By now you’ve probably heard about the awesome Brooklyn metal band Unlocking the Truth, whose young members — bassist Alec Atkins, 13, guitarist Malcolm Brickhouse, 13, and drummer Jarad Dawkins, 12 — have been taking not just the city, but now the country, by storm, traveling as part of the Vans Warped Tour, opening for Guns N’ Roses and Queens of the Stone Age, and more. And to top it all off, they just signed a two-album deal with Sony.
But did you know that one of the members goes to school right here in the neighborhood?
Alec has been commuting to Park Slope daily since he was nine months old, at first tagging along with his mother, Ernestine Charles, who was a nanny in the area for 13 years, and then attending preschool here, and heading into PS/MS 282 until the 5th grade. He’s currently at MS 88 on 7th Avenue, and he was kind enough to answer a few questions about what he likes about school, what his classmates think of the band, and more.
SSN: What was one of the biggest changes you noticed when you went from PS/MS 282 to MS 88?
Alec Atkins: One of the biggest changes I noticed when I went from PS/MS 282 to MS 88 was that we had to be a lot more responsible for ourselves.
Do you have a favorite subject?
Yes, my favorite subject is ELA. It teaches me about poetry and how to express my feelings on paper.
Compared to subjects like math and history, how hard was it to learn how to play the bass?
It was pretty easy learning to play the bass because I knew how to play an acoustic guitar.
What do students and teachers think about your band?
The teachers and students think that the band is interesting because of the type of music we choose to play.
What’s one of the things you’ll miss most about playing big shows when you return to school full time this fall? And one thing you’ll be glad to get back to at school?
I am going to miss the fans, traveling to different cities, and playing at different venues. The one thing I am going to be glad to get back to school for is to see all my friends and make new ones.
Photo via Unlocking the Truth