JUSTUS O. BRAKE is the bassist for The Minimum Requirements, but more than that he works crowd control at the controlled anarchy that is a TMR show. He plays bass guitar and upright bass.
Justus was born in 1983 in Cleveland, Ohio, and has spent little time anywhere else. As a youngster his dad was a concert soundman touring the globe with acts ranging from George Clinton to the Pope. Justus hated “music time” as a child. He found the demand to sing along and dance to whatever stupid song the teacher put on insulting. At his kindergarten graduation, Justus folded his arms in quiet protest at the unreasonable expectation that he join in singing "Puff the Magic Dragon."
In elementary school Justus met Danny O’Brien on the bus. Being young, ignorant idealists, they joined an environmental club called Earth Kids Incorporated (EKI). Justus saw this as a great cause, but in wanting to expand the club, he quickly destroyed the delicate group with his zeal for earth-friendly conquest.
In middle school Justus started to play with a band called Atrophy (later called The Atomix). With bandmates Niel Turk and Anthony Zart, he played covers of Screeching Weasel, Green Day and No Use For a Name, along with many originals. When Justus was in ninth grade, he and Danny played in the band Feelin' Fine, a group with little cohesiveness and less direction. But it was at Feelin’ Fine’s public debut, on Valentine’s Day of 1999, that Justus discovered the ability he now takes for granted—talking to concert crowds. At that show, an audience member shouted, "Your band sucks, but you're the funniest person I've ever met." (To which Justus curtseyed.)
Later that year, Danny called Justus and asked him to jam with Eric and him. The rest is TMR history.
Justus is an accomplished classical string bassist. During high school, he took lessons from Kevin Switalski of the Cleveland Orchestra and was a member of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, with whom he performed at Carnegie Hall. Justus recieved a B.S. in Mathematics and a B.A. in Music from Case Western Reserve University in 2006, while there he was the String Bass section leader of the Case Orchestra all four years. He is currently working undercover for the man.
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