Before yelling at your rebellious pre-teen child to turn down that distorted basement racket, consider the curious case of Unlocking the Truth, a Brooklyn metal trio comprised of 12-and-13-year-olds who, according to The New York Post, just inked a $1.8 million record deal with Sony.
"We're planning to go into the studio as soon as we're off Warped Tour," the band's manager, Alan Sacks, tells Rolling Stone. "The boys have their music written, so we're in good shape. We're just finalizing those situations right now. Metallica also reached out to us to get us booked on the Heavy MTL festival [in August]."
The band's first national exposure came last summer, after a video of the trio performing on a Times Square street corner went viral – racking up 1.5 million views. The clip found its way to a Sony executive, who contacted Sacks (who, incidentally, also co-created Seventies sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter) to manage the band.
Since the musicians (12-year-old drummer Jarad Dawkins, 13-year-old guitarist Malcolm Brickhouse, 13-year old bassist Alec Atkins) are all minors, the contract was submitted for approval to a Manhattan judge last week. The five-album deal includes 16-to-17 percent royalties and a $60,000 advance, but the rest of their metal-earned cash will only arrive if their first LP sells more than 250,000 copies – a daunting task in the age of declining record sales.
The group plans on releasing a studio version of "Monster" this summer before their debut album is released this fall. Sacks won't reveal the producer that the group has enlisted, but notes that it's a "major guy in the genre." An upcoming book and full-length documentary is also in the works.
Despite the viral nature of their early break-out, Unlocking the Truth haven't taken the easy road to their seven-figure deal: The band – who note influences like Metallica, Slipknot and Living Colour – have previously played the AfroPunk Festival, the Fun Fun Fun Festival and this year's Coachella Music & Arts Festival. They've also opened shows for Guns N' Roses and Motörhead and have two upcoming dates opening for Queens of the Stone Age.
"Unlocking the Truth’s goal is to become one of the world's best metal bands, and with their music, they want people to know that they could do what they want, no matter who they are, or what people say," reads a statement on the band's website. "Metal is in their blood."
Additional reporting by Kory Grow