Interview: Nita Strauss discusses playing Nakamura's theme, meeting Ronda Rousey and more
Part 1 of our interview with the Guitar Goddess.
Every time Shinsuke Nakamura makes his larger-than-life entrance, it's a unique experience. At WrestleMania 34, WWE amped up this experience by having guitarist extraordinaire Nita Strauss perform his mesmerizing theme song when Nakamura stepped forth to battle AJ Styles in a dream match.
We caught up with Strauss and discussed her love affair with wrestling and her weekend in New Orleans. She also told us about her upcoming solo album, the Kickstarter link for which has been linked below.
So how did you enjoy your weekend in New Orleans?
Strauss: Oh, it was incredible. Besides it being WrestleMania in New Orleans, it's an amazing city. So much culture, beautiful buildings, great food. So, a pleasure to be there.
Tell us about yourself. How did you start playing guitar?
Strauss: I started playing guitar at the age of thirteen. My dad is a musician. So he's the one who got me my first guitar and got me started in terms of my love for playing music. I realized right away that was what I was meant to do. It was my destiny to be put on this Earth to play the guitar.
So, I focused all my energy on that. Now, I'm 31 years old. I've been touring since the age of 15. I've had a long amazing experience with my career.
Has Alice Cooper ever spoken about his experience at WrestleMania to you?
Strauss: Not very much. But he has talked about just how amazing it was. The crowd, the Silverdome, being there with Jake. For any musician, it's a huge honour to participate in this wrestling event.
How did he react when he found out that you would be performing at WrestleMania this year?
Strauss: I actually haven't had a chance to see him since. (Laughs)
So let's talk about this WrestleMania. How did you find out about that you would be performing Shinsuke Nakamura's theme? Is it something you suggested or something they came up with?
Strauss: The idea came from my manager, Josh. He's a visionary. He sees things and he makes them happen. So, I woke up and he told me you're going to do this amazing thing. I said -'How?' He said- 'I don't know!' Then he started making calls, emailing and contacting people. Finally, he got through to the right people. They loved the idea.
They changed it a bit to suit their ideas. And the next thing we knew, we're on a plane to New Orleans.
Wow. So how did Shinsuke react when he found out that this would be the grand plan for WrestleMania?
Strauss: He loved it. I was there when he found out. (Laughs). This was all the work of my team and the WWE team. So, Shinsuke actually found out that day. He loved it.
He approached me during soundcheck that day and told me - 'I'm going to headbang with you. So, look at me. I'm going to rock out with you.' So, that was really, really cool.
So, were you surprised that Shinsuke went heel after the match?
Strauss: I was shocked. I was as shocked as everyone. The unfortunate thing is that Nakamura vs. Styles was the match I was most excited for during WrestleMania and I had to be backstage doing interviews, and I missed it. (Laughs) So, I watched it on the WWE Network (Laughs). It was really special.
So, why did you choose Shinsuke Nakamura's theme?
Strauss: I didn't choose it, but if it were up to me, I would have chosen it. The song is so powerful. The song has such a strong melody. You don't see a lot of songs like that, where everybody in the crowd sings along to every note. So, it's a musician's song! It's one that I enjoy playing.
You've played at so many big festivals. How did the WrestleMania experience compare to playing at these festivals?
Strauss: I've played in front of more people technically but it's front of people from Brazil, or Germany or the US. In WrestleMania, you get people from so many different countries, countless cities around the world.
So many passionate, amazing fans at the same place for one purpose. Speaking different languages. Eating different food. But all fans of the same Universe.
If you had to choose another wrestler's theme song, whom would you have picked?
Strauss: I'd have loved to play with Ronda. She's got a rock song. I've been a fan of Ronda from UFC and Strikeforce, so it would have been very cool to participate in her entrance in some way.
Did you get a chance to interact with her?
Strauss: Yes, I did. I spoke to her on Monday on the RAW after WrestleMania. Her love for wrestling really shows. It's amazing to see. You can tell she's really excited to be there. Excited for this new chapter. I'm excited to watch her. I thought her match was amazing.
If you'd like to contribute to Nita Strauss' debut solo album, click here.
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