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Brain talks about touring with Buckethead (Fan Question with Bryan Mantia)

Next one from Andy Davies, what was your favourite or most memorable show from the 2017 tour with Buckethead & Dan Monti?

The one that stands out the best for me is probably the LA show in the Nokia theatre. A lot my friends were there, drummer friends. So I had something to prove to them. Plus, it was one of those shows that kind of clicked. As soon as we got on stage everything just flowed. Like we were all in the zone.

Was that the Halloween show?

Well, funny you say that because the Halloween show was another good one. So let me backtrack, I would say both LA based shows. The Halloween show was great too actually thinking about. That was at the House of Blues Disneyland. That was a great show too. And that one I felt was really fun because P-Sticks who helps us out and is basically Buckethead's trusted right hand man for most of his playing career...

Its his (private) right?

Yeah, it's his (private). He set up the coolest stage, all these props. He got there at like 8am and just did the whole thing. That was a great show. He had some of his family members come out and do some skits. That was a great show. Both LA shows were awesome because I think of the props and the different ways we did it. And having skits and doing some off-the-cuff things was rad.

Yeah, and he was wearing an Ed Gein mask and Michael Myers mask and then Colonel Sanders came out.

Yeah the Colonel Sanders thing was awesome. That was Buckethead;s uncle I think, yeah, his uncle. He looks like the colonel.

Next question is from Trumpet on Youtube, what do you and Buckethead normally do between shows while touring?

Our routine is usually, we like to go to malls. And we literally cruise around in the mall. We get some food, like some Mrs Fields cookies and cruise around. Go to the food court and get some fast food usually. We walk around and vibe people. We love to people watch. We get out around noon and just go there until about 5pm when P-Sticks says we got to go to the club and we'll go. But we spend 4 or 5 hours in there just watching people. I'm embarrassed to say that, I wish I could say it was going to museum and art, ya know, checking out real things but no, I'm a mall guy.

Like mallrats.

Yeah! That;s what we do, people watch.

Okay, next question from Adella Leigh Anderson on Youtube. Has there ever been a situation where you were with Buckethead in public and he wasn't wearing his mask and was recognized?

One or two times when it felt like people spotted Buckethead or spotted me and then thought 'could this be Buckethead'? I've been confronted at Tower Records with someone saying 'is that Buckethead?' and I played stupid and we left.

Okay next one from Darrill on Youtube, When you tour with Buckethead how do you decide which songs make the set-list and which ones are your favourites to play?

What we did on this last tour was all figured out at rehearsal so we didn't change it that much. Maybe if we felt like something didn't work or we just felt like this wasn't gonna be good even for tonight we would take it out. But we pretty much had a song list that was figured out before.

And Turbine is always on the set-list!

Yeah we always had them in sections, like right there is gonna be all the Praxis stuff. The Praxis medley was always my favourite part of the show.

Fans always say when you play 'Interworld' is the best.

Yeah that's one of my favourite ones. That's when we both 'get off' as we like to say.
To prepare for that 2017 tour it was like 3 months of us hanging out and jamming everyday. Or maybe even more, like 6 months. Talking about if for a month and then Buckethead was like 'maybe we should play?' and I'd be like 'Okay!' and then we'd start rehearsing. So we were together for about a year and a half.

I think the way that Buckethead and I play together is very unique because of our closeness and our friendship, ya know? It's like part of the whole thing. It's easier for him to play by himself because he doesn't have to pay a bunch of other people. So it costs him more. And he's a sensitive guy so there's a lot of people who wanna know about him because he's so reclusive. He's very sensitive, so he doesn't wanna get worn out and doesn't know how to protect himself. Then you got my friends that wanna talk to him, Dan Monti's friends that wanna talk to him. So when he's by himself with P-Sticks they can go right to the club, play the gig and then take off. He has complete control over the situation.
That's what I noticed on this last tour, I can tell it was getting to him. Because it was like 'oh so and so is here, they wanna say hi to Buckethead' and he'd be like 'oh, okay' because he doesn't wanna let them down. I think in the end he'd rather have people around because playing on stage is about playing together. The thing we go through and having fun and the experiences. After a while it's got to get kinda boring just playing by yourself.

Was he always that was or was it because of the whole Guns N Roses thing. Because I feel like it affected him more, like made him more sensitive and protective afterwards.

I think he was always like that but I think that definitely made it worse and that definitely made him way more paranoid about, like, 'wow, weird things can happen'. Like lawyers coming after him, weird private detectives checking on him etc. I think in the end though it made him stronger, I think it made him think 'ya know what, I just gotta do my own thing'. Thats when he started doing his solo thing and he's never been happier.

Yeah and released all the music that he has.

Yeah, it wasn't gonna happen in Guns N Roses.

Next one from Kieran in Plymouth, UK. Hi Brain hope you're well, big thanks to you and Buckethead for the music. Will you and Buckethead ever tour the UK or Europe again?

We love to even more than America because I think, especially in Europe, because they're so responsive to the style of music we play etc. On this last tour, thinking about it was tough because it becomes this whole different thing with promoters and equipment. Because you can't have your own equipment and Buckethead loves his equipment. So it's always tough, it's always easier to do a festival. You know the price you'll get and what it's gonna be. It's normally one promoter for the whole thing. Maybe 3 or 4 festivals is okay but to do a full tour takes so much. I would love to do it but I don't see it, especially with whats going on right now.
The reason we didn't come over in 2017 was because logistically we looked at it and was like 'oh man, that's not gonna happen' it was just too much trouble for what it was worth. And the money and amount of work. It was like 'well, let's just do the states and see what happens'.

It would probably end up costing you money I assume?

Yeah, pretty much.

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