From the Memphis Commercial Appeal:
Since they were small children, Tommie and Brandon Closson listened to classic rock by Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix.
They played ukuleles that belonged to their great-grandfather before they graduated to an electric guitar for Tommie and an acoustic guitar for Brandon.
Their first band was Bloody Sculls. Wearing tank tops with a picture of a bloody scull on the front, they played '80s rock.
Tommie, 15, now is lead guitarist and Brandon, 13, is guitarist/lead singer in Young Guns, which also features Brandon Russell, 13, on drums and Michael "Ace" Caserta, 14, on bass.
Russell comes from a musical family. His sister, Reba Russell, is a veteran Memphis performer and other family members are in a band called Brittany Russell and the Trunk Monkeys.
Brandon Russell picked up drums after playing a set his dad was trying to sell for a friend. "I started playing an AC/DC beat, which is just a simple beat," he said.
The Closson brothers decided to keep Brandon after he filled in for their old drummer at a show in Knoxville. He became a fan the first time he heard the group: "They liked classic rock. My friends, they don't like that stuff. They like rap music and present day (music)."
After Brandon Russell joined, the band played at a Memphis Redbirds game. The audience included "a bunch of college girls," Brandon Closson recalled. They asked them to sign guitar pics and a boot.
"I signed someone's neck," Tommie said.
Caserta joined after Young Guns lost their old bass player and his music teacher asked him if he was interested. "I just thought they were the coolest thing in the world," Caserta said. "You got a singer that can belt it, a shredding guitar player and an awesome drummer who can just smash the crud out of everything."
The band members were likewise impressed with Caserta. "I had never seen someone slap the bass," Brandon Russell said.
They describe their music as funk, blues, rock and metal smashed together.
Michael's dad, Angelo Caserta, who was in bands when he was younger, has been recording the Young Guns. "When you listen to kids this age, you wouldn't expect that maturity of classic rock with kind of the grunge sound," he said. "I liked them so much I went out and bought some more equipment."
Performance Credits: Memphis Redbirds Summer Concert Series, Snowden Grove, Southern Chicken Wing Festival, openings for Blues Traveler, ZZ TOP...
Story in M-Teen Magazine.
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