The Divorced
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The Divorced

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It's art! It's music! It's actually artists making music. It's also a great name for a band: The Divorced. Following in a lengthy tradition of artists making the jump, this six-member group from South Boston puts out a surprisingly intimate, easily accessible form of pop music. Based mostly around the songs of John Ryan Gallagher and his buddies, they've also roped in the talents of artists Scott Chasse (who has an enormous picture of Burt Reynolds in his Distillery loft) and the enigmatic "Straycat Inc." on piano. The show is a celebration of their debut CD, now available at Newbury Comics. Sounds like ground zero of the up-and-coming arts scene. [Fri 11.7.08. Somerville Arts Center, 155 Powderhouse Blvd., Davis Sq., Somerville. 617.625.6600. 7pm/all ages/$5.] - The Weekly Dig

"Starting over: The newly reshuffled Divorced shows a different side with debut CD"

Starting over: The newly reshuffled Divorced shows a different side with debut CD The newly reshuffled Divorced shows a different side with debut CD
By Liz King
Staff writer

They've been painted as Boston's bad boys, typical boozing and brawling rock stars who have been blacklisted by some Boston clubs. Mothers have been said to have banned their "devil's music" from their daughters' bedrooms.

But members of The Divorced — a group of artists who got their start in Newburyport — say the claims are overexaggerated.

"We're trying to curb ourselves from that image," said front man and Newburyport native John Ryan Gallagher.

Gallagher and his bandmates hope their debut CD released this week helps to put a new face on The Divorced.

He insists that his band's live shows are nothing to shield young eyes from, and not too rowdy for, say, a Yankee Homecoming Parade through the streets of Newburyport.

That's not to say The Divorced is entirely tame. Gallagher said its energetic anthems may have added a little too much voltage to some boisterous crowds.

"People can expect lots of feeling and passion," he said. "It's an intense show, and the songs are from the heart."

The apparent misconceptions haven't stopped the band from building a loyal following for its lively indie, folk and pop sound. Gallagher said 100-plus shows in a little more than one year reflects the band's popularity.

The Divorced was born at a house party in Newburyport in 2004. Gallagher teamed with fellow Newburyport native Juliet Nelson, a formally trained cellist, and Matthew Kulik, originally from Groveland, to form the group as an offshoot of another hometown favorite, Tiger Saw.

Gallagher briefly worked on solo material with pal Jason Anderson, who soon joined The Divorced camp. Guitarist Scott Chasse, an Amesbury native who is also a recording engineer, came on board after meeting Gallagher during a recording session.

Over the next few years, Anderson moved to New York, but continued to be a contributing collaborator. Berklee College of Music student Caitlin Frame stepped in to play bass for Salisbury native Evan Orfanos. And while working out of the Distillery, a community of artists and musicians in South Boston, the group met "Cat," a Montreal native and classically trained pianist.

Now based in South Boston, the newly reshuffled Divorced began performing throughout the area and beyond last summer, with gigs in Boston, at The Knitting Factory in New York and in Montreal.

"I like alternative venues," Gallagher said, adding they are typically open to all ages.

The debut CD, "200X," has been in the works since the band's inception, but took a backseat during the changing makeup of the band. Initially titled "The Invisible Tears," the songs are about "love, loss and self-destruction," and draw from Gallagher's personal experiences. A national tour is being planned, and an EP release is slated for next fall.

Gallagher hinted at the possibility of being signed by a label, but said band members opted to put "200X" out themselves "so we could keep the royalties."

For now, The Divorced will play by its own rules, even if those rules include the very un-rock-star task of cleaning up their acts.

"We're happy right now doing everything ourselves," Gallagher said. "At our ages, it's good to be an indie artist. We're in an OK position to do this."


Name: The Divorced

Genre: Indie folk

Home sweet home: John Ryan Gallagher, Juliet Nelson and Caitlin Frame are originally from Newburyport; guitarist Scott Chasse is an Amesbury native; drummer Matthew Kulik is from Groveland, but now resides in Newburyport; and newcomer "Cat" is a Montreal native living in South Boston.

Musical influences: Velvet Underground, Johnny Thunder, New York Dolls

Upcoming Dates: All-ages CD release party Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. at Somerville Arts/Nave Gallery in Somerville; Nov. 28 at 8 p.m. at Bourbon's Night Club in Portsmouth, N.H. Other shows planned in Providence R.I.; Portland, Maine; and New York.

Hear more: The new CD, "200X," is on sale at Al-Bums in Newburyport, Newbury Comics, Bull Moose Music and online at iTunes. Or visit,, or - Newburyport Daily News

"The Divorced back together again in Port"

Indie folk-pop troubadours The Divorced return to their local roots tonight for a sneak preview of their debut LP, due out in September, and their follow-up, "The Invisible Tears," due out in November. The band performs at 8 p.m. at The Grog, 13 Middle St., Newburyport.

The band fronted by singer-songwriter and Newburyport native John Ryan Gallagher was formed in 2004. It features guitarist Scott Chasse, who grew up in Amesbury; drummer Matthew Kulik, originally from Groveland; and bassist Evan Orfanos, who is from Salisbury.

They'll be joined for tonight's gig by one of the band's original members, cellist and vocalist Juliet Nelson, a Newburyport native who has recently relocated to Portsmouth, N.H. The show is in preparation for a national tour later this year to promote the new releases.

The Divorced will be appearing with Seacoast surf-rockers Kings Highway. Acoustic performances by singer-songwriters Kim Lamothe and Allysen Callery, both of whom hail from Rhode Island, will open the show. Lamothe and Callery are both featured on The Divorced's debut.

Tickets are $5. Visit

- Sonya Vartebedian - Newburyport Daily News

"Spotlight : The Divorced"

Indigenous to South Boston, the boys who go by the seemingly self-deprecating moniker of The Divorced are set to release their debut album this summer. Although any group would be full of anticipation, lead singer John Ryan Gallagher is more than ready to have the world hear their music. "It's taken over two and half years to do this. I'm really looking forward to getting it out there and having people hear it—I'm nervous but I'm confident that it's good." And with instrumentation that kills and vocals that leave little to be desired, that 'goodness' isn't something that can be formulated. The Divorced, which consists of Gallagher on vocals, Matthew Kulik on drums, Scott Chasse on guitar and Evan Orfanos on bass, keep an open mind when it comes to the songs they record. "They try things differently," Gallagher explains. "They listen to [the songs] carefully and think about it before they play anything. It's cool—they really don't have an over-the-counter approach." As for the record, the quartet nixed the thematic angle and opted for tunes full of melodic guitar and pulsating rhythms. "We wanted it to be a representation of our live show. It's kind of like Madonna's live show—you know, except for everything" he jokes. "We can play for a good amount of time if we have to. We practice really hard, and are mean to each other if we have to be. It's a lot of energy, a lot of feelings, but it's a lot of fun." When asked if they have a preshow ritual right before they go on stage, Gallagher commented on their post-gig antics. "Afterwards, I try to hug everybody even if it was really bad. I'm always like 'Guys, even if we thought we sucked, act like it was the best show we ever played.'" With influences stemming from the unparalleled New York Dolls and Billy Joel, The Divorced have a promising future ahead of them. Veterans of the New England touring circuit, the members have almost 80 shows under their belts in the mere course of a year. The only thing that could derail them would have to be the aforementioned name of the band, which Gallagher respectfully clarifies . "No, I've never been married. I kind of like the name, and it would mean divorced from civilization or divorced from convention. People ask me if I've been divorced all of the time—I just haven't walked down that path yet."

- Candice Mcduffie - The Northeast Performer

"Divorced Proceedings"

Fri Jan 11, 2008

Newburyport - What a difference a couple of months makes.

Last summer, when The Divorced made its Newburyport debut, it was an up-and-coming act of local musicians, road-tested and hardened in Boston and spreading its wings: Nice guys, talented musicians playing a kind of folk-rock vibe.

Next week, the band returns with the same personnel and the same songs, but a completely different vibe: The Divorced returns as "l'enfant terrible," the new bad boy of Boston, dragging, in their wake, a lurid collection of tales about boozing and brawling and ominously oblique references to minors.

At least that's what you would believe after reading a breathless account of the band in the Boston Herald last year.

It described everything your mother imagined happed in those nightclubs you insisted on frequenting, including "incidents involving brawls, vandalism and the lure of under-age girls," which have put the band on virtually every club owner's radar - and on multiple blacklists.

The Herald article pumped up the volume - and the profile - of the band, which returns to the Grog next week.

"It made us look a lot more exciting than we actually are," says Divorced founder J.R. Gallagher.
But is it accurate?
Yeah, some of it, anyhow.

There have been "some incidents," says Gallagher. Like the show last year at The Church, the former Linwood Cafe, in Boston, when Divorced drummer Matthew Kulik got so caught up in the band's cover - a rarity - of Johnny Thunder's "You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory," that he ended up trashing his drum kit and creating collateral damage to the club's equipment as well.

"Everyone was kind of shattered at the time," says Gallagher. (For the record, everyone but Gallagher, who has been sober for a year.)

Then there was a recent show at Gulu-Gulu Cafe in Salem that came crashing down when overimbibing led to performances "so terrible that it was legendary," says Gallagher. There was also the snowball incident outside the Essex Street restaurant-club.

"We'll never play there again," he says. And there are also, Gallagher admits, times when Divorced fans have become a little too enthusiastic ... well, out of control. And there was the time Kulik tried to break up a fight at Hennessy's and the situation, well, deteriorated.
But what about "the lure of under-age girls"?

It sounds like some kind of Chuck Berry incident involving crossing state lines or contributing to the delinquency charges. What happened was that some young ID-less girls managed to sneak into a show they were playing.

"That made us look like pervs," says Gallagher, whose parents "almost disowned me" when they read the story.

It might be totally rock and roll to laugh it off, all publicity being good publicity, "even," says Gallagher, "if it does zero to improve an already sunken reputation."

And while it's probably more common to follow the lead of Joan Jett who insisted "... I don't give a damn 'bout my bad reputation," Gallagher says he's hoping the new year will be the impetus for a new start. The rep is getting in the way of the work, which the musicians want to step up in 2008. Last year, they played about 50 shows. They hope to double that this year. They also hope ... plan to ... definitely will release "The Darkness and The Light," a Divorced debut CD, which Gallagher says is "about people, friends and mistakes I've made." It has been two years in the making, but will be ready by St. Patrick's Day, Gallagher says.

The band has gone through more personnel changes than the new album has rewrites, including the recent departure of vocalist Jenni Horwath. The Divorced now plays as a quartet formed around the core of Kulik and Gallagher. Scott Chasse, who grew up in Amesbury, played in a bunch of area bands before setting up shop in South Boston, came aboard working as a sound engineer on an earlier incarnation of "The Darkness and the Light." Evan Orfanos, who grew up in Salisbury, and played in a late edition of proto-punksters Hamlet Idiot, plays bass. - Newburyport Current - J.C. Lockwood

"Divorced hope to stop the fighting, keep rocking"


The Divorced brings to mind a band of bitter mid-lifers singing songs of loss and separation. In fact, there's not a single ex among the South Boston group. And while the members of the Divorced have no clear explanation for the moniker, their rapid rise has an explosive side that could slap the quintet with a different name: Banned in Boston.

Though their brand of folk-tinged rock is far from thrash metal, the Divorced have already been barred or suspended from several local establishments in the past eight months, including T.T. The Bears Place, the Baseball Tavern, Hennessy's and Charlie's.

Incidents involving brawls, vandalism and the lure of underage girls have put the Divorced on multiple black-lists. Co-leader and songwriter John Ryan Gallagher acknowledges that the band has contributed to the mayhem. He recalls a night when drummer Mathew Kulik tried to break up a fight between an opening band and a soundman at Hennessy's.

"He got hit in the mouth with somebody's head," Gallagher said. "So he punched a guy. But, hey, it's not always in our control."

The band has talked it's way back into T.T.'s and has support at the Middle East, where it plays free shows tomorrow and Nov. 20 in the clubs corner room. The group now hopes the focus will turn away from mayhem and back to the music.

"Yeah, we're doing our best to not get thrown out of these places anymore, because if we don't, we're going to run out of places to play," Gallagher said with a laugh. "But a big part of it is that a lot of our friends are heavy drinkers. They show up to have a good time, and things have a tendency to get out of hand."

Maybe it's karma. The band was born at a house party five years ago in Gallagher's hometown of Newburyport. Back then, he and Kulik played in the slo-core band Tiger Saw.

The lineup has since seen many changes. Last April, the band began to take off after gravitating toward South Boston, home to co-leader Scott Chasse and bassist Evan Orfanos, with singer Jenni Horwath, a former actress, adding her ethereal voice. The various influences make for a rock pastiche: the sparse poetry of Leonard Cohen blending with the darkness of Nico-era Velvet Underground and the quirkiness of the Ramones.

"We'd been working on a lot of the same songs since Day One," Gallagher said. "But there's something about how we clicked when this (lineup) came together. We played our first gig together at the Middle East in April, and then in July we were headlining a Saturday night at T.T.'s. It's been strange. I really didn't expect it to take off like that."

The song that has attracted the most attention is a haunting ballad fittingly called "South Boston." It's Gallagher's fatalistic, late-night plea to a Southie lass.

"When we sent out (demo recordings of) that song, we got a lot of calls of interest," Gallagher said. Despite some label interest, the band is proceeding with its plans to release a self-produced debut, "The Darkness and the Light," early next year.

In the meantime, the Divorced will continue to tour the Northeast and Canada - and try to refrain from further enacting the toughness of its Southie roots. - The Boston Herald - Nate Dow

"The Divorced"


On "South Boston," Divorced singer/guitarist John Ryan Gallagher chases love into Drunk Country with an appropriate Pogues shuffle. The remainder of the indie collective's MySpace demos reveal precious Bright Eyes turns and wisps of Elliot Smith.

- The Boston Metro - Selene Angier

"A Newburyport homecoming for The Divorced"


It'll be a reunion of sorts tonight for The Divorced.

The South Boston-based band will return to it's Newburyport roots and renew acquaintances when it takes the stage Downstairs at The Grog in downtown Newburyport.

Newburyport native John Ryan Gallagher started the rock band with a slight folk element in 2004. The vocalist and acoustic guitarist began playing with other Newburyport-area musicians, who eventually formed basis for The Divorced.

Today, the band features fellow Newburyport native and vocalist Jenni Horwath, guitarist Scott Chasse, who grew up in Amesbury and now lives in South Boston; bass player Evan Orfanos, a former Salisbury resident; as well as the band's only other original member, a drummer Mathew Kulik, a Groveland resident who recently moved to Newburyport.

We haven't played Newburport since last year, and it should be great," Gallagher said. "We have a lot of friends here that we're excited to play for."

The Divorced is recording a full-length album titled "The Darkness and the Light," which is about 80 percent done. And while nothing is set in stone, Gallagher said the band is in talks with a number of independent and major record labels about a potential fall release.

Gallagher cites bands such as Velvet Underground and The Smiths as influences and lists the Boston-area's Middle East, T.T. The Bears and Lizard Lounge as some of the places the band has played. However, Gallagher explains that it's not always "the bigger, the better."

"Sometimes it's hard to play clubs because you're under someone else's rules," he said. "It's almost more fun to play an intimate show around friends."

As far as the band's plans go, it's first priority remains finishing the album. Once it is completed, Gallagher said the band will spend it's time promoting it. Upcoming shows are planned for Salem, Boston, Providence, Portland and Montreal.

Jimmy Carroll - The Newburyport Daily News - Jimmy Carroll

"The Divorced: Home Again"


They call themselves a South Boston band, but they never really split

For a South Boston band, these guys sure look familiar: There's John Ryan Gallagher and Mathew Kulik, both of whom played in an earlier incarnation of hometown heroes Tiger Saw. Jenni Horwath? She's a Newburyport native, probably better known on the local scene for her work as an actress with Theater in the Open - for now, anyhow.

Even the guys who might immediately ring a bell - and who can best make for The Divorced being a South Boston band - have suspiciously local roots. Scott Chasse grew up in Amesbury and played in a bunch of area bands before settling in the city.

Which leaves bassist Evan Orfanos, who lives in Cambridge but grew up in Salisbury and played in the later incarnations of Hamlet Idiot.

So, how is it that the quintet can call itself a South Boston band? Well, says Gallagher, they are recording there. And rehearsing n Chasse's studio (he is a painter as well as a musician.) And hanging out there a lot, using it as a hub, so to speak for performances from Hennessy's o the Abbey Lounge because, face it, there just aren't that many venues for original rock music in Newburyport.

But later this month, shortly before official Homecoming, the theoretical ex-pats will come home for a rare local show at The Grog. The July 19 date will be the band's debut at the Middle Street venue - and it's first in the city since playing the opening slot at Port singer-songwriter Sam Rosen's CD release party for "The Look South" last November at the Actor's Studio.

A lot has changed since the band first came together, especially the lineup. The is the second incarnation of The Divorced. The original lineup came together in late 2004, not long after Gallagher and Kulik left Tiger Saw. The band had Jason Anderson on piano and Juliet Nelson on cello. The band stalled because Anderson and Nelson both had other commitments, eventually being relegated to the musical backburner.

Gallagher and Horwath teamed up with Rosen for the short-lived Pilgrims project before Rosen pulled up stakes and moved to Brooklyn. Gallagher had kept The Divorced alive as a stripped-down, essentially solo project, building a body of songs over three years. The tunes consisted of merely acoustic guitar and voice with the occasional keyboard, cello or drum, thanks to collaborations with musician friends.

The revival of the band as a working project came about almost accidentally. Chasse, who owned and operated the former UFI Coffeehouse in Haverhill and, before moving to South Boston, performed in two local bands, Boiler Room 6 and Buxton, was serving as sound engineer during Gallagher's recording sessions.

"He put lots of time and lots of himself into it," says Gallagher. "It was such an agreeable fit, he stepped into the band." Then they added Orfanos, whom Gallagher has known since high school, and who also played with Chasse in Boiler Room 6, on bass - leaving only the female lead position unfilled.

The record ... so far Gallagher's already put a year and a half into the new album, tentatively titled "The Darkness and the Light." He's expecting to get it out by the end of the summer. "It's about 80 percent done," Says Gallagher. "But if you asked me six months ago, I probably would have said the same thing. Hopefully we can crank this thing out."

The album is about "people, friends and mistakes I've made," Says Gallagher. "It's about love, loss and self destruction... and Jenni Horwath."

"Scandalous," Says Horwath.

She and Gallagher have had a "13 year affair, romantic and otherwise," She says. They knew each other from Newburyport High School. They both graduated in the late 1990's.

She accepted a slot in the band in February, essentially agreeing on a Wednesday and beginning recording three days later.

The personnel changes put the brakes on the recording, as new personalities spark changes in the interpretation and performance of the tunes, but everybody is just going with the flow.

"It's happened very fluidly," says Horwath. "He let us find our own place in the group."

"It's closer to where the songs come from. It's important to me that it's a group effort," Gallagher says. "Everyone contributes to it. It may take more time, but it comes out so much better."

At the Grog, the band, which just played a last-minute date in Laurel Grange Hall in West Newbury, will play tunes from the new album and old favorites, like "I Miss My Home," and "Snow White." Accompanying them will be Newburyport singer/songwriter Dan Blakeslee. - The Newburyport Current - J.C. Lockwood


200X (debut out 10.21.08 by SHG)



Quickly assembling an impressive collection of songs about love, loss, and self destruction, The Divorced began creating a sensation in New England last summer. It wasn't long before critics and fans began to catch on to the group's lively blend of indie, folk, and pop. This fall will bring the release of their highly anticipated debut L.P.

It has been a long time coming for an act that sprung up in the summer of '04 when singer songwriter John Ryan Gallagher formed the band with life long friends Juliet Nelson, Jason Anderson, and Matthew Kulik, all of whom had worked together on previous projects. Playing New England regularly and touring the U.S. in '05, The Divorced attracted guitarist and recording engineer Scott Chasse to the project. Chasse eagerly took on the daunting task of recording the debut album, "The Darkness and the Light." In the midst of tracking thirty plus songs over the course of two years, The Divorced reassembled the lineup into one which would stand the test of time, temptation, and soul. Singer/songwriter Caitlin Frame stepped in to play bass, while Anderson and Nelson continued to be contributing collaborators.

With close to one hundred shows under their belt in just one year, The Divorced plan to step things up even further this fall. The band will be busier than ever as they release their long awaited debut and begin recording their follow-up, "The Invisible Tears" which is due out in early 08'. A national tour is in the works in support of both releases this fall.