’s] ‘Stairway To Heaven’ came out today, people would be just complaining and whining on YouTube and in the Blabbermouth comments and all this stuff. You can’t please everybody — not in this day and age.”
“So you need to not focus too much on pleasing everybody and not focus too much on the naysayers and the negativity that’s out there, and focus on working as hard as you can, performing as best as you can. Always be early. Show up ready to play. Don’t be asking a lot of questions when you get there. Show up super prepared. Always be 15 minutes early. Always be the most professional, the easiest to deal with.”
Strauss went on to say that she hopes her advice will particularly resonate with women, as “being easy to deal with is kind of important for a girl.”
‘Cause maybe that’s one place where I see there’s still a little bit of a stigma. You don’t wanna have people going around [saying], ‘She’s on her period,’ or something,” she said.
“For guys and girls, showing up on time — I keep saying ‘on time,’ because on time is so important,” she added.
“Being early is [so important], and being super, super professional. And also, on the flip side, not letting the negativity get to your head, but also not letting the accolades get to your head. Because once you start getting some notoriety and you start getting good and getting your name out there, there’s gonna be people saying some crazy stuff. ‘You’re the best guitar player in the world. No one has ever been better than you.’ And if you start believing that, nothing good can happen,” she continued.
“Nothing good comes from believing that you’re the best and you can never improve and you can never get better and you can never grow as an artist. So equally as important to shutting out the naysayers is shutting out people that will just tell you that you don’t need to progress, and you’re already good enough. You always have to get better. You always have to progress. You always have to be better in any way you possibly can,” she concluded.