An unconventional metal band made up of three eighth graders from Brooklyn, New York, called Unlocking The Truth just signed a deal worth a potential $1.7 million with Sony and they are taking the Internet by storm.
According to a report in the New York Daily News, Sony has agreed to produce at least two albums for the young band and could produce four more if the band does well commercially.
The band, comprised of guitarist Malcolm Brickhouse, 13; bassist Alec Atkins, 13, and drummer Jarad Dawkins, 12, shot to Internet fame after one of their recorded Times Square performances went viral when it was posted to YouTube.
"I'm so excited! We've made it!" said an excited Jarad Dawkins in an interview with The New York Post which said the Sony deal is worth $1.8 million.
The band has already made appearances at the Coachella festival in California and opened for hard rock band Guns N' Roses. The Daily News says the Sony agreement promises the band a $60,000 advance for their first recording while a second record could earn them as much as $350,000.
"It's so exciting. We're jumping over the moon," Jarad's mother, Tabatha Dawkins, told the News.
"What started out as play dates went to Times Square and now this. It's been one great thing after another," she said.
Tabatha explained that Eric Clapton's drummer, Steve Jordan, first took an interest in Unlocking The Truth at one of their performances in Washington Square Park in 2012. Since then, they have gone on to do gigs at places like the Apollo and Webster Hall.
Annette Jackson, Malcolm's mother and the group's co-manager, told the News that Jolene Cherry from Sony first reached out to the band and wanted to offer a contract over the telephone. But to prove they were serious they flew the band to Los Angeles where the band delivered a convincing private performance.
All three boys in the bad are reportedly good students and will be starting different schools in the eighth grade this fall.
"School work comes first. If their school work is not done, they don't play," said Jackson.
The boys are also working on a book with Penguin and a documentary about the rise to fame.
Unlocking The Truth became the youngest group in history to perform at Coachella earlier this year and they talked a little bit about how they met in a recorded interview at that event.
"Me and Jarad, we met at a birthday party. I met him (Alec) at pre-school," said Malcolm who explained that he and Jarad started the band after listening to Japanese animated music and wrestling.
"The background music was heavy metal and I think we just got attracted to that kind of music. We stopped listening to hip-hop since that was all around us and started listening to metal, then we just started a band I don't know how. We just did," he said.
"During the week we do our homework and go to school and at night time I would say around 5 o'clock we would practice our instruments and on the weekend we would get together and have serious hardcore practice," said Alec.
Both Jarad and Alec recall gospel influencing their interest in music but when asked if they still listened to it, they both said "no."
And despite the negative stereotypes associated with heavy metal, a Washington Post report described the young bandmates as "pleasant and well-adjusted."
"There's an inherent precocity in mastering such a serious genre. It is, after all, characterized, perhaps unfairly, by Black Sabbath and its leader, Ozzy Osbourne, who once bit the head off a bat in a live performance. So much of it is shrouded in a reputation associated with blood, satanism, and all things macabre. But in interviews, Brickhouse, Atkins, and Dawkins sound pleasant and well-adjusted. They patiently explain that, no, their music doesn't have satanic themes, and that at least one of them is Christian," it noted.