June Divided
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June Divided

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | INDIE

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Pop Rock




"Six Picks With June Divided: Six Reasons You Know You're A Band From Philadelphia"

Six Picks With June Divided: Six Reasons You Know You’re A Band From Philly
Added Feb 9, 2011, Under: Six Picks

Six Picks With:
June Divided

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is well-known for many reasons. The Liberty Bell, the “Rocky Steps,” Independence Hall, Cheesesteaks, and Philadelphia’s professional sports teams are a few of the things commonly associated with this historic city.
For our latest Six Picks installment, Philadelphia-based rock/pop band June Divided explain “Six Reasons You Know You’re You’re A Band From Philly.”

Six Reasons You Know You’re A Band From Philly:

1. You’re afraid to play shows outside the tri-state area because you can’t survive without WaWa.

2. You’re watching all of the Philly sports games on mute during practice.

3. You get cheesesteaks after shows.

4. You introduce yourselves from Philly, and someone starts singing the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air song.

5. You ask for a lager, and you expect to get a Yuengling.

6. You’ve gotten requests to cover “The Nightman” from It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.

Philly based rock/pop band, June Divided, will be releasing their debut EP, “The Other Side Of You,” this Friday, February 11. June Divided will be performing live this Friday in celebration of their release on Radio 104.5 Live at Five, as well as being chosen as NBC-10’s “Top Unsigned Acts”. They will be hosting their WXPN promoted CD Release show this Friday, Feb. 11 at Kung Fu Necktie at 7 p.m. To purchase “The Other Side of You,” please visit iTunes, Amazon and www.JuneDivided.com, this Friday! - The Sound Alarm

"New Music By June Divided..."

Frequently, musicians in young rock bands have passed on attending college and opted to focus on their musical careers instead.

There are two bands playing in Philadelphia on Friday night that have followed the opposite path. Both June Divided (which is performing a CD release show at Kung Fu Necktie) and Wild Nothing (which is playing at the First Unitarian Church), got their start on college campuses.

June Divided is a Philly-based indie rock quartet featuring Melissa Menago (vocals, guitar), Chris Kissel (guitar, keyboards), Keith Gill (drums) and Rich Mancinelli (bass).

"The band started out as a project Chris and I did when we were music majors at Drexel University," Menago said during a recent phone interview. "When we graduated in June 2009 and were looking for jobs, we decided to keep the music going.

"We needed a drummer, so we put an ad on Craigslist - more as a joke than anything else. To our surprise, it actually worked. Keith answered the ad and we fell in love with him. It was a good fit.

"We recorded our new EP, 'Other Side of You,' at Sound Line Studio. Alec Henninger, a good friend of ours, was an engineer there, so we got him to produce it. We recorded the EP back in September.

"Actually, before that, we did a two-song single at Drexel. One of the songs was 'Bullet.' We went up and re-recorded it at Sound Line."

Menago, who attended high school at the Cab Calloway School of the Arts in Wilmington, is June Divided's main lyricist.

"The songwriting is pretty collaborative, but I do the lyrics," she said. "The music comes first and then we add the lyrics. Sometimes, I know exactly what I want to say when I hear the music. Other times, I have no idea.

"I definitely draw from my life experience. But I've been taught to make sure that lyrics are universal. We're still writing songs all the time. We'd like to put out a full-length sometime soon. One of our favorite things to do as a band is writing songs." - Daily Local News

"June Divided on BalconyTV"

Follow link to view June Divided's acoustic performance on BalconyTV! - BalconyTV

"June Divided Releases Debut EP"

Philly based rock/pop band, June Divided, released their debuted EP, The Other Side Of You, on February 11th. June Divided will be performing live this Friday in celebration of their release on Radio 104.5 Live at Five, as well as being chosen has NBC-10's "Top Unsigned Acts".

Go to college. Get a job. Become a rock star. It may not be a typical sequence of events, but it's the tale of June Divided. While most starving artists cave in and join the 9 to 5 world, founding members Melissa Menago (vocals, guitar) and Chris Kissel (guitar) turned their backs on the struggling job market and started a band. As the pieces fell into place, they turned to the only logical place to find a drummer... Craigslist. It was there that they met and soon fell in love with Keith Gill. Adding Rich Mancinelli on bass, the band became a quartet.

June Divided has an uncanny mass appeal. Drawing on post-rock guitar work and undeniable pop rock sensibilities, there is something for Explosions In The Sky and Jimmy Eat World fans alike. Brandishing honest lyrics, each song is a personal outlet. "A good song is universal - something we can all feel in one way or another," says Menago. Having played along side bands such as Person L, Fake Problems, Cheap Seats, etc., it's no wonder the Philadelphia-based group is getting a lot of attention.

Stay tuned for tour dates and more from June Divided in 2011! - Alt. Sounds

"June Divided release “The Other Side of You”..."

In some ways, graduating from college during a recession was a good thing for the members of the pop/rock band June Divided.

“We started writing songs for fun between sending out resumes,” recalls lead singer Melissa Menago. “And, before we knew it, we had a band.”

Everyone from Jimmy Eat World and Anberlin to Paul McCartney and Brand New influenced the Philly-based quartet—Menago on vocals/guitar, Chris Kissel on guitar, Keith Gill on drums and Rich Mancinelli on bass. The band started playing during their senior year of college in 2009.

“As we got closer to graduation we realized that June was a pretty significant month,” notes Kissel. “It marked the end of college life as we knew it and the beginning of the ‘real world.’ It was as if June was divided into these two very different chapters of our lives—hence the name, June Divided.”

Having already been deemed one of NBC’s “Top Unsigned Acts,” after entering a contest during which they got to play a concert at Six Flags (and repeatedly ride the Nitro rollercoaster), June Divided was excited to release their melodic, rhythm-driven 6-song debut, “The Other Side of You.”

“Even though we all draw from personal experiences and influences, we try to write songs that most people can relate to,” reveals Menago. “I think that’s what makes a good song stick.”

You can check out June Divided when they play NYC’s Alphabet Lounge on Thursday, April 14th at 8pm.

“We’ll play our EP and new song, with an occasional cover,” says Menago. “We did a live cover of Jimmy Eat World’s ‘Bleed American’ on Philly’s Radio 104.5 which was really fun. And word on the street is that Rich can do a pretty respectable Cee-Lo Green imitation.” - Long Island Pulse

"June Divided: Philadelphians Cross The River To Great Acclaim"

I love it when we get a visit from an out-of-town band that just stands so far apart from the crowd that there’s just absolutely nothing to grouse about. June Divided fits into that category quite well. Their recent show at The Saint with Readymade Break Up was both surprising and entertaining. While the group is a collective from Philadelphia, the band actually hails from all over the place with vocalist Melissa Menago coming from Delaware, guitarist Chris Kissel from Pittsburgh and Keith Gill from Dublin, Ireland. But more importantly than their geographic origins, June Divided proves that big, explosive sounds can come from just a few smart individuals when you know what you’re doing.

This melodic trio slides deep into the pop heavy gene pool of bands such as Jimmy Eat World, Explosions In The Sky, Thrice and Manchester Orchestra, just to name a few. Featuring intelligent lyrics, vicious guitar chops and powerhouse rhythm section, June Divided thunder through a delicious sextuple of heavy, pop tunes on their latest disc, The Other Side Of You.

First single, “Bullet” has been gaining significant attention from some of Philadelphia’s top radio stations; WXPN-FM, WRFF-FM (Radio 104.5, Clear Channel, WMMR-FM (Greater Media). In addition to gaining rotation on these stations, the band has earned the attention and assistance from Big Picture Media and Big Hassle Publicity. To keep the momentum of a hot single, June Divided has just filmed a music video for “Bullet”, which was featured as an exclusive premiere on AbsolutePunk.net. The video received nearly 1,000 views in three days, and shows no signs of losing steam.

These definitive Philadelphians are smart cookies when it comes to their panoramic style. Great hooks, ripping guitars and emotive melodies mix well with the raw but controlled production tones of Alec Henninger (Soundmine Studios), who helps this band give up just enough mystery while at the same time keeping them away from the technical and musical tedium that tires out most listeners on bands from this genre. Actually I would have liked about four more songs but The Other Side Of You makes up for its shortness with wisely chosen songs that fit this band like the proverbial glove.

Stand out songs like “Perfect Storm” hit you right in the ear with a guitar hook that stays for days, clearing the road for Melissa’s soprano ranged, bell clear voice to fly high over the blitzkrieg of Chris Kissels six-string cacophony and Keith Gills thick drum hits. “Bullet” may be the chosen one, but to me, “Perfect Storm” is the song I hear as making a lot of noise from an EP that has at least three great choices for radio gold. I also really had a good time with the chuga-lug guitar vamp on the title tune, “The Other Side Of you.”

June Divided is definitely one Philly band that I’d welcome back anytime and hope to see in Shoreworld more often. For more on this top-notch trio head over to junedivided.com - The Aquarian

"June Divided: Of Connections and Craigslist."

Keith Gill vividly remembers the day he met two of his future fellow bandmates. He was half-fearing for his life.

“I called my friend who is a cop and was like, ‘I am meeting these guys about their band. You have to come with me. I don’t want to end up dead,’” he recalls with a chuckle.

In all fairness, it is a reasonable worry when you opt to meet anyone on Craigslist.

Gill, 23, a skilled drummer from Northeast Philly, was sick of only playing with musicians interested in hardcore. In an attempt to find a band whose music he’d actually listen to, Gill sent out a hopeful message into the vast reaches of the Internet in April 2009.

Then he waited.

A few months later, Chris Kissel and Melissa Menago were presented with the all-too-familiar “Now what?” scenario after graduating from Drexel University. Though they had earned degrees in the music industry program from a prestigious university, the pair of musicians were at a loss for what was supposed to happen next.

“When you go through the job hunt it just gets boring and discouraging,” says Menago, 24, the band’s front-woman vocalist/guitarist extraordinaire. “Chris and I started writing together that summer just for fun.”

Her dream was to write and sell her own songs, or hang out behind a soundboard in a studio. She never considered being on the front lines of entertainment.

But something started clicking.

So they began rehearsing the new songs with a few friends. When their drummer friend went on tour that December with another band, Kissel and Menago put an ad on Craigslist.

Gill reached out to them. He was the only person to whom Kissel and Menago responded – on New Year’s Day, 2010. That’s essentially when the pop rock sensation June Divided was born.

“I’ve played music my whole life,” says Menago, who grew up in Delaware. “I seriously started studying music and classical piano around 11, started writing songs around 12 and picked up the guitar when I was 13.”

She points her thumb across the table toward her bandmates and says, “I would have killed to have these guys to write with. When I was younger, the girls weren’t really into music the same way I was.”

The guys – Kissel, Gill and bassist Rich Mancinelli – let out a collective, half- patronizing, half-sincere, “Awww.”

Menago shoots them a murderous glare with such affection that the condemnation behind it holds no weight.

Despite the harmless teasing, each bandmate, at their core, is thankful to have each other. It is this specific quartet that made June Divided’s energetic sound so signature. They’ve been compared to Jimmy Eat World’s instrumentals with the vocal powerhouse of Paramore. Their lyrics are relatable enough that band members have been approached by thirteen year olds – who Menago says she could talk to forever – and people older than their parents.

Gill, who was born in Dublin, was immersed in traditional Irish music by his parents. He began his musical career playing the Irish flute. He continued playing music as he grew up in the Northeast, attending Father Judge High School.

Their early performances always had a foundation of Gill’s friends and family.

“We all aren’t from around here originally,” explains Menago. “We came here because of Drexel. So having the support of Keith’s friends and family is what really helped.”

Kissel began focusing on music after his sports dreams ended.

“I had been playing guitar for a few years, when I tore my ACL playing freshmen football,” says Kissel, who hails from Harrison City, a three-stop light town near Pittsburgh. “Then, I tried to come back for basketball season and tore my ACL, MCL and cartilage. I basically didn’t have anything inside my knee left. That forced me to sit on the couch for a while. That was when I really started playing guitar.”

“I also got into music due to a sports injury,” begins Mancinelli, 24, from South Jersey. “I got cut from the basketball team freshman year and ended up with a lot of free time.”

“That’s not an injury Rich!” Kissel teasingly interrupts. “You got cut. There’s kind of a difference!”

For his part, Mancinelli jokingly insists he’s not really in the band. The former vocalist/ keyboardist/ guitarist of Taking Sides and a Drexel classmate, Mancinelli became the bassist in September 2010 after the original bassist, Dane Kline, left to pursue his PhD.

Mancinelli picked up Kline’s complicated bass groove in time for the band to begin recording their first EP.

They worked with yet another Drexel colleague, Alec Henninger, 24, a producer at Soundmine Studios in the Poconos. After months of practicing, playing, mixing and mastering, their six-song EP dropped in February 2011.

And that’s when the whirlwind began.

They landed a spot playing their single, “Bullet,” live on Radio 104.5. That song wound up getting airtime on WXPN. Suddenly, the Philly band was Texas-bound on a road trip to play the South by Southwest music festival.

While - Philly JUMP Magazine

"AbsolutePunk.net - June Divided: Random Interview"

1. How did you get your band name?
We started the band during our senior year of college, and as we got closer to graduation we realized that June was a pretty significant month; it marked the end of college life as we knew it and the beginning of the “real world”. It was as if June was divided into these two very different chapters of our lives, hence – June Divided.

2. How did this band get started?
Chris and Melissa began writing together in college and continued after graduation. The more they wrote, the more they realized that they wanted to give this band a shot to be heard, and decided to fill out the roster. They put a wanted ad on Craigslist for a drummer (as a joke) and stumbled upon Keith, who could not be a better match. Rich, a friend from college, hopped on as the bassist and the rest is history.

3. What bands are you influenced by?
Jimmy Eat World, Mute Math, Thrice, Manchester Orchestra, Brand New, Ivoryline, Explosions in the Sky

4. If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
Any of the bands listed above or any of the legendary artists throughout history would be a dream come true. Plus, we really love playing with the other local bands we meet on the road. There’s a ton of undiscovered talent and genuinely nice people out there that are working hard and it’s nice to foster friendships with them on this level.

5. Best food to eat on tour?
Skittles and sourdough pretzels.

6. Why should people listen to your band?
We don’t like giving people ultimatums! All we can ask is that you give us a shot. We’re all very open-minded music fans and feel that opening your ears to new music is never a bad thing. It feeds the brain and the heart. If our music strikes a chord with you and you like what you hear, then keep listening and we’ll continuing being grateful that you are.

7. If you could be any athlete, which athlete would you switch places with?
Kenny Powers. If you don't know who that is, shame on you.

8. If you won a Grammy, who would you thank?
Our parents, families, friends and fans. They are the reason we’re able to do what we do, and we are extremely fortunate to have so many incredible people in our lives.

9. If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be?
There should be free ice cream for musicians everywhere... and for all their fans.

10. Memorable tour experience?
We recently played this venue in Asbury Park that had this really creepy bear head mask/costume thing in the back room. It was missing an eye and had a sinister smile. So naturally, Rich put it on and danced around. Both terrifying and hilarious.

11. What does AP.net mean to you?
AP.net is awesome! We've used absolutepunk.net for years to find new bands and album reviews and keep up on the latest news on all of our favorite bands.

12. What is your favorite song to play?
We wrote a new song called "Secrets" (not on the EP), that’s an absolute blast to play it live. It’s fast and upbeat and powerful, and we can’t wait to get in the studio to lay it down.

13. What is your vacation spot of choice?
A Beach. Anywhere.

14. What music reminds you of your childhood?
Classic rock... and Raffi.

15. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why?
Super-speed so we could spend less time on the road, and more time playing and writing music.

16. Any pre-show superstitions or rituals?
A beer or two and a cherry water. Don't ask.

17. What is something that most fans don't know about you?
Even though we're a "Philly" band, not one of us is actually from Philadelphia. Melissa is from Delaware, Chris is from Pittsburgh, Rich is from South Jersey, and Keith is from Dublin, Ireland.

18. What is your assessment of the current state of radio? Do you think it's a place where your band could flourish?
Radio can still be extremely important. In Philly, we’re fortunate enough to have some great stations that believe in and support new and local music – WXPN and Radio 104.5 to name two. We’d love to get more radio airplay so we can live out that scene in That Thing You Do, when they all jump around in the appliance store. (Awesome movie, by the way).

19. What do you like to do in your spare time?
Spare time? What is that? Is that a typo? I think you meant spare tire. We can’t fit in a spare tire. It’s too small.

20. What kind of hidden talents do you have?
Melissa is a magician on her off nights

Rich can talk to monkeys (and they usually talk back)

Keith is a professional water aerobics instructor

Chris... has high-fastening pants? - AbsolutePunk.net

"MtvU Hotseat: Interview with June Divided"

1. Tell us about your craziest touring experience?
On our way back from Austin for SXSW, we pulled over in VA to let our manager take a pee. He went into the woods on the side of the major highway we were on. While he was doing his business, Keith thought it
would be funny to drive the car about 30 yards up the road. Our manager came back out of the woods and started chasing after us… only to be caught by a police officer. Heh.

2. What type of college class would you’d most want to take and why?
Well we studied Music Industry in college, so we actually did take pretty cool classes. But if we could do it again, Moon Bouncing 101 probably would peak our interests.

3. What city in America is the most fun to visit and why?
Pittsburgh. Ok maybe I’m biased because it’s my hometown, but it’s awesome. Nashville was cool too, wish we spent more time there.

4. What’s some of the best advice you were ever given?
Never tell anyone the truth during an interview…

5. What’s in heavy rotation in your MP3/CD player right now?
Thrice, Beggars. The new Fleet Foxes, Person L, Initial.

6. The last good book you read or TV show you’re addicted to?
Walking Dead- now we’re more than ready for a Zombie Apocalypse.

7. What’s the first concert you ever saw - how was it?
Warped Tour 1999. It was awesome and made me fall in love with live music. The atmosphere was incredible, such palpable energy, and I discovered a ton of new music that I otherwise would have never heard. I only wanted to see two bands there - Pennywise (which I did) and Blink 182 (which I missed because my lame friend wanted to leave to go surfing… he’s never been forgiven).

8. What are three items you can’t live without on tour?
Do my bandmates count? There’s three of them.

9. Who are your major musical influences?
Everyone from Manchester Orchestra to Jimmy Eat World to Mute Math to Anberlin and Yellow Card.

Any random messages or tips you’d like to give to mtvU watchers?
Always give new music a fair listen- you never know what you might find :) - mtvU

"June Divided"

The members of June Divided havent been at this for very long. Since forming in the beginning of 2010, Melissa Menago, Chris Kissel, and Keith Gill have been on a fast track to get their music heard. With catchy melodies, and honest lyrics, June Divideds guitar-driven rock songs cater to an audience of all ages. When I write a song, Im honestly just getting my own personal issues out, says Menago, But at the same time, I want other people to be able to relate. A good song is universal. Something we all can feel in one way or another.

The Philadelphia-based pop-rock quartet is just getting their feet off the ground, but according to Producer and Mix engineer, Dan Malsch (Tantric, Framing Hanley, Forever the Sickest Kids), they are undoubtedly getting off to a good start with their single Bullet which will be released on the 2010 Silent Majority Group compilation album in October. With their EP due out in early fall, keep your eye on June Divided, as this band has promising beginnings. - PhiladelphiaNightOut.com

"The Return of June Divided"

Melissa Menago appears so sweet and tiny, standing on the wide stage in a black dress with her faded fuchsia-colored hair.

There is a drum set behind her and a keyboard to her right, as well as several microphone stands and loads of other gear ready for the evening’s headliner who will follow her performance. But she’s alone up there right now, demurely smiling while holding her little ukulele.

“Are any of you in love?” she asks the crowd of a few hundred people gathered in this secluded dell in suburban New Jersey. “Are you here with your loved ones? Some of us hate you.”

There is an uncertainty to the laughter that momentarily ensues.

“I don’t write happy songs,” Menago continues. “This next one is for anyone who has ever had their heart broken.”

And she breaks into a new song, “Eye to Eye,” which she has slated for a solo album in the future.

“I wanna love you, wanna hate you, I want everything you are,” she croons in a tone that would strike fear into a romantic partner who feels guilty about, well, anything. “And what you are is gasoline when it hits a spark.”

As her strumming stops, her passionate performance is rewarded by a burst of applause.

Again, Menago appears small, her head tilted down as she furtively peers up into the crowd. She allows a brief but brilliant smile, and then she plays one last song – a hauntingly slowed-down version of the Kenny Loggins classic “Danger Zone.”

It’s strange to see her on stage alone and so calm.

For the past five years or so, Menago has been the front person for the pop rock/alternative band June Divided, for whom she bounces all over the stage, leaps off drums and generally excites the crowd with her energetic stage presence.

They had massive success as soon as the band began releasing music. They performed on the Warped Tour in 2012 and toured extensively on their own afterward. In 2014, they opened for Rise Against in Milwaukee, playing in front of a crowd of 11,000 people.

“We got thrust into it,” Menago says of the band’s early experiences, “and we didn’t really have a lot of time to ask ourselves, ‘What do we want to be as artists?’”

So the bandmates, – including Chris Kissel on guitar, Lenny Sasso on bass and Keith Gill on drums – decided to take some time to slow down and craft new material. They wrote an album’s worth of music and then scrapped it and started all over again. The time away from the stage allowed their style to grow from that alt rock sound into a more mature, Mutemath-inspired, indie rock kind of sound.

“We could lose fans by making music that wasn’t up to our standards or we could lose fans by not putting out new stuff all the time,” says Kissel, who launched the band with Menago while they were both students in the Music Industry Program at Drexel University. “We decided to slow down and make the music we wanted to make.”

It’s been four years since June Divided’s last album dropped and the band hasn’t had a big Philly show since 2013.

“We kind of took our sweet time,” Menago says with a laugh.

They began recording their third album about one year ago but the process has been long and tortured. They wrapped up recording in February and they’ve been waiting for the process to finish ever since. They expect to release the six-song EP (with a bonus hidden track on the CD) in October.

While they were recording, Chesky Records signed Menago to do a live, solo acoustic record.

“Melissa writes so many songs and some don’t fit June Divided,” says Kissel. “It’s cool she has another outlet for them.”

The 12-track ukulele album, little crimes, drops in July. Kissel and Gill will take the stage with her for the release show at World Café Live.

“I’m really happy they’ll be with me,” Menago says. “I get lonely on stage by myself.”

“It’s still kind of a June Divided show,” Gill says.

After her solo performance in New Jersey, Menago finds all of her bandmates – including their former bass player, Rich Mancinelli, who have been sitting in the audience, listening with delight.

Menago seems spent but she lights up when she catches up with her colleagues. After a moment of congratulations, the evening’s headliner, Vacationer, takes the stage and the June Divided crew sits down together and starts swaying to the chillwave coming from the stage.

Even after their heavy touring ceased at the end of 2014, the June Divided crew continued spending several days per week together – writing, experimenting, recording, drinking, laughing and supporting one another.

“After a few years of making music,” Kissel says, “and a few years of not making music, we’re all still actually friends.”

While they’ve all settled into jobs, they remain flexible and ready to hit the road if needed. Menago teaches music and does voiceover work. Kissel works at an audio/visual firm. Gill is a plumber in the family business. Sasso does lighting at Union Transfer and the TLA, among other venues. Last year, he spent more than four months on the road doing lighting for Atreyu, a metal band from California.

“I spend almost every day of my life in a music venue,” says Sasso, who also serves as the manager for June Divided.

The time away from tour vans has done them good, Menago believes.

“Had we not taken time for ourselves, we probably wouldn’t be a band right now,” she says. “We would have cracked.” - Jump Philly


Still working on that hot first release.



Philadelphia's indie rock/pop outfit, June Divided, consists of Melissa Menago (guitar, keys, vocals), Chris Kissel (guitar), Keith Gill (drums), and Lenny Sasso (bass, synth). They have shared the stage with Twenty One Pilots, Rise Against, The Pretty Reckless, Walk The Moon, Tegan and Sara, and were seen on Warped Tour, MTVu and at SXSW.

After a busy initial start to their band, they took some quiet time to work on evolving their sound, and the end result is their December 2016 release, Body Wars. “We embraced more sounds and more influences for this EP,” says Menago, “we also embraced the idea that it’s ok to go through things, and that is truly what this record is about.”

Band Members