Morristown-based band The Hollow hopes to play in London

Brian Wilson and his bandmates who comprise The Hollow hope the eyes and ears of 70,000 spectators will watch their every move and hear every note they play onstage in England.

Wilson, a 30-year-old Mendham resident and The Hollow's guitarist, wants fans to help him, singer James Vilade, bassist Steve Babula and drummer Kevin Barry travel from their base in Morristown to London to play on the same Hyde Park stage that will feature Bon Jovi and Kings of Leon.

"It's actually an international battle of the bands — there were hundreds of entries," Wilson said during a recent phone interview.

"If we get this, it's going to change a lot of stuff," he said of what winning the whole shebang could have on the band's career.

"We don't do a lot of contests," Wilson said. "We're kind of a band who marginally tours the Northeast — New York City, Philly, those markets."

The Hollow — described on its website as a soulful, modern rock band — is one of 40 bands left standing in the Hard Rock Battle of the Bands 2011. Those 40 bands are now divided into four, 10-band regions, and the top online vote-getter in each region will perform overseas during the festival from June 24-26.

Earlier this year the band submitted an album of its work and two CD singles — "Run Away" and "Take You There" — directly to the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square.

The judges chose The Hollow and three other groups to take to the Hard Rock stage in New York and play for roughly 800 people, and whoever won would advance to the next round.

The Hollow and the other bands create their own music and don't work as cover bands. That didn't stop the contest organizers from throwing a musical wrench into the works.

"By the way, you're disqualified if you don't cover one Bon Jovi song," Wilson said. "If you listen to our music, we don't sound like Bon Jovi."

So the band performed "Have a Nice Day" — one of Bon Jovi's newer works — and ended up winning.

The band's performance was filmed and submitted to another panel of judges — including Steve Van Zandt of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band fame — and was one of 68 entries.

The Hollow made the cut to the final 40, and there they stand until online voting ends Monday and a winning total is tallied.

Should The Hollow be one of the four regional winners, they'll have one more online-voting hurdle to leap to make it to the music festival's main stage and open for a headlining act. Even if they don't win that vote, they'll still play the festival's second stage.


Follow this link to vote for The Hollow to advance to Hard Rock Calling 2011 in June:

Matt Manochio: 973-428-6627;|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

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