Current Alice Cooper Guitarist Speaks Up on Replacing Nita Strauss, Shares Honest Opinion About Her Playing

It would be an understatement to say that the world of rock music was shocked when Nita Strauss revealed that she was joining Demi Lovato’s band. After working as a part of Alice Cooper’s live band for years, she announced her departure in July 2022. Although everyone was expecting some sort of a metal-related announcement, a certain portion of metal fans was baffled by her decision.

Be that as it may, Alice Cooper brought back Kane Roberts, one of his previous guitar players. Playing with Cooper back in the mid-1980s, Roberts recorded guitars on two albums, “Constrictor” and “Raise Your Fist and Yell.”

Alice Cooper School's Out + solos from the band

Recently, Roberts was interviewed by VWMusic, discussing his return to the fold. Asked how this thing came to be, he answered:

“You know, Alice, and I, of course, are friends, so we talk all the time. And, you know, I’m a big fan of Nita. Actually, I’m a big fan of his entire band right now. They’re all very good. And Alice, he knows that, so when Nita implied that she’d be leaving for a little while, I guess it made sense to Alice for him to call me.”

“But before that, Alice had played on my ‘The New Normal’ album, with Alissa White-Gluz from Arch Enemy on the song ‘Beginning of the End.’ And then they both agreed to be in my video and all that stuff, so he knows I’ve been active, and then recently, I wrote a song with him, so we’ve been in touch musically as well.”

He added:

“But the call from Alice to join – it came out of nowhere. I was just sitting at home watching TV or whatever after I was done with my day, and then Sheryl Cooper called, and said, ‘Hey, Alice wants to talk to you.’ So, Alice got on the phone and said, ‘Hey, do you want to be in the Alice Cooper band for the fall tour?’ and I went, ‘Yeah, sure,’ because it’s nothing but fun when we’re together.”

“So, I’ve been listening to the set and everything, and it kicks ass. It’s really been kind of a natural thing, and of course, I’ve had a crap ton of stuff to get together. You know, there were also these existing musical arrangements that have been developing with the band over the last eight years, or whatever, but all this stuff is in my fingers. I’m working really hard, and yeah, it’s great.”

Further on, he was also asked about how his playing evolved over the years. Kane explains:

“Well, one of the things is, for example, the technique, and the shred aspect of it has changed. So, in other words, if you look at any guitar player, and I don’t care what level they’re at, they’re going to talk about how their hand picks on the strings.”

“You know, can you shred up and down the six strings? Can you blunt the strings? Do you hit harmonics with your thumb on the strings when you’re playing, so it gets kind of a squeal in the middle of a note? It’s all of that stuff. It’s things like phrasing, and all of this stuff, and that is what has changed the most for me.

“Also, there are certain speed elements that I’ve upgraded over the years as well. So, maybe I’ll do a few less bombs, or squeals, or less of the tremolo bar pulling way up and down like Nita did. But you know, the effects will still be extremely high energy, and of course, Alice’s music is very special, like, if you’re playing one of the classic songs, which are absolutely genius, there’s a certain sort of respect you have to give them.

“I guess, what I’m saying is I’m not going to shred over something like ‘No More Mr. Nice Guy.‘ [Laughs]. I’m going to play what I think is appropriate in that way. And then, of course, you know, he’s doing ‘Roses on White Lace,‘ and a few songs that I wrote with him from back in the day, and with that stuff, I can just like bloody it up really, really good.

“So, it’s about how you perceive each moment that you’re playing, and what you’re going to offer to the audience, and the rest of the band as well. I know it’s gonna be a lot of fun. You know, Sheryl, Alice, and I are really good friends, and Bob Ezrin too. I actually just had lunch with Alice and Bob Ezrin. He’s in the studio right now, so I went down there, and I was listening to what they were doing and everything. I might play and sing a little bit on that as well, so the relationships are developing. I’m feeling like I’m getting woven back into the family pretty good for these five weeks.

Photo: Sven Mandel (Alice Cooper – 2017217191342 2017-08-05 Wacken – Sven – 1D X MK II – 1562 – AK8I2190)