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Unlocking The Truth explain label struggle

Documentary reveals teen sensations’ bewilderment over long meetings, branding strategies and vocal training – when they just want their album released

Teen metal sensation Unlocking The Truth have revealed the strain placed on them after signing a major label deal last year.

The New York trio this month confirmed they’re in the process of negotiating a way out of their $1.8m Sony contract, which they signed after a street performance video went viral.

Malcolm Brickhouse, 14, and bandmates Alec Atkins and Jarad Dawkins, both 13, appear in the film Breaking A Monster, which was debuted at this year’s SXSW festival in Texas.

Atkins tells the Daily Beast: “It’s been very difficult. The album is ready – but because our attorneys are talking about leaving the label, it’s going to be a whole process of getting our music back.”

Dawkins adds: “When we were trying to put the album out and people were asking for it, we couldn’t put it out for no good reason.”

Among the band’s complaints are long meetings, arguments about branding, attempts to retrain Brickhouse’s voice and the requirement to sell more than 250,000 copies of the album before the second of five payments come from the label.

Atkins says: “It was pretty difficult at times. A particular lady at the label was just talking at us for six hours. We were pretty restless and wanted to get up and do something else – but had us in this meeting for six hours.”

Movie maker Meyer reports: “They wanted to jump into the world and wanted to be rock stars, but they had no idea what it was going to be about. When people meet the guys, they usually meet them with their idea of who they think they should be.

“You can see this divide between the guys’ intentions and the label’s intentions.”

But Unlocking The Truth don’t plan on giving up. Dawkins reflects: “I like the excitement of performing. We’re trying to become one of the best metal bands out there.

“Our whole lives changed after we were signed. We can’t just go out and ‘do things’ – we have to get everything approved. But we realise we have a career ahead of us, so we don’t want to mess that up.”

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