Meet This City Of Takers, Unhinged and Underrated Rockers

Brandon Lee (guitar, vocals)

I play music because... it's what all my heroes did. It's how I met all of my friends. It's how I see all of my friends. It's what I talk about with all my friends. I just couldn't imagine not doing it. Plus, a lot of people have spent a lot of time, effort, and money making sure I can play music. I guess in the back of my mind I've always thought if I stopped playing I would have been kind of spitting in their faces.  

I have learned the most from... I would have been just another dumb kid with a guitar in his closet that he never learned how to play had it not been for a guy named Alan Caine and my Uncle Ron. Both of them really took a vested interest in me learning and would make me feel like a jerk if I didn't practice. Guilt is an incredible fuel. 

Once I started playing in bands, they had no problem telling me if my band sucked. I can really appreciate that. If someone you're close with asks you honestly about their band, and their band sucks - you should tell them so. Outside of that, I think growing up watching bands like MU330 taught me that you could take your music seriously and still have a blast on stage. They might as well have been Led Zeppelin to me, I still get nervous when I see members of that band around town. I want TCOT to release something on Asian Man Records so bad!
Right now, I'm listening to a lot of... according to Spotify, I've been listening to a lot of the Bronx, Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age, Tim Timebomb and Osker.
The best post-show food in St. Louis is... Strange Donuts, of course! One of the owners, Corey, is a TCOT alum. So proud of that guy! Aside from that, Jack in the Box Tacos.
What I like most about St. Louis is... it's pretty cheap to live here - that's pretty awesome. Plus, there is a lot of cool crap happening around town right now. My 2 favorite things happening musically in St. Louis right now are: Physics Punks Pedals and Tritone Guitars. Thanks to Dave at Tritone, the guitarists of St. Louis now know what it means to have a properly set up guitar. Gerald with Physics Punk Pedals is practically giving away amazing pedals. I mean, you have a freak'n rocket scientist who quit his job to make us pedals - How lucky are we?
In 2014, I am looking forward to... recording an EP next month. I'm pretty excited about that!

Matt Basler (drums)

I play music because... I'm scared of making too much money. Also, it's a pretty good time.

I have learned the most from... Tonetta. He is a Canadian performer who has uploaded hundreds of songs to Youtube and Vimeo, although I believe he has been making these videos long before there was an outlet to present them to the world. Sometimes he dresses in bizarre homemade outfits. Sometimes he dresses like a lady. Sometimes he doesn't wear anything at all. He writes songs about pizza, sexual deviance, lost love, drugs and whatever else he seems to be thinking of at the time. He's taught me to be prolific. Put everything out there and do what you love. Maybe do it naked. 
Right now, I'm listening to a lot of... Two of the guys from Superdrag started a project called the Lees of Memory. There's only a two song 45 released so far, but I got to hear the demos and been listening to those a lot. The latest releases from Brotherfather and Pirate Signal are just starting to leave my constant rotation, so I'm ready for new stuff from those guys.

The best post-show food in St. Louis is... I ate at Uncle Bills in the day time recently. Whether it's the best post-show food is debatable, but I can safely say it is improved by night time and being tired and worn out.

What I like most about St. Louis is... It's really easy to try and do whatever weird thing you want to do. One time we wanted to do this "Museum of Obsolete Tactile Experiences." The idea was there'd be all these things on a table you'd interact with that people don't use anymore. You could wind a camera, type on a typewriter or push a VHS tape into a VCR. It was just weird. But the Firebird was into and we did it.  

In 2014, I am looking forward to... I just want to do more. Make more stuff. More music, more videos, more everything.

Click through for more questions with Michelle Maguire and David Mahew.

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