Interview: Unlocking The Truth
Fri, 02 Aug 2013 09:36:48
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You've got to dream big to make it.
New York trio Unlocking The Truth have their sights set on the top of heavy metal, and they're well on their way towards reaching that particular peak. With a sound that's both uncompromisingly heavy and technically proficient Malcolm Brickhouse, Jarad Dawkins, and Alec Atkins bring a decidedly fresh dynamic to metal. Here's the coolest part. They're not even in their teens yet…You wouldn't know it listening to them. This is the future of heavy metal. This is Unlocking The Truth.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, the boys of Unlocking The Truth talk their music and so much more.
How did the band come together?
Malcolm Brickhouse: When we were little, Jarad and I used to watch wrestling. The background music for wrestling was heavy metal so we were attracted to that kind of music. One day Jarad asked me, "Do you want to start a band?" I said, "Yes". Now, we're here.
Did you both start playing at the same time?
Malcolm Brickhouse: Well, Jarad has been playing since he was two-years-old, and I've been playing since I was five or six. After three years, I learned by ear. This summer I'm getting lessons.
Jarad Dawkins: My mom gave me pots, pans, and tin cans to start out with. Ever since then, that's how I found my style. She also gave me a little electronic kit.
What was your first jam session like?
Malcolm Brickhouse: When we first started, I didn't know what I was doing. I was playing piano at the time. Then, I got the guitar. Jarad knew what he was doing, but I really didn't. We started to learn more together.
How often do you guys practice?
Malcolm Brickhouse: Usually, we practice for three hours every day on the weekends, but my arm is jacked up though because I dislocated it. I'm okay now.
What were the metal bands that first spoke to you?
Malcolm Brickhouse: The biggest bands when we started were Three Days Grace, Disturbed, and Linkin Park. They were who really inspired me back then. Jarad and I like Slipknot. They're a good band.
Jarad Dawkins: For me, it was mostly the same bands because we watched the same things.
Alec Atkins: I was hanging out with Malcolm, and he really seemed to like heavy metal. While I was hanging with him, it got interesting. I decided I wanted to be in his band, and they let me. For bands, some of my favorites are Escape the Fate, Motionless In White, Three Days Grace, Living Colour, and Chelsea Grin.
Who's idea was it to play in Times Square? You guys really shredded there!
Jarad Dawkins: Our parents encouraged us. Then, they got the permits that we could perform there.
Malcolm Brickhouse: It's fun in the beginning. After ten hours out there, it gets tiring. Last month was our last performance in Times Square. We're working on finding other gigs now.
What does the name Unlocking The Truth mean?
Jarad Dawkins: A lot of people think Unlocking The Truth is a very religious name. Previously, Malcolm and our old singer had a song called "Unlocking The Truth". Instead of finishing the song, we decided to come up with band names. Our old band name Tears Of Blood was copywritten so we had to change the name. Unlocking The Truth got the most votes out of the band names we created.
What's the story behind your albums Madness and Paranoid?
Malcolm Brickhouse: Now, we've added different songs on separate albums. Our first two were imaginary. Madness, our first album, it was somewhat pop-ish. There was a song called "Rated R", and it was very happy. We don't like happy though. The meanings of everything are serious. For example, the song "Madness" is about an exorcism. Paranoid got heavier unlike Madness. "On The Edge" is about drug use. That's the stuff we talk about. We're working on an untitled album right now that's very heavy.
What encouraged you to get heavier?
Malcolm Brickhouse: We started listening to a lot of deathcore, Motionless In White, some black metal, and metalcore. We went to see Motionless in White, and Chelsea Grin was performing with them. That's a deathcore band. We began liking deathcore like Born of Osiris. That's how we decided to make the music heavier.
It's definitely more intricate and complex too.
Malcolm Brickhouse: Making the music is very challenging. In deathcore music, it's a lot of sweep picking. I can do it, but I'm still learning.
Jarad Dawkins: It's a lot of technique such as triplets and stick rolling. Your foot control has to be very good. You need to have great foot patterns because it makes the song sound better.
What's your favorite Unlocking The Truth song?
Malcolm Brickhouse: Right now, my favorite is "Escape". It's fun to play, and it's very upbeat. Alec calls it "the lean back". We lean back and do this interlude-bridge-breakdown.
Jarad Dawkins: I don't really have a favorite Unlocking The Truth. They're all good and very exciting. It's hard to choose.
Alec Atkins: My favorite is "Escape" because it's very fun to play. That was one of the songs we worked on really hard.
You guys are bringing metal back amongst the youth. Do kids in your school like metal?
Malcolm Brickhouse: Actually, some people in my school listen to metal but they don't like the same bands I prefer.
Alec Atkins: More people listen to heavy metal in my school.
What do you want listeners to take away from your music?
Jarad Dawkins: I want listeners to feel the vibe to our music and not take it for granted. Everybody says it's good, but I want people to express themselves by our music and not be afraid to do anything they want to do.
Malcolm Brickhouse: I feel the same way. I want them to know they can do whatever they want. I want them to feel the vibe and have fun.
Watch this cool documentary about them to learn more!
Do you dig Unlocking The Truth?