Their name has changed, but the energy that three New Albany teenagers put into their band, New Hollow, is leading them on the path to success.

Their name has changed, but the energy that three New Albany teenagers put into their band, New Hollow, is leading them on the path to success

New Hollow, formerly known as Monkee Hollow, is made up of sophomores Michael "Mick" Clouse and Evan West and freshman Chad Blashford, all of whom attended New Albany High School until recently when their music career began to soar. Their public relations agent, Leslie Armour, said the three now are attending high school classes through the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, or ECOT, to free up their schedules for performances.

They are anticipating more performances since they formed a partnership with Justice Clothing for Girls, a clothing company based in New Albany that markets itself to girls ages 7 to 14. Justice is a division of Tween Brands.

"It's quite unusual for them (Justice) to do this kind of thing," Armour said.

Justice usually partners with artists such as the Jonas Brothers, Taylor Swift or Justin Bieber -- performers already with a record contract -- to help launch their careers, she said. In this case, Justice was seeking an unsigned group, "which just happened to be in our backyard," she said.

New Hollow'' first original compact disc single, "SiCK," will be released to the largest database of "tween" girls in the world through Justice starting Nov. 1, Armour said. Justice has purchased 150,000 copies of the CD to sell in its stores across the country.

"They're taking a chance, but they are convinced they'll be out of the CDs by the holidays," Armour said.

Scott Bracale, president of Tween Brands, said Justice's merchants all felt strongly about the Jonas Brothers, Swift and Bieber before they became household names. In their eyes, New Hollow is hitting the same chord, he said.

"All who have seen them believe they are going to be extremely big," he said.

By partnering with New Hollow before the band signs a record contract, Justice can secure the rights to sell products using the New Hollow name, Bracale said.

"In exchange for helping them with exposure, we will have special exclusive products in a licensing arrangement," he said. "It ramps up as the boys do."

T-shirts, buttons, stickers and posters with New Hollow images on them are planned if the boys gain more notice. Bracale said the items would be sold exclusively in Justice stores, according to the licensing arrangement.

To celebrate their achievement and honor where it all began, New Hollow is holding a CD release party from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30, at New Albany Middle School. Residents who plan to attend are asked to e-mail kfike@tweenbrands.com because space is limited. Justice has produced New Hollow T-shirts for the event, which will be sold only at the party, Bracale said.

West told ThisWeek in July that he met Clouse when he moved to New Albany in his sixth-grade year. The two played music together and eventually tried their hand at writing music. Blashford, who lives next door to Clouse, came into the mix after another drummer left the band.

All three are self-taught musicians. West and Clouse have been playing for several years and now play several different instruments and sing. Blashford learned to drum through an uncle and told ThisWeek in July he has only been playing for two years. Blashford now helps write music for New Hollow.

Armour said the boys write music about what they know and things they have experienced. Their first video was partially shot at New Albany Middle School and features many of the band members' family and friends.

Besides being noticed by Justice, New Hollow also caught the ears of local radio station WNCI-FM, which is helping to book the band at different local shows. Armour said WNCI is sponsoring "Jingle Ball" at the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion in Columbus on Dec. 7. New Hollow is expected to open for Train and Mike Posner.

New Hollow was formed as Monkee Hollow by Clouse and West. Blashford joined them before the band's July performance at the Fourth of July celebration in New Albany, so the band later to change its name to represent the newer incarnation of the band, Armour said. They performed for the first time as New Hollow on Sept. 26 at the New Albany Classic Invitational Grand Prix Family Day, at a concert sponsored by Tween Brands and Justice.

More information on New Hollow is available at their website, wwww.newhollow.com.