Meet Melissa Reese, Guns N’ Roses’ New Keyboard Player
In addition to welcoming back Slash and Duff McKagan for the first time since 1993, Guns N' Roses also unveiled a new keyboardist, Melissa Reese, at their warm-up show at the Troubadour in Los Angeles last night (April 1). With her profile presumably about to increase as the band embarks on a new tour, this is a good time get to know a little bit more about who she is.
According to the bio on her website, Reese received piano and vocal training in jazz and classical from an early age in her hometown of Seattle, and has been composing and songwriting since she was 14. Her music has been heard on television shows as diverse as Inside the NFL, Gossip Girl and Keeping Up With the Kardashians. She has also played on commercials with such artists as Bootsy Collins, Chuck D and Vanessa Carlton. "Girlfriend," one of the songs from her 2007 EP Lissa, was featured in the ad campaign for Just Fab Shoe.
Her connection with Guns N' Roses likely comes via Bryan "Brain" Mantia, who drummed with them from 2000-2006. As Brain and Melissa, the two have collaborated extensively, composing music for video games (Disney's Fantasia: Music Evolved and Infamous 2, for which they were nominated for an award in composition by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences), commercials (NASCAR, Johnny Walker Blue and Audi) and the score for the horror film Detention. They've also performed on Best Regards, the five-CD set by another former Guns N' Roses member, Buckethead, and its follow-up, Kind Regards. In addition, they've provided remixes for Green Day and Taylor Swift's Grammy-winning "Bad Blood" video.
A brief film about Reese is embedded above.
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