8th grade band with major record deal fueled by "wild imagination"


Unlocking the Truth is a metal band made up of three friends who have known each other since pre-school.

Now, not even a full decade later, they've got a multi-record deal from Sony Music, reportedly worth nearly $1.8 million, CBS News correspondent Anthony Mason reports.

Their rock sessions began as play dates when they were barely five years old.

Gutarist Malcolm Brickhouse, now 13, and drummer Jarad Dawkins, now 12, would spend hours in the basement practicing the heavy metal sounds they heard on TV, all while dreaming about the stadiums they'd play when they would one day go on tour.

"We used to perform in our basement but act like we were performing at those places," Brickhouse said, "because we had a wild imagination back then."

"They were dead serious," said Malcolm's mother Annette. "I wouldn't even call it practice, that's what they did, they played band like girls play house."

They're not just playing house any more. Brickhouse and Dawkins, along with another pre-school pal, 13-year-old bass player Alec Atkins, make up the heavy metal band Unlocking the Truth.

Today they're gearing up for their fourth show of the Vans Warped Tour outside Pittsburgh.

"If the crowd is motivated, I'm motivated," Dawkins said. "I'm excited that the crowd hears our music and that they hear our music that they love."

The band's first break came in March of 2012, when they took the stage of Harlem's famed Apollo Theater for amateur night.

But it was their street performances in New York City's Times Square and Washington Square Park that launched their career.

"These are essentially three kids who were busking in Times Square and they got their start," said Isabel Gonzalez Whitaker, deputy editor at Billboard Magazine. "And it's a nice acknowledgement of a traditional way people at one time use to get discovered."

Their unique performances caught the imagination of both fans and industry executives. This spring they became the youngest group ever to perform at the Coachella music festival.

They've landed endorsement deals from the likes of Cole Haan and Beats by Dre.

And now they have a record deal.

"We got ourselves out there," Atkins said. "We got a lot of exposure. And with exposure came the Sony record deal."

According to reports, Unlocking the Truth signed a five-album deal worth nearly $1.8 million, royalties not included.

These next five years will be full of big ambitions with a steady focus on the music.

"I picture us being on a world tour still making music and just having fun doing it," Atkins said.

But they'll feel like they've really made it if they hit the stage of one of the destinations they dreamed about back in the basement: Madison Square Garden.

"That's a legendary place," Brickhouse said. "Not that many people can say that they performed at Madison Square Garden."

The band plans to start recording their first album later this month. And they've got one more big summer highlight ahead: one of their idols, Metallica, invited the band to perform on their August 9th show in Montreal.