8th-Grade Metal Band Signs Record Deal With Sony

Unlocking the Truth could be reap nearly $1.8M

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 14, 2014 8:14 AM CDT

(Newser) – Their voices only recently dropped, but that didn't keep a hot new metal band from signing a record deal with Sony. All three members of Unlocking the Truth will be starting eighth grade next year, but in addition to their two-album contract (with an option for at least another three albums), they've already played Coachella and the Vans Warped Tour, and even opened for Guns N' Roses. Guitarist Malcolm Brickhouse, 13, bassist Alec Atkins, 13, and drummer Jarad Dawkins, 12, all of Brooklyn (and all of whom now sing—but only after the aforementioned voice change, the Washington Post notes; initially they skipped the vocals), were discovered by Eric Clapton's drummer, Steve Jordan, in Washington Square Park in 2012, the New York Daily News reports. "What started out as play dates went to Times Square and now this," says Jarad's mom, Tabatha Dawkins.

Jordan introduced the boys to Alan Sacks, producer and co-creator of Welcome Back Kotter; he's now their manager, with Malcolm's mom, Annette Jackson, serving as co-manager. Sacks tells the New York Post that Sony called after seeing one of the band's viral videos on YouTube and was willing to sign the boys over the phone (the group ultimately got flown to LA, gave a private performance, and signed the deal). If the label ends up making all five albums with the band, the boys could rake in $1.8 million in advances, per TMZ—as long as they do their homework first. "If their school work is not done, they don’t play," Tabatha Dawkins says, adding that all three are good students. The boys got into metal by watching anime and wrestling, and formed their first metal band at age six, they said in a Spin profile last year.

A screenshot from the band's interview with AXS.com.
A screenshot from the band's interview with AXS.com.   (AXS.com via YouTube)
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Unlocking the Truth plays in Times Square.   (Tracey Brickhouse)
Another Times Square performance.   (Tracey Brickhouse)
The band's interview with AXS.com   (YouTube)

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