By Caitlin Kelly
I love these guys!
Have you heard (of) them?
Check ’em out — sixth-grade boys from Brooklyn, Malcolm Brickhouse, Jarad Dawkins and Alec Atkins who play heavy metal. Their band is Unlocking the Truth and they’ve already played two of Manhattan’s toughest crowds — Times Square and the Apollo Theater in Harlem.
They’ve been teased and bullied for their funky hair and black nail polish, but there’s no denying their talent, chutzpah and quiet confidence.
They met in kindergarten and have been playing music together since. When they played Times Square — for 10 hours at a time! — they’d pull in $1,600.
That’s $160/hour or more than $50/hour per musician. Not bad for mid-career or fresh college grads.
Pretty damn awesome for sixth-graders, I’d say.
But what I most admire is their belief in themselves and their willingness to put it out there, literally, before strangers with no vested interest in cooing at them or praising them for…breathing.
I see too many kids spoiled rotten, like the *&#@*)_$ eight-year-old girl who decided to change her socks and shoes three times (?!) last week beside me, in an expensive Midtown restaurant. Her extended foot practically hit my plate.
Her mother did nothing, said nothing.
Kids that like make me want to throw furniture.
Kids like this make me want to cheer.
Brickhouse and Dawkins have been playing music together since kindergarten. Although hip-hop is the dominant music at school and in the neighborhood, they come to metal honestly. “My dad used to take us to watch wrestling shows and we used to watch animated music videos,”
Brickhouse tells Kurt. “The background music was heavy metal. I was surrounded by heavy metal.” Their originals have lyrics (about “drugs, and relationships, and stuff — and being free”), but no one in the band will sing them.
The trio’s debut EP will be released later this summer and young as they are, the members see a long future in rock. Brickhouse says he’ll be banging out vicious licks “until I die”, while Dawkins is more pragmatic; “I’ll retire at about 70 years old.”
- Meet the hottest heavy metal band in Brooklyn (nydailynews.com)
- Heavy Metal Gets a New Shade of Black (blackrockergirl.wordpress.com)
- Unlocking The Truth, A Heavy Metal Band Made Up of Three Sixth Grade Boys From Brooklyn (laughingsquid.com)
- Malcolm Brickhouse & Jarad Dawkins: Two 6th graders rocking out in NYC (doobybrain.com)