Metal Band Of Middle School Kids Gets $1.7 Million Record Contract

By the time most of us are 12 or 13 we are just starting to really get into music and discovering what we like. The members of Brooklyn metal band Unlocking the Truth made up of 8th graders -drummer Jarad Dawkins (12), guitarist Malcolm Brickhouse (13) and bassist Alec Atkins (13) - have already scored a major label record deal potentially worth 1.7 million dollars from Sony. Looking back, I guess I should have put down my New Kids On The Block cassette a when I was 11.  

Epic Metal Street Performance in NYC

The group started as a duo with Malcom and Jarad recruiting a bass player last year. They taught Alec, whom they’ve known since nursery school, how to play the bass so he could join the group.  After that they quickly caught viral Internet fame from their brutal street performances around New York in places like Times Square and Washington Square Park where Eric Clapton’s drummer “discovered” them. While most guys their age are melting ice cream, these kids are melting faces with their sick riffs.


In just the past couple of years the youngsters have gone on to open for legendary bands like Guns “N Roses, performed on television and at the Coachella music festival. But who gets a 1.7 million dollar recording contract these days? Did they walk in with Kermit The Frog and demand the “rich and famous contract?”

With Lemmy and Slash.

It turns out no one really gets a flat out 1.7 mill record deal. As you might expect there are a lot of stipulations in the contract before the group will see the 1.7 million. They are promised a $60K advance for their first album, and $350K for their second album.  Aside from the 60K advance the band has to sell 250 thousand copies of its first album before it sees any royalties. Sony also has the option to release four more albums by Unlocking The Truth; so only if they decide to release those additional albums would the total amount to the band equal $1.7 million dollars. Math isn’t very metal.

Short Documentary On The Original Two Members

Will you purchase an album by the group to help them get to the next level of success with their Sony contract? Some guy might make 40 grand selling potato salad, these kids deserve a shot! Don’t worry, if you think this fame and fortune is going to go straight to their heads.  Jarad’s mom Tabitha Dawkins says that school work comes first; homework is metal!  Maybe if all goes well, they can go on tour with these guys?

Discuss metal with Phil Haney @PhilHaney