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Teen heavy-metal phenoms Unlocking the Truth primed for prolific peak

Mega success mapped out for these heavy metal middle-schoolers
Mega success mapped out for these heavy metal middle-schoolers
Photo by Kevin Winter

Mid -summer marks the time when most middle school find themselves wrestling with the dilemma of the impending start back to school, and contending with concerns of making the right wardrobe choices and explaining possibly outdated technology to their peers.

Malcolm Brickhouse, Jarad Dawkins, and Alec Atkins, each 13 and 12 , respectively, find themselves juggling much more of an event calendar. The trio are showing they are heavy metal monsters as Unlocking the Truth, and they are seizing this pinnacle of a moment with a ferocity that only unbridled youth and talent possesses.

The boys are no product of prefab reality competition or boy band factory, they earned notice the Old-Fashioned way-- playing in front of the people. Malcolm and Jarad met in preschool, and began imitating heavy-metal heroes they heard on TV. Just two years later, they began teaching a new buddy, Alec, to play bass.

The boys won Amateur Night at the Apollo in March of 2012, but didn't rest on that acclaim. They got their street credibility by busking in NYC's Times Square and Washington Square Park. Their pure passion and chutzpah soon took videos viral, as their guitar cases got heavy with change. Now, that even 10 years past that preschool connection, Unlocking the Truth has completed a summer with the Vans Warped Tour, become the youngest band ever to play at the Coachella music festival, and on August 9, they will open for one of their idols, Metallica.

Malcolm's mom credits their commitment, saying “I wouldn't even call it practice,” referring to basement practice sessions. “It was what they did. They played band like girls play house. Isabel Gonzalez Whitaker of Billboard, agrees, affirming that the rise of these young metalheads is “a nice acknowledgment of the traditional way people at one time used to get discovered.”

Icing on the cake may be that they have landed a $1.8 million Sony record deal, royalties not included, and endorsement deals from Beats and Cole Haan, still, business dealings haven’t diminished the love of the music. When asked about five years down the road, Alec envisions “being on world tour, still making music, and having fun doing it.”

The guys don't want to keep their success secrets private, either. A documentary detailing the rise is being filmed, and they also plan to write a memoir of the most memorable summer any three middle school friends could dream.