With eclectic influences, stellar harmonies and multi-instrumental skills that belie their ages, New Hollow—Mookie Clouse, 19; Evan West, 19; and Chad Blashford, 18—are rock ‘n’ roll obsessives who know more about old-school bands and equipment than most musicians twice their age. Their song “She Ain’t You” scored the teen trio a "Breakthrough Song Of 2013" by Sirius XM’s The Pulse and was The Pulse’s #18 song of year, while Billboard cited them as one of the “Bands To Watch For in 2013.”
New Hollow, formed in New Albany, Ohio, have been playing music since they were 9. They became a band by 13, and, as Clouse notes: “When Evan and I turn 21, we’ll have been writing together for 10 years.” Citing influences including Pink Floyd, Jeff Buckley, The Smiths, Arctic Monkeys, Zeppelin, Sam Cooke, Nirvana, Haim and Eminem, New Hollow met in middle school. Clouse, born in Dallas, met West soon after moving to New Albany with his family. Blashford lived two houses from Clouse. While they boys were into skateboarding, gaming and other pre-teen temptations, by their early teens, Clouse—who got a Squire Strat at age 7, and West, a left-handed player who began guitar seriously at 9--were jamming and penning their first “simple, super pop” songs. Clouse’s dad-- Michael J. Clouse III— worked with Jeff Buckley and had recording equipment set up in the basement, where the boys jammed up to 10 hours a day. Even before Blashford joined on drums, New Hollow played its first gig at a local bar, as well as at bar mitzvahs and parties.
Though West and Blashford had both played football in school, it was in New Hollow where they gelled, the drummer cementing the lineup, with Clouse giving the self-taught Blashford his initial start. “We played every day after school, and from the first moment, John Henry Bonham was my number one drummer,” Blashford says. “My room is covered with Zep and Pink Floyd posters, and I also love Mitch Mitchell and Nick Mason.” Clouse is likewise a Floyd fan, digging David Gilmour, but holds David Bowie’s Spiders from Mars late axeman Mick Ronson in the highest esteem. In fact, the New Hollow logo tips the hat to their inspirations—it’s a combination of the British and American flags.
In 2013, New Hollow played with Carly Rae Jepson and Big Time Rush, and by year’s end, the band’s tight playing, harmonies and songs earned them a well-deserved spot on Epic Record’s roster. A release date for New Hollow’s full-length debut, produced by the elder Clouse will be announced later in 2014