The Details About Melissa Reese’s Guns N’ Roses Career
Born in Seattle, Washington, on March 1, 1990, Melissa Reese is a talented musician and model. She began playing piano and singing when she was only four years old and started writing her music on the piano at 12. So, Reese has been highly interested in music since she was a child.
At 13 years old, Tom Whitlock discovered Reese’s musical talent and helped her get into the music industry. Four years later, Reese began performing and producing her music and won an outstanding soloist award at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in high school. Soon after graduating, she began experimenting with recording.
In her early 20s, Reese decided to study music full-time and moved to LA. She then collaborated with Bryan Mantia and Pete Scaturro and released her first EP in 2007 under the name Lissa. Apart from Mantia and Scaturro, Reese collaborated with various artists, but it wasn’t until she joined Guns N’ Roses that she secured her spot in the rock scene.
Melissa Reese Has Been Working With GN’R Since 2016
After working with Mantia on several projects as a team dubbed ‘Brain and Melissa,’ Reese joined Guns N’ Roses in 2016 to replace Chris Pitman as their second keyboardist. She also plays synthesizer, background vocals, sub-bass, and programs all the electric sounds during live shows in the band.
Melissa Reese first performed with GN’R during the ‘Not In This Lifetime… Tour.’ After joining the band, she only had two weeks to learn fifty songs to prepare for the tour. So, Reese worked fifteen hours a day to play them all and handled this job pretty well.
In a 2018 interview with PhilStar Global, Reese revealed how she joined GN’R. She stated that she knew Axl Rose before, and the band knew of her as a producer and songwriter. Reese then said she didn’t believe the offer and thought it was a joke, but it turned out that Rose was quite serious.
According to Reese, Rose called his partner Bryan Mantia and asked for his blessing. He then wanted to know whether Reese could handle working with GN’R, but Mantia stood behind Reese and told him she could. However, he told Reese that this would be hard work, and she will have to be strong to work with GN’R.
In the interview with PhilStar Global, Melissa Reese recalled the following:
“I got a call. That’s exactly what happened. I met Axl before, and my composing partner Bryan ‘Brain’ Mantia was the drummer before. They knew of me as a producer and heard about my poetry work. I knew a lot of people in their camp. It just came up as an idea: what about her?
I thought it was a joke. That’s how the music industry works in general. For producing or composing gigs, films, and all that, you say yes to everything, but it’s not necessarily a real question. Literally, nine times out of ten, it means nothing. But then, it wasn’t a joke.”
She then continued:
“Axl also called my composing partner, ‘Do I have your blessing on this? I’m going to take your composing partner away, all of this stuff. Can she pull it off?’ Of course, he vouched for me. But behind the scenes, he was, ‘Dude, it will be heavy, and you should be prepared. It’s an intense thing. You’re you, and you’re used to being in a studio.’ So, you have to be strong and deal with not being settled like constantly traveling all the time.”
The first and only female member of GN’R, Reese has numerous contributions to the band’s sound. She enhances their sound with tools and samplers and plays synthesizer on various of the band’s songs. She is currently working with the band on new songs to be released in the future.