Music | November 7, 2017 10:01 am

Meet the First Female Member of Guns N’ Roses

Melissa Reese, a Seattle native, is a classically trained pianist-turned-rocker.

INDIO, CA - APRIL 23:  Musicians Axl Rose, Slash and Melissa Reese of Guns N' Roses perform onstage during day 2 of the 2016 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival Weekend 2 at the Empire Polo Club on April 23, 2016 in Indio, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella)
INDIO, CA - APRIL 23: Musicians Axl Rose, Slash and Melissa Reese of Guns N' Roses perform onstage during day 2 of the 2016 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival Weekend 2 at the Empire Polo Club on April 23, 2016 in Indio, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella)

Melissa Reese sat down with Cosmopolitan to talk about what it’s like to be the only woman on stage with Axl Rose, Slash, Duff McKagan, Dizzy Reed, Frank Ferrer, and Richard Fortus—and the only female member since the legendary rock band Guns N’ Roses formed in 1985. After being tapped to try out, Reese says she had two weeks to learn 30 to 50 songs, and the process was a daunting one.

“I was intimidated by Axl, I was really quiet the first time I met him,” Reese, who started playing and studying music from a very early age, admitted. “I was scared of Dizz because he’s very intense. I’d met Richard and Frank before. But meeting everybody for this purpose, and especially meeting Slash and Duff, who I had no idea what to expect from them, I was very nervous, naturally.”

But since she’s officially joined, Reese says, Rose is no longer intimidating—and she specifically called him out for making sure she knows “he has her back.”

“Axl specifically is so proud of [to have a woman in the band],” Reese said. “There was one conversation I remember—this was such a surreal moment in my life. Me, Axl, and Lenny Kravitz are in a room together, and he’s like, Lenny, we’ve got a chick in the band!’ He was so excited. And Lenny’s like, ‘I know.’”

Take a look at the video above for a brief glimpse into what it’s like to play keyboards for one of history’s most iconic rock bands.