Bryan Mantia
Background information
Also known as Brain
The Man
The Myth
The Pseudo-Mexican
Born 1964
Origin Cupertino, California, U.S.
Genre(s) Alternative rock
Hard rock
Funk metal
Instrument(s) Drums
Years active 1990 - present
Giant Robot
Guns N' Roses
El Stew
No Forcefield
Colonel Claypool's Bucket of Bernie Brains
Website http://www.wayofthebrain.com

Bryan Kei “Brain” Mantia (born February 4, 1963) is a contemporary rock drummer. He has played with bands like Primus, Guns N' Roses and Godflesh, and with other popular performers such as Tom Waits and Buckethead (solo and with Guns N' Roses).


Born in 1964 in the South Bay city of Cupertino, California, Mantia became interested in such ‘groove heavy' artists as James Brown, Led Zeppelin, and Jimi Hendrix early on, but it wasn't until he was 16 years old that Mantia began playing drums. Shortly thereafter, Mantia acquired the nickname “Brain" while playing in a high school concert band, due to his obsession with the complex Anthony Cirone book, "Portraits in Rhythm." Mantia continued to perfect his drumming skills, by studying at such music schools as the Percussion Institute of Technology in Hollywood. The mid ‘80s saw Mantia join the San Francisco Bay Area funk-rock band, the Limbomaniacs, who broke up later in the decade, but reformed to issue a lone full-length in 1990, Stinky Grooves.

From there, Mantia played with a variety of other outfits, including M.I.R.V. (Cosmodrome, Feeding Time on Monkey Island), MCM and the Monster (Collective Emotional Problems), and Tom Waits (Bone Machine), before co-forming the funk/experimental supergroup, Praxis. Included in the group were Parliament-Funkadelic veterans Bootsy Collins (bass) and Bernie Worrell (keyboards), as well as masked guitarist Buckethead and producer Bill Laswell - resulting in countless releases throughout the ‘90s (including such standouts as Transmutation (Mutatis Mutandis), Transmutation Live, and Warzsawa. Mantia continued to work with Buckethead even 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 friends, Primus (whom Mantia was briefly a member of in 1989, before a broken foot led to his exit). His second go-around with Primus proved more fruitful, as Mantia toured extensively with the trio and played on such albums as Brown Album, Rhinoplasty, and Antipop. Mantia also contributed to a side project with Larry Lalonde called No Forcefield, releasing two albums. Already boasting quite an impressive musical resume, it was about to get even greater, as Axl Rose invited Mantia to join his overhauled version of Guns N' Roses in 2000 (at the insistence of Buckethead, who was brought onboard as Slash's replacement). Mantia appeared with the group throughout sporadic live dates in 2001 and 2002, while continuing to lay down tracks for the Guns N' Roses' upcoming studio album, 'Chinese Democracy'. [1]

Brain's Lessons: Shredding Repis On the Gnar Gnar Rad is a video drum workshop published by Alfred Publishing. In the video, Brain goes through some of the techniques he feels are important, including Go Go, Funk Patterns, 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 Brian Transeau's 2003 release Emotional Technology as well as BT's score for the 2003 film Monster.

In the early summer of 2006, after four 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 short break from the GN'R tour to spend time with his wife, who gave birth to a baby girl on July 4, 2006. [2] Since leaving to be a father, replacement drummer Frank Ferrer has been performing in most of the band's shows. Ferrer was apparently recently promoted to an official member of the band and seems to be handling all live performances for at least the duration of the Fall North American tour, at one point fueling speculation that Bryan Mantia has resigned or been fired from Guns N' Roses. Axl recently introduced Ferrer as "our newest member" during one show in Florida. Nevertheless, band management has stated that, as of now, both Mantia and Ferrer are official members.



DW Collector's Series Maple drums in Tony Williams Red 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


6" Black LP Cowbell


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


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

Selected discography[]

  • Brain's Lessons: Shredding Repis On the Gnar Gnar Rad (Instructional video 2002)
  • Brain's Worst Drum Instructional DVD Ever (Instructional video 2008)

With Praxis[]

With Primus[]

  • Brown Album - 1997
  • Rhinoplasty - 1998
  • Antipop - 1999

With Bullmark[]

With Buckethead[]

With Giant Robot[]

With Godflesh[]

  • Songs of Love and Hate - 1996 (Earache Records)

With Pieces[]

With El Stew[]

  • No Hesitation - 1999

With No Forcefield[]

  • Lee's Oriental Massage 415-626-1837 (2000)
  • God Is an Excuse (2001)

With Colonel Claypool's Bucket of Bernie Brains[]

With Guns N' Roses[]

With Serj Tankian[]

  • Elect the Dead (2007)


1. http://www.allmusicguide.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:7hx7gjwr86iv~T1

2. http://www.heretodaygonetohell.com/news/shownews.php?newsid=1660

External links[]