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Bryan Brain Mantia talks about Buckethead's Health, Back Problems, ASMR, Therapy & more

How is Buckethead's nowadays? How is he doing?

When we were touring and the last time I saw him, he was doing well. A lot better than it was 5 or 6 years ago when he was having those back problems. It was really his back that was messing him up.
And the heart condition was being fixed when we were on tour. We did have a couple of melt downs where he was feeling weird and it kinda scared him.
On one show we had to stop for a little bit and Dan Monti and I had to do some improvised jamming. But as far as I know, I haven't heard anything bad. He hasn't said anything.
I remember I picked him up after that Barry Michels interview and we were getting ready to go on tour. That's when we were together all day every day. He did the operation and I think he was feeling better but definitely had some worrying moments.
He doesn't like to take any medication at all because he doesn't drink alcohol and that stuff. So it was bothering him taking it and I think on days he didn't take it he had some weird feelings and stuff. But yeah, I haven't heard anything

Was he nervous about that interview coming out? Because he kind of pulled back the curtain and revealed things in that interview.

I think if he was ever going to do it, I think that's when he wanted it to happen. We didn't talk much about it, I just remember he had been talking about Barry Michels for years.
And I read Barry's latest book and that's when he was talking to Barry a lot. And out of nowhere he said “I'm doing this interview” and I said “oh, that's cool”. I think he and Barry had decided it together.
But he didn't ask for my advice or anything like that or say “is this a good thing?”. I think he just knew it was what he wanted.

Next question from Eddie Gould on Facebook, tell us something about yourself that nobody knows.

(laughs) Well, I don't think most people know that I meditate every day if I can. 30 to 45 minutes a day. Yeah, I never did that before and then I started reading books about it and stuff like that. That's something I haven't shared with too many people. And I also love ambient music.

Do you watch these ASMR videos? Or not your thing?

No not really, that's more Buckethead's thing. I don't really get into it but I understand it now way more than I did when he first started showing me them.
At first I thought 'what is this?'. Like the special soap and the way they rub the packaging of this soap. It's like a weird sub-culture. And I said 'well of course Buckethead's into this stuff'.

(laughs) yeah!

But the more I found about it the more I thought 'oh, it is a normal thing'. It's not as strange as I thought.

What about yoga? Is that something you've tried?

Yeah I've been doing that more as I get older. I'm realizing how important stretching is.

Is that something Buckethead's into, because for years he had this arched back but then all of a sudden he's straightened up. So I assumed he's into yoga.

Yeah he's into a whole different hing, it was some dude he met in LA who helped some big names in sports. Buckethead met him and really got into him and studied with him for posture. It's mainly for posture and back because he had serious back problems.

It definitely worked for him because he's straight as a board now.

Yep! He was really into it. I remember he'd see my posture and be like 'dude!'. And he even gave me the book. I went through it in 2017 when we were touring and it really helped me on the road.
He really got into that. So I'd say less of the yoga and more into back exercise program.

What about the therapy thing too, because he's been into that and talking with therapist Barry Michels.

Yeah he did the podcast with Barry right?

Yeah, he just released a song with him the other day too, a spoken-word song.

Oh he did? I didn't see that. That's cool, I'll have to check that out. On his website?

Yeah on his website, a free download.

Oh cool, I'll check it out. I know he loves Barry and he gave me Barry's book. And I actually read both of his books and they're awesome!


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