At the New York Premiere of Breaking a Monster, I had the opportunity to get to know the band a little better.
Lead vocalist and guitarist Malcolm Brickhouse, drummer Jared Dawkins, and bassist Alec Atkins shared with me their outlook on the band’s humble beginnings, their outlook on the music they perform, and an insight into the other music they like to listen to. There was also a question and answer portion after the film’s screening, where a Museum of the Moving Image moderator asked some questions to Director Luke Meyer and Producer Brad Turner.
You guys are pretty young, When did you start your band?
Malcolm: We started around 7, we were 7 or 8 years old and that’s when me and Jarred first had the idea to start the band. He (Alec) came in 2013. Jarred always knew how to play the drums, and my mom was looking for things for me to do and guitar stuck with me. So we (originally) had two instruments. We would watch wrestling and anime music videos and the background music for that was always metal. So all that came together and we started the band. He (Alec) came into the picture in 2013 when we were looking for a new member.
So you (Jarred) play the drums. You (Malcolm) play the guitar and sing lead vocals. What do you play (Alec)?
Alec: The Bass.
Jarred: I also play the piano.
What inspires your music?
Jarred: I think mostly the fans inspire us to create more music and they motivate us and give us better confidence for the future and for now.
If you had any artist that you would want to work with, at any time period, any genre, who would they be?
Alec: The Weeknd.
Malcolm: Marilyn Manson.
Jarred: I thought you were going to say Lil Uzi Vert.
Malcolm: No I just like his music but I don’t think I would want to work with him.
Is there any chance of you guys doing other styles of music or just strictly heavy metal, that’s it?
Malcolm: I don’t want to say it’s heavy metal that’s it. If you listen to our music it doesn’t sound straight heavy metal. If you listen to a regular heavy metal band and then you listen to us, there is a difference. We have more melody than the normal heavy metal band. We want to explore other types of metal and add new elements that haven’t been added to metal before. That’s what were are about adding our personal style to heavy metal.
During Q&A with producer and director Luke Meyer said:
How were you allowed to film the documentary when some of the things you filmed most of the time cameras are not allowed?
Because there was so much excitement about the band most people wanted to be apart of the story and no one wanted to be left out. In scenarios where cameras are normally not allowed but they wanted to be apart of the history of the band.
Are the complex relationships shown, are they developed through editing or were you actually witnessing these relationships develop? (The band interacting with other people such as their management and Sony executives.)
It’s not about people’s positions or the companies. But more about the dynamics of the meetings. What was provided and taken away. The things the band experienced that might seem minimal but were dramatic moments.
What does Unlocking the Truth mean?
Alec: at first we didn’t have real meaning for the name, that was just our name. But eventually we determined that Unlocking the Truth meant doing the things that allowed you to actively be yourself and express the way you felt about things without fear of consequence.
The film is now playing.