Bryan Mantia

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Bryan "Brain" Mantia
Bryan "Brain" Mantia
[1]
Bryan Mantia
Background information
Birth name Bryan Kei Mantia
Also known as Brain
Born Cupertino, California, United States
Genres Alternative metal, alternative rock, hard rock, funk
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Drums, percussion, turntables
Years active 1984–present
Associated acts Giant Robot, Praxis, Primus, Buckethead, Guns N' Roses, Godflesh, Pieces, El Stew, No Forcefield, Colonel Claypool's Bucket of Bernie Brains, Serj Tankian, Melissa Reese [2]
Website www.brainbeatz.com

Bryan "Brain" Mantia is a contemporary rock drummer and composer. He has played with bands such as Primus, Guns N' Roses, Praxis, and Godflesh, and with other popular performers such as Tom Waits, Serj Tankian, Bill Laswell, Bootsy Collins, and Buckethead. He has also done session work for numerous artists and bands.

History[edit]

Born in the South Bay city of Cupertino, California to an Italian-American father and a Japanese American mother,[3] Mantia became interested in such 'groove heavy' artists as James Brown, Led Zeppelin, and with Buckethead outside of Praxis – playing on such solo Buckethead albums as Giant Robot and Monsters and Robots.

The late '90s saw Mantia appear on releases by Godflesh (Songs of Love and Hate, Love and Hate in Dub) and longtime, the Ostinato and the Up Down Technique. The video is shot to look like a home movie and includes many humorous moments including a sit down steak dinner with his parents right in the middle of Brain "shredding" on a toy drum set. Although silly at times, the video is extremely informative for drummers looking to learn the hard grooves he is known for.

Mantia appears on several songs on BT's 2003 release Emotional Technology as well BT's score for the 2003 film Monster.

In the early summer of 2006, after 4 warm-up dates in New York City, Mantia toured Europe with Guns N' Roses. On June 21, 2006 it was announced he was taking a break from the GN'R tour. In Brain's absence replacement drummer Frank Ferrer has been performing in most of the band's shows. In the Fall of 2006, Ferrer was promoted to an official member of the band, which fueled speculation that Mantia had resigned or been fired from Guns N' Roses. However, Axl Rose mentioned him "working on things for the band" during his fan-forum interviews in December 2008. In the liner notes for GN'R's 2008 album, Chinese Democracy, replacement drummer Frank Ferrer thanks Mantia, saying "[Frank Ferrer would like to thank]... Brain, God bless you and your family." Brain rejoined Guns N' Roses at their show at the House of Blues on March 13, 2012 playing congas on a couple of songs.

Since his hiatus from GN'R, Mantia has primarily been focused on music behind the scenes as a composer and producer. Though in 2013/14 Mantia did a stint of drumming with band The Crystal Method for their new record (on which he was featured). These performances included appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and Last Call with Carson Daly [4][5]

Composing[edit]

In 2011, Mantia formally partnered with singer/producer/recording artist Melissa Reese to form “Brain and Melissa”, a composing team. Since that time, the duo has put out 2 major game themes for Sony Playstation, several pieces of original music for Playstation HOME, Mod Nation, Twisted Metal X, and were also excited to score their first full length major Playstation series release, Infamous 2 which was nominated for “Outstanding Achievement in Original Composition” by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS awards).[6] The pair were also thrilled to be asked back to score Infamous’ 3rd installment entitled: Second Son which was released in March 2014.[7]

Additionally, the duo has also been at work on other fronts, having produced several remixes and album tracks for multi-platinum selling artists like girl-group TLC, Green Day and Guns n’ Roses (from Chinese Democracy) at the request of Axl Rose (to be released on the upcoming Gn’R remix album). They have also had the pleasure of scoring the E3 Xbox media briefing convention for Microsoft for the fourth year in a row.

Brain and Melissa’s composing career has been further highlighted by signing with creative agency giant ICM, and the release of their highly anticipated feature-length score for the film “Detention” done by acclaimed music video director Joseph Kahn. The film debuted at the SXSW film festival to rave reviews, and had its major nation-wide theater release through Sony Pictures/Samuel Goldwyn.[8] Since the completion of “Detention” they have gone on to work with Kahn as his “go-to” composers on several projects including major ad campaigns for Nascar (including 3 Super Bowl adverts), Trust Bank (starring Bruce Willis), Seat (VW/Audi subsidiary), and Johnnie Walker Blue (showcasing the first posthumous appearance by Bruce Lee in the media (via CGI) since his death).[9]

In other news, they have also been hard at work finishing up a few new exciting projects which include their first game with Disney Interactive, Fantasia: Music Evolved (launching in October 2014), as well as scoring the new ad campaign for the car company Qoros (Range Rover subsidiary) also releasing in October 2014.[10] [11]

Equipment[edit]

Drums[edit]

DW Collector's Series Maple drums in Tony Williams Yellow Lacquer with Custom Yellow Hardware
18x24 Bass Drum
8x12, 9x13 Toms
16x16, 16x18 Floor Toms w/ Legs
6x14 Edge Snare

9000 Single Bass Drum Pedal
9500 Hi-Hat
9300 Snare Stand
9700 Straight/Boom Cymbal Stand (x6)
9900 Double Tom Stand (x2)
9100 Throne

Cymbals[edit]

Zildjian
14" A Mastersound Hi-Hats
19" A Medium Thin Crash (2)
20" K CrashRide
20" A Deep Ride
20" A Medium Thin Crash
22" Oriental China "Trash"

Electronics[edit]

Akai MPC 60 II, 3000 LE, 4000
Technics SL-1210MKZ Turntables with a M44Gs stylus
Vestax PMCO5PRO DJMixer

Selected discography[edit]

  • Brain's Lessons: Shredding Repis On the Gnar Gnar Rad – 2002 instructional video
  • Brain's Worst Drum Instructional DVD Ever – 2008 instructional video
Limbomaniacs
  • Stinky Grooves – 1990
Praxis
Bullmark
Giant Robot
Godflesh
Pieces
Tom Waits
Primus
Buckethead
El Stew
  • No Hesitation – 1999
No Forcefield
Colonel Claypool's Bucket of Bernie Brains
Serj Tankian
Buckethead and Travis Dickerson
Guns N' Roses
Science Faxtion
Travis Dickerson

References[edit]

External links[edit]