13 Year Old Metal Band, Unlocking the Truth, Signs With Sony

Band signs two album deal with major label.

Ultimate Guitar

Some time ago, a documentary about Unlocking The Truth, a band of pre-teen African-American metal lovers from Brooklyn went viral, with many people being struck by the passion and raw talent of the young group. Now, it has been revealed that Unlocking the Truth has signed a two album deal with Sony Records.

As Blabbermouth reports, the group is set to receive $60,000 to record the first disc and possibly as much as $325,000 for the second CD. Sony also has an option to release four more albums from Unlocking the Truth that could push the label's financial investment to around $1.7 million ($325,000 for the second album, $400,000 for the third, $450,000 for the fourth and $550,000 for the fifth).

The band has recently played Coachella festival as well as supporting Guns N' Roses. They've also gained some celebrity fans including Sepultura frontman Derrick Green:

"When I was growing up, there weren't a lot of black kids listening to metal music or hardcore music," he said. "I would get harassed by other black people and questioned all the time about why I liked this style of music and why was I trying to be white. I was told that black people didn't listen to this style of music. Even back then, it sounded just as ignorant as it does now. I didn't hate them for their stupidity, but it only pushed me to be where I'm at today...

"Kids can do anything. If they believe in something strong enough and have the passion and drive, yes."

127 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Aryan Death Man
    this genuinely inspiring and intriguing.Let's hope they don't get caught up in the 'fame' and keep the metal passion alive.
    Pssh. You should be worried that they are going to get exploited and treated like crap. Knowing the way the metal community shits on everything that is not in their comfort zone, they will drive these kids to hell the same way that they did to Black Tide. But do they care about their feelings? Hell no, just play the same type of music we like.
    I love these kinds of stories until they sign to a major label. Kind of like that band Black Tide. Those kids had so much potential
    Man, their shit's nice and doomy. When I was 13, I was barely mastering Enter Sandman. Kudos to these kids.
    "We write love songs about relationships we dealt with..." YOU'RE THIRTEEN! What happened? Did she steal the last cookie? Your favourite ice cream flavour? What?
    I think this is all good with them playing good music, but as you said, wtf are they talking about?
    Not all relationships are sexual and between a guy and girl(or whichever way you swing). Maybe they had a nasty relationship with someone in the family.
    Here they were 12, 12, and 11 years old (drummer):
    Damn for 12 they're killing it. I wish I was that good at 12, who knows where I'd be today at 21. Especially the drummer, that kid is better than any non professional drummer I've ever met.
    The boys are making good music, and even more, they have stage charisma. I expect great things from them in the future. I'm really impressed, I played in my first band when I was 15 and we sucked. Unlocking The Truth are awesome.
    I saw these guys at Coachella this year and they SLAYED. They got the crowd doing a full circle pit on request, metal as f$#k.
    These kids are an inspiration. Very intelligent & very talented. I look forward to hearing more about these guys.
    The Spoon
    I think if these kids stick with it, they're going to be great in a couple of years. But right now, I feel like being offered a million dollar record deal turns them into a gimmick. The only thing that is interesting about them is how young they are, and that they have a million dollar record deal... otherwise the music is not great at all. But I suppose they'll make connections in the industry that they can use when they are older. Hopefully they won't be in mountains of debt to their label. EDIT: Just watched a recent performance from them opening for GlassJaw. Damn...just give these kids a few years and they're going to be really good.
    On a side note, I truly do hope that they continue to improve and find success in the future, it's just impossible for me to see this as anything more than a fad that will die as quickly as it was born.
    How is this more a fad than any other crapoy metal band. Metal died 20+ years ago but some crappy metal band always manages to convince you tools to buy into their terrible concept. If these kids are performing at this level at 12/13 and they mature they could potentially do something to revolution this lousey genre.
    Anyone who claims metal or music in general is worse now just isn't listening to the right music. Just because the shit that hits the front page sucks doesn't mean you can't dig deeper and find some truly good music. And yeah, these kids could potentially be great, but they won't get there if they think they don't have to keep practicing and progressing because **** it, we already have a million dollar record deal!
    First of all UG is not breaking this story. I read an article about them last week. And in that article it claimed it was a 5 record deal not 2. So you believe if they bomb on their first record or 2 that Sony will agree to keep paying them for the next 5 records. Or that if they blow up some other company won't buy out their pretty lousy contract.If they remain a trio. And do 5 records. They will make less then 570k a piece of record sales. And that's before taxes,managers cut, and any other expenses they occur. Idk why all the haters are freaking out about this measely contract.
    So there has been no good metal released post 1994? None? Septicflesh, Machine Head, Trivium, Iced Earth, Exodus, Protest the Hero, Epica, Lamb of God, Dream Theater, and such have all released great albums in the time SINCE THEN. If you are looking for new metal bands (not nu) there are still tons of upcoming bands. The future is as bright as it has ever been, UNLESS you ignore the underground. Metal has always been at its best when underground. Thrash metal was not a mainstream genre in 80s. It gained some popularity near the end of the 80s and early 90s, but at the same time all the big thrash bands changed their sound away from pure thrash. Metal is best as an underground genre. So yes, the metal lives on.
    I was going to say the same thing and not to detract from kids having a good time and learning how to play music ....but...they are mediocre at best....right now.....much better stuff on youtube from even younger musicians.....
    God damn it. So, let's be honest here. We're going to strip their age from the conversation. What do we have left to talk about other than sloppy playing, repetitive riffs, and crap song structure? Not much it seems. So, inserting the age back into the conversation, we still have all those things, but now it's all a little more okay, understandable at least. That being said, shoveling thousands of dollars at these kids right now, while their music is still mediocre at best and they are FAR from being particularly skilled with their instruments, is nothing but detrimental to their progress as musicians. All this teaches them is that they're the shit right now, and they don't need to improve. Pump more of this out and everyone will love it. And I am fully convinced that no one actually loves their music, they're just in love with the idea of little african american kids playing something heavy. And that'll last about five minutes, i promise.
    Yes, you nailed it. Sad to say that them being black is the only reason they got that deal. There are countless young bands on youtube that are equal or better than this. But, to their credit...they didn't give a f**k and just took the money. Who cares why the record company did it. Ha.
    Look at these sad losers upset that a couple of black kids from New York half their age got a record deal over them. Grow up.
    Yeah let's be honest here. These kids obviously enjoy and probably have a passion for music. Now that they are going to be paid a whopping $20k each before taxes they will probably never practice again. Never try to grow as musicians. And will just be a bunch of overhyped sloppy players the rest of their lives... The hate and jealousy is strong on this site.
    Well for me, I think it's awesome to see 3 young metal heads playing in Times Square and getting their name out there. If they stay true to the music, not let the fame and money go to their head, the sky is the limit.
    Makes me wish I started my instrument at a really young age like most of my friends, I didn't get a bass until I was 18. Good stuff.
    Does anyone remember how promising the band Black Tide sounded with their first record? Those kids were also only like 16 when they did that album. Then they got famous, toured with a bunch of established metal bands and released a second album that sounded like Bullet for my Valentine shit. It was really lame to see them go south that fast, I hope these kids don't do the same thing.
    "Does anyone remember how promising the band Black Tide sounded with their first record?" If incredibly watered-down and sterile Speed Metal can be considered "promising", sure, let's say they were promising.
    I remember the singer for that band did an interview on my local radio before they released their 2nd album and he had already adhered the pretentious snobbiness that often comes with fame. It really is a shame though, their debut wasn't great but at the time it was cool to see a band on Headbanger's Ball play something other than metal/death-core. In regard to the article: I've never seen the appeal of a musician's age. Tartini wrote many of his concertos before he was 10 but they were boring and he had to go back and rewrite them years later. Still, congrats to these kids for winning the musical lottery.
    link no1
    I'm not really impressed with the few videos I watched. It's always nice to see kids doing something though. And I don't care whether it's racist to mention, or that race doesn't matter, but it's nice to see some black guys doing metal, it may expand into other cultures a bit more and open up. Regardless of whatever people say in regards of "I don't see color, I see 3 guys", Metal is genre dominated by white guys. I can count the amount of black, metal musicians I know of on one hand.
    It's also a representation thing. Lots of non-white kids, myself included, grew up thinking that people like them did not play in rock bands as when growing up the only bands we were exposed to were all made up of white guys. Diversity is a very important thing, and hopefully this will get more non-white kids believing that they too can be a part of the genre.
    I dunno. There's better kid bands all over youtube. Another "inspirational" story for attention it seems to me.
    This. The music isn't that good at all. Sure, they're 13, but that's what makes it gimmicky--if they were actually good, it wouldn't be a gimmick. But we're all supposed to suspend that and just offer millions to these kids? Hell, I have plenty of friends who can write better and more inspired music than them... offer them record deals. Why not? Oh, that's right, because they're not 13. Again, dat gimmick. There's no doubt each of them will be super talented in the long run, but for serious consumption, they have a long way to go. Also, they come across to me as being very pretentious.
    But we're all supposed to suspend that and just offer millions to these kids? +++++ Well if you don't want to give them your millions that is fine.
    **** sake already with exploiting 13-year old kids
    I've read and viewed a lot on them. It's the parents exploiting them. I heard the dad say that they spend a lot on the equipment but they clean up in times square so they make it back.
    He's a better guitarist than I was when I was 13, I didnt even start until I was about 15. Good for them, they have a long way to go but with the power of youth they will get there.
    "The band has recently played Coachella festival as well as supporting Guns N' Roses." I think they're "there", man
    Lacks musical maturity, which makes sense considering they're 13 years old. I'll check back in 10 years time and see how they're doing. Probably pretty awesome, unless some ******* at the label convinces them otherwise.
    "I was told that black people didn't listen to this style of music." Crackdust begs to differ. Actually there is a healthy metal scene in Botswana, Africa. All black people, playing excellent (mostly Thrash and Death Metal) music.
    Yeah, because I'm sure these 13 year old kids are incredibly well versed in the obscure metal bands of Botswana... hah
    Major label route for these wee guys could be a mistake. Ideally they should be cutting there teeth in the underground. But they are too young.
    Oh sod off. Just because they happen to be 13 and good doesn't mean it's a gimmick. And so help me if anyone makes a big deal about their race I will smack someone
    I'd agree that it isn't a gimmick however, it would be naive to think that their race has nothing to do with it. Obviously an all black metal band would expand the genre's fan base i.e. more money. Also they do kick butt, just saying.
    Velcro Man
    It's more about the fact that they're young more than black, I would say. Obviously it's a gimmick because most likely they won't last very long, they're 13, tastes change, goals change and so on. They'll be going through puberty, get in fights with each other, etc. They've been signed because of that documentary and not because of their music alone. What sucks the most is that it's pure child exploitation. They should be able to finish school before being forced to write music for Sony.
    It somewhat is a gimmick. I'm sure you can find tons of very good and talented bands who have been sending in demos for years but still haven't gotten anything.
    You need to do more than just send in demos these days. Bands have been doing that since the invention of the label. These kids have gained a bit of notoriety for a while now, and have probably been seen by a lot of big names.
    But they're not good. They're pretty ****ing mediocre. Like, for comparison, Black Tide started out better than them and Black Tide wasn't good what so ever.
    What label are you signed to? Did you get a 1.7m contract? No? Maybe you need a gimmick. Every one said slipknot was a gimmick.
    anddddd you're a nobody.
    Being a "nobody" doesn't take away his right to comment. If it did, practically nobody on UG would be allowed to comment negatively on anything in the news.
    Now this is what metal is. Grabbing your intrument, getting your friends, playing in the basement till your arms fall off, play some more, all while dreaming of playing in front of thousands. Raw, unadulterated, fun. This is the same way bands like Metallica started, and they changed the face of metal, so who knows what these kids could do. Looking forward to see what they can do.
    writing a book about bullying..... writing songs about relationships.....inspiring other people.....wearing nailpolish.... These topics all uninspire me.
    Maybe their music is not geared towards inspiring you. Maybe it is ment to inspire young school aged kids with young kid issues... Not some 20 or 30 year old knob sitting in his parents basement bashing 12 year olds on the internet.
    You find inspiring other people uninspiring?
    LOL.yeah I guess so. It just seems like a bs made up story. The real story is a couple of kids play some metal in the basement... More on this inspiring story @ 6.
    its cool to see that these black kids didn't choose the hip hop/money and hoes side and instead they chose the creative emotion and metal side.
    but...they're black kids... not bein racist(at least not according to me), just really surprised is all haha. right on, i guess lol.
    Not wanting to be the preacher who talks about equality and that, but does it matter that they are black? What matters is that they are making good music at an early age and being recognised for it. That's a big achievement in itself.
    Apparently everybody cares. The people that did the documentary...UG....and 90% of the posters on here. That's the whole reason they are even on here.
    no no, it's not something as preachy and narrow minded as that like you think or those who downvoted me(lol btw), just saying it's a surprise and rare for the "african-americans"(we'll just say that, coz non blacks believe "black" is a naughty word :*( lol twats..), to be into metal...i'm all for it, so like i said, right on i guess lol.
    Makes me wonder what these kids are going to be doing when they're 20. I foresee a great future for them if they keep going like this.