Aly & AJ are officially in their twenties, and to completely say goodbye to their teen-pop-star days, they've got a new name: 78Violet. And with the release of their new single, "Hothouse," on the horizon, the two tell MTV News they are looking forward to re-introducing themselves to the world in a whole new way.
"I think for us, us changing from Aly & AJ to 78Violet was a choice we kind of made because not only did we want to be seen as kind of individuals ... but also wanting to find kind of that third element to who we are when we're onstage, that other voice that is kind of created when the two of us sing together in unison or in harmony " big sister Aly, 24, told MTV News. "And 78violet is kind of that feminine alter ego when we're onstage."
And, each part of that new moniker means a lot to the sisters. They first explain the significance of that shade of purple that makes up their group name. "So, for us, I think violet plays a really, has always played an important part in our lives," AJ, 22, explained. "That color is just extremely spiritual and uplifting and there's always been purple surrounding us, which is weird but it's just always been around."
In fact, the color is so important to the ladies that after departing from Hollywood Records, they signed with Violet House Records. As for the number part of their new name, well, fans will have to be kept in the dark on that one. Aly explained, "For us it kind of has its own special meaning that I think we'll always kind of keep to ourselves. But our bond as sisters can't be broken and I think that '78' and kind of what it represents really relates to that meaning."
"Hothouse" will officially be released on July 8, the same day the video drops, according to Billboard. They haven't yet decided when to release their next album (their follow-up, of sorts, to 2007's Insomniatic), but will give fans a taste of their more grown-up image at two upcoming shows, June 26 at the Roxy Theater in Los Angeles on and on July 9 at the Gramercy Theater in New York.
And while they aren't the teens that put out music on Hollywood Records, the same label that has launched the music careers of Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez and Miley Cyrus (Cyrus has since signed with RCA), don't expect some major "we're all grown up" statements from the Michalka sisters. They are letting their new-found maturity speak for itself.
"I don't really think it was conscious for us to break away from a younger audience or label or crowd," AJ explained. "I think it was really natural for us. We did take a certain amount of years. Aly ended up shooting her show for CW ['Hellcats'] and we ended up doing projects separately when it came to film. And we learned so much and worked with incredible actors and directors and it was awesome."
She continued, "And it just really applied itself just to our writing naturally. We grew up as women and experienced more and dealt with deeper relationships, and I don't ever look back and go, 'Gosh, we were so young and naïve.' I kind of go 'Wow, that's how we got to where we are now'."
Aly agrees that the sisters have no regrets for anything they've done prior to "Hothouse." She said, "We were young too, so for us it was a natural progression. It was not trying to prove ourselves or push it in people's faces that we were growing up. It's just kind of happened, which I think is kind of the best way to let it be."