Add the commanding vocals of Melissa Menago and the instrumental talent of Chris Kissel, Keith Gill, and Lenny Sasso, you get a seven track record that you can’t stop listening to.
Their first EP, “The Other Side of You,” in 2011 caught the attention of many, and their success sky-rocketed over night and were offered a spot on Warped Tour. Needing more material to tour with, the quartet recorded a full-length record, Backbone, in four weeks to tour with.
After a blur of those first few years, the band went on a bit of a hiatus to really think about what kind of music they wanted to release next. It wasn’t until 2016 that June Divided independently released Body Wars but shortly took it down after signing with Revival Records to tweak a few elements.
“It took a long time. We were definitely more of a straightforward rock band, but we started adding different elements. We must have written like 30 songs before we came up with Body Works. It just took a long time. I always tell people everything takes time in the music industry,” said Menago, who was stopped at a deli in Columbus watching the U.S. Open before getting in a van to travel to Chicago.
Unlike a lot of bands in the industry, June Divided babied the creation of Body Wars and did trial and error with their new sound, adding synths into the mix with their instruments.
“It was the first time we weren’t super rushed. From the start, we had luck in the beginning. Our very first EP got us on Warped Tour, made a full-length record to sell on Warped Tour. We kind of had our hands full and were rushed. We were lucky. But once, things calmed down after that, we wanted to take our time.”
Although the members are from different spots on the East Coast, they refer to Philly as their stomping grounds and the genesis of June Divided.
“Philly has a mixed scene, and we don’t follow that scene at all. It helped us be different. We definitely did our own thing.”
Menago explained the new EP is based around a lot of internal battles and struggles.
“Our title track is ‘Body Wars,’ and the hook is ‘why can’t the head and heart just get along now.’ It’s really self-explanatory about Body Works. The record is really about internal conflict and struggle and recognizing that internal conflict to help yourself heal. That’s kind of the theme with the record.”
‘Body Wars’ opens with Menago chillingly sings her most intimate memories slowly building up from sadness to frustrations, with a mesmerizing guitar riff playing in the background.
Their latest music video paralleling to the track “I Didn’t Mind,” is filled with mirror shots with bright lighting in an open space, giving credit to bass player Sasso for the creative additions.
Recording “I Didn’t Mind” stood out to her, saying it was originally produced in her living room, along with the unexpected strum-heavy, delicate track, “Pluto.”
“’The four of us by ourselves rented out a studio during a huge snowstorm and got snowed in for two days and we did it ourselves. That was fun to produce it.”
The group has spent the three weeks following the album release touring for fans who have stuck around with them for almost ten years.
“We just had someone come out in Nashville saying, oh my god, I’ve waited like five years to see you. It’s very rewarding when you get to talk to people like that.”
Menago said the industry is moving towards the right direction of accepting bands with female lead singers and has seen an improvement since the band’s conception.
“It’s awesome. The first few years was definitely bad. We were definitely treated differently, and it sucked. But, I feel like it’s turning around, and society is turning around to this stuff. We have a long way to go though.”
After wrapping up the two tour dates left on The Summer Tour ’18, the band plans to record some bonus tracks and hopefully tour more dropping names like CHURCHES or The 1975.
To stay current with the band, follow them here.