nita strauss
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Nita Strauss On The Music And Wrestling Connection, Performing Mick Foley’s Theme, Working w/ Pyro

Nita Strauss Mick Foley
Photo by Michael S. Schwartz/Getty Images

Nita Strauss recently spoke with Wrestlezone’s Kevin Kellam while promoting her new album Controlled Chaos, which is out now on Sumerian Records. You can read a few highlights and listen to the full interview below:

Nita on being a fan of wrestling, her reaction to having her songs used by WWE: 

I’m a huge fan. My boyfriend Josh [Villalta, who is also Nita’s drummer and manager] and I go to indie shows, we go to WWE. There’s a company called PCW Ultra in [Los Angeles] that we go and see all of the time when I’m off tour, so we’re big fans. The music and wrestling connection is so strong, and it always has been, all the way back to Alice Cooper at Wrestlemania III.

I’ve always felt like wrestling fans and music fans are pretty much the same fans; they’re super passionate, super rowdy and loud, rambunctious. So the audience makes sense for me as a musician. Especially now that they used one of my songs ‘Mariana Trench’ at NXT Takeover, that was the coolest thing ever to be watching NXT on [WWE Network] and to hear my song play in the background while they’re doing the promos and other stuff—we actually went to Takeover—and to hear the song live in the arena and saw people’s reactions, it was just absolutely amazing.

Nita comments on the honor of performing Mick Foley’s theme song:

It was such a huge honor. Mick put it really beautifully and in a way that made it even more of an honor. He said ‘I’ve never really had a big entrance.’ You think about Mick Foley’s entrance, and it’s very subdued, and very blah, very drab, boring music. As he’ll say in his [WWE Network] live special ‘dressed head to toe in brown’, no pyro, no lights.

That was part of his character, it made sense, but he had never had a real entrance. To get to be a small part of giving him a big entrance and to get to play some music and rock out with him—he came out and played a little air guitar with me before the special started—that was a huge honor. This is Mick Foley, it doesn’t get any more legendary than that, and to give him a moment that was special in his life, meant the world to me.

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Nita on the challenges of performing other WWE stars’ theme songs:

There is, definitely. The guys of CFO$ [WWE’s music production team] are so talented. They have such a clear vision about who the song is for and what it’s about, how it speaks to the character. I got very lucky with Shinsuke’s song because his character is very much like my character, he’s the ‘rock star’ of WWE. He’s got that confidence and that swagger, so it was easy for me to create a guitar line—not so much create it—but to play a guitar line that spoke to that confidence and swagger and bravado.

Nita talks about working with fire and pyro on the set of her new music video

There’s a shot where we actually lit Josh’s cymbals on fire and he’s playing, and that one did make it into the final video. Josh is a very heavy hitter, he’s a very hard drummer, so the first thing he does is—and the way you set these cymbals on fire is you fill them with the fuel, the lighter fluid, you light that—and essentially you’re playing in this puddle of fire. He hit the cymbal three times, and it just fell over on to the rug where he set the drums up. That was a tense little moment of ‘everyone calm down, get the fire extinguisher!’ Everyone was fine and safe, and we have a great final product.