Alice Cooper Opens Up on How He Reacted to Nita Strauss’ Decision to Leave for Demi Lovato, Reveals How She Came Back

Shock rock legend Alice Cooper looked back on Nita Strauss’ decision to leave his live band and join pop singer Demi Lovato. Eventually, Nita ended up coming back to his band in March of 2023.

In a recent chat with Ultimate Classic Rock, Cooper reflected on these recent lineup changes within his live band. When asked about how he brought some old tunes, like “Freedom,” back into the setlist along with guitarist Kane Roberts who replaced Nita, Cooper replied:

“Kane, of course, is one of my favorite people in the world. He’s got Stallone’s body and Jerry Lewis’ brain. He’s one of the funniest people I’ve ever met in my life. But, you know, those ’80s songs we brought back in because we had Nita.”

Kane Roberts - "Beginning Of The End" feat. Alice Cooper & Alissa White-Gluz (Official Music Video)

“Nita was a shredder, and those songs were all Kane Roberts shred songs. And so when she came in the band, I went, ‘Oh, that opens up a couple of albums here.’ That opens up Raise Your Fist and Yell and Constrictor and all those songs where that kind of guitar can kind of rule.”

“Ryan [Roxie] and Tommy [Henriksen] are just great rock ‘n’ roll guitar players. They’re sort of Joe Perry-type of guitar players. But getting that extra boost of having a shredder like that, that opened up a lot for us.”

Nita Strauss returning to Alice Cooper’s live band was kind of a big deal, as was her initial departure from the lineup. But despite what some fans may have been worried about, there’s absolutely no bad blood between the two parties. Quite the contrary — Alice encouraged Nita to do her own thing and even welcomed her back to the fold with open arms.

Asked about who initiated the conversation for Nita to come back to his band, Cooper replied:

“It was the funniest thing because I always have had a revolving door in my band. If somebody has a thing where they say, ‘I want to go do this for six months,’ I go, ‘OK, go.’ Absolutely no problem.”

“I understood what she was trying to do with Demi, and it worked. It was a good thing. And of course, getting Kane back in was a fan favorite. That was something that was really fun for us and them. And then at the end of it, I said, ‘You want to come back?’ She goes, ‘Sure.’ And I went, ‘OK, great. It’s gonna be a whole new show.'”

Alice Cooper, Nita Strauss, Poison, Birmingham, 5-2-17, FRONT ROW

And what Cooper said next just proves how incredibly awesome, considerate, and open-minded he is:

“I never, ever take a musician and put them in a position where they can’t revolve out and then revolve back in.”

The news of Nita coming back to Alice’s band were shared in early March 2023. And even before that, Nita surprised her and Cooper’s fans with a surprise appearance on the shock rocker’s live show back in October 2022.

Nita Strauss makes a Surprise Appearance on Stage with Alice Cooper for School's Out!

When the two parties announced the official reunion, Alice shared this statement:

“She’s Back! Nita asked for a leave of absence to work with someone else, something I always encourage my band members to do. I like them to challenge themselves and try new things.”

Reflecting on Kane Roberts’ brief stint in the band, the singer added:

“I’m thankful to my old friend Kane Roberts for stepping up and filling in for her, but she’ll be back with us for the new tour that starts up in late April. It’s going to be great to have her back.”

DEMI LOVATO - “Cool For The Summer” LIVE at Rock In Rio 2022

Nita also shared a few words, offering:

“From the studio to the stage, it’s always an immense honor to make music with Alice Cooper!! I’m very excited to be rejoining the band on the road for the 2023 dates, and so I’ll see you on the road in April. Let the nightmare return!”

At no point was Alice angered by Nita’s decision to go out there and work with someone else in the business. In a last year’s interview, Nita looked back on having to inform Alice that she was leaving his band to join Demi Lovato. Asked whether it was “nerve-wracking,” she replied:

“I wouldn’t even say nerve-racking, because… I mean, it was a big decision, of course, but it definitely wasn’t as dramatic as it has seemed online, if that makes sense. We had just started the U.K. tour when I got the offer to come and play with Demi.“

Heart Attack, Demi Lovato, Nita Strauss, Atlanta, 10-23-22, 4K

“And I just went into Coop’s room — I went to his hotel room and I talked with him and his wife. And I said, ‘Look, I have this opportunity.’ He asked, ‘Would it conflict with anything on this tour?’ I said, ‘No, but it would conflict with the fall dates, so I’d have to step back from the fall tour.’ And he said, ‘Go and do it.’“

“He gave his blessing. He gave me a big hug and said, ‘Go and have fun. Shine your light, and let us know what next year looks like and we’ll work it out.’“

“So it was a lovely and loving conversation — no big blowup; no drama; no one got fired; no one stormed out. And I took a step back and I’m trying something different. And we’ll see what happens in the future.”

NITA STRAUSS - The Wolf You Feed ft. Alissa White-Gluz (Official Music Video)

When the news broke that she was leaving the band, rumors began circulating through certain media outlets, speculating that she was joining Demi Lovato’s live band. Although this proved to be true not long after the information was leaked to the media, Nita said that it wasn’t the most helpful thing to happen either. Looking back at that, she said:

“I don’t really know how that news got out, ’cause it was all pretty close to the vest. But somebody found out, somebody decided to put it out before anybody really could make a proper statement about it, and I think that’s how these things get twisted around into something that it’s not.“

Photo: Ralph Arvesen (Alice Cooper 2015 (cropped)), Frank Schwichtenberg (Nita Strauss – Wacken Open Air 2017 38)


  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.