Bryan "Brain" Mantia has starred as the drummer in such notable acts as Praxis, Primus, and Guns N' Roses. Along with touring around the world as a member of Guns N' Roses, his work will also be featured on their new album Chinese Democracy, due out on November 23rd. And if drums are your passion, you'll definitely want to check out Brain's fun and informative instructional DVDs available through his online store at BrainBeatz.com.
Q: How would you describe the recording process of the album Chinese Democracy?
BM: It was awesome; huge production! We drove around L.A. in (producer) Roy Thomas Baker's Rolls Royce trying out every kick, snare, tom and hi-hat. I had the best drum kit you can piece together. It was incredible!
Q: Do any songs on Chinese Democracy stick out as a favorite of yours?
BM: I like "Madagascar." It's got that huge Bonham thing going on.
Q: Having performed with Guns N' Roses and Primus you've had an opportunity to play many cool venues around the world. Is there one venue in particular that you enjoy playing more than any other?
BM: I like Red Rocks in Colorado. That gig always seemed so surreal, had some of my best Primus shows there!
Q: Do you do any special workouts to get yourself ready for an extensive tour?
BM: No, not really. I'm always working out and practicing even when I'm not on tour. I usually just add some more hours to my routine.
Q: What do you enjoy more, touring or recording?
BM: I like both. They're so different. When I'm recording I usually stop shaving and really don't give a shit what I wear or what I look like. I get into this zone -- studio rat type vibe. I don't even leave the studio to get a cup of coffee.
When I'm touring it's the opposite. You're always meeting people, hanging out and performing, so I try to work on my appearance and social skills.
Q: Are there any drummers that you enjoy watching perform?
BM: Keith Moon is my favorite. I love that "I don't give a shit" approach.
Q: Having worked extensively with (guitarist) Buckethead throughout your career, what do you enjoy most about performing and recording with him?
BM: He's the best! A true psycho. We never talk or think about what we are doing. Our motto when we play together is "Don't think... Feeeeel."
Q: How would you describe the music that will be featured in the album Chinese Democracy?
Q: What would fans be surprised to learn about you?
BM: That I'm half Japanese and half Italian. The upper half is Japanese and lower half is Italian.
Q: We end all of our interviews with word association, so I say "wombat" and you say...