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Bryan "Brain" Mantia

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Biography

Bryan “Brain” Mantia (whose name is more often mistakenly spelled Brian) is a contemporary rock drummer. He has played with bands like Primus and Guns N’ Roses, and with other popular performers such as Buckethead and Tom Waits.

Born in 1964 in the South Bay city of Cupertino, CA, 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, among countless others).

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