Jun 172013

Back in April, a video of three 12-year-olds playing music on a Times Square street corner made the rounds on the interwebs. A combination of three things made a lot of people sit up and take notice: the kids were black, they were playing metal, and they were pretty damned good — especially for 12-year-olds. The name of their band: Unlocking the Truth.

I’d like to think that the video would have drawn attention even if these were white kids, but let’s face it, at least in the US you don’t see many black kids of any age playing underground metal. But as I said, that’s really only part of the reason why the video grabbed some attention. It happens that these dudes have got some really good chops for their age, especially the guitarist.

Many other videos of Unlocking the Truth playing in public have surfaced over the ensuing weeks, and this weekend several friends sent me a link to a short documentary about two of the band’s members — Malcolm Brickhouse and Jarad Dawkins — that went up last week, and it’s an awesome (and endearing) thing to watch. Yeah, these are young kids, but both of them seem really committed to what they’re doing, and they’ve got big ambitions. More power to them.

The short documentary feature is below, and I’ve also included a couple of their performance videos, including that early one from April. More videos can be found via the second link below.


Unlocking The Truth – Malcolm Brickhouse & Jarad Dawkins from The Avant/Garde Diaries on Vimeo.

  3 Responses to “UNLOCKING THE TRUTH”

  1. the part at 3:20 where they throw up the horns is awesome 🙂 hope they keep knocking out the riffs and have a blast doing it

  2. The actual interview sketch segment that aired on the Totally Biased show was also great with some funny moments, like Kamau Bell commenting that Malcolm Brickhouse “had the blackest name of all time”. They even got a surprise visit from the legendary Vernon Reid (one of their proclaimed idols/inspirations) and in typical post-millennial adolescent fashion they greeted the matter nonchalantly with seemingly apathetic aplomb which made for a hilarious joke setup.
    Very striking how…high-minded of themselves these kids appear to be. Being only 12 you wonder do they really have enough experience to write about life and love? Nonetheless, they certainly exude enough punk rock chutzpah to make it interesting. I anxiously anticipate the kind of music these dudes develop in the future.

    • They are amazingly self-possessed and cool about what they’re up to, and I think we all know that if you don’t believe in yourself (maybe even to excess), you’re going nowhere in a musical career. It will be interesting to see how they handle all the attention they’re getting, in addition to seeing what they do with their music. They’ve got to stay grounded, though I don’t even know if a 12 year-old is capable of understanding what that really means.

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