As a kid, Brian Mantia (his nickname is Brain) became interested in artists as James Brown, Led Zeppelin, and Jimi Hendrix, but he only started playing drums at the age of 16. He 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 studied at the Percussion Institute of Technology in Hollywood to perfect his drumming skills. Later in life he was a part of the band Primus. In 2001, it was Buckethead who recommended Axl to bring him into Guns N' Roses.

He's very excited being in Guns N' Roses. In one of the very rare interviews, he says... "When we played this show in Rock In Rio in front of like 200,000 people.. I was so nervous, I'd warmed up for like 3 hours.. "