Alice Cooper guitarist Nita Strauss recently spoke with Wrestling Inc. President Raj Giri. Strauss, who recently performed SmackDown Live's Shinsuke Nakamura's entrance music at WrestleMania 34 and has a Kickstarter for her debut solo album, talked about how that deal came together, how much rehearsal time they received, and whether we will ever again hear the theme like we did at WrestleMania.
On the subject of playing out Nakamura at WrestleMania, Strauss put it over as a positive experience and mentioned she had only a week's notice about the gig.
"It was so amazing. It was one of the coolest entrances that I've seen in a long time watching it back, so it's crazy that the person on stage was me." Strauss continued, "about a week before 'Mania, we got the call saying, 'we want you to do it.' They had an idea like that already in mind and it just came about… it was synchronicity and it really happened in an amazing, amazing way."
Before getting the WrestleMania 34 job, Strauss had only played Nakamura's theme once after seeing Nakamura's entrance at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II.
"I played it once, actually on the piano." Strauss remembered, "it's funny because I don't even play piano, but when Nakamura came out at SummerSlam, I'm sorry, TakeOver, when he came out at TakeOver: Brooklyn, I remember NXT because I was just sort of getting into wrestling at that point, I was watching everything I could. And I remember saying to Josh, 'oh my gosh, his song is so cool!' His song is so powerful and you can see that in the fan response, how they get behind the song. So my keyboard player in my band left her keyboard at my house and I put up a little video of it on Instagram, plinking away, one note at a time, playing Nakamura's song. And that's the only time I've ever done that. I've never put up anybody else's music. I never try to play anybody else's music, just that one song years ago. It's crazy how life comes around full circle."
According to Strauss, she only had 15 minutes to rehearse for Nakamura's WrestleMania 34 entrance.
"We had soundcheck the day of WrestleMania around noon and that was it. We ran it a few times on stage, on the ramp, and then, they opened the doors, and that was it." Strauss explained, "we had about 15 minutes. So yeah, we had soundcheck at 1 [pm] and they were opening the doors to the arena at 2, I think it was if I remember those times correctly. But it was something like that. We were right at the edge of not having enough time anymore. something like that."
'The Femme Fatale' indicated that she thanked Nakamura for the opportunity to perform his entrance song, but he did not even know the plan.
"We were up there, on stage, and I met Shinsuke." Strauss added, "I told him, 'thank you very much for this opportunity' and he said, 'honestly, I didn't know it was happening.' So I went to the back and thanked all the guys in the back. But Shinsuke is so cool. We ran the entrance once and he said, 'can we watch it back because I want to see what it looks like? I want to see what you're doing.' And then, he came up and he said, 'I'm going to headbang with you. Just know that I will be behind you doing that.' And then, we were off. We did it twice more and then opened the doors. And then, WrestleMania started."
Strauss noted that her performance of Nakamura's theme may have been the last time it is played that way now that 'The Artist' has new music.
"Now, he has that new song with the rappers and stuff on it." Strauss speculated, "maybe that was the last time we heard that song."
If you would like to support Nita's Kickstarter page for her first solo album, click here. Fans who back the project can get a digital download of the album, a signed CD, a Skype call with Strauss and even a video greeting. Strauss will also be playing out Mick Foley at Foley's "20 Years Of Hell" solo show this Thursday in Pasadena, California, tickets are available here.
Source: Wrestling Inc.