Philadelphia-based four-piece indie-rock band June Divided recently unveiled a brand new six-track EP, Body Wars, Dec. 2. The full project is a departure from June Divided’s previous releases, incorporating more synths, keys and indie pop elements than ever before. The EP was also produced by Fred Mascherino (The Color Fred).
Ghettoblaster recently caught up with vocalist/keyboardist/guitarist Melissa Menago to discuss the effort. This is what she told us.
How is this EP a departure or maturation from your previous releases?
We certainly took a lot of time to make this record- longer than we ever took to make our earlier releases. The beginning of our career as a band moved pretty quickly, and making Body Wars was the first time we really got a chance to experiment and push ourselves. Our influences changed, and we matured as musicians and as people overall, so I think that all adds up to a different kind of sound for sure.
Am I to understand that you worked with Fred Mascherino on this? What did he bring to the table and what was the experience of working with him like?
Yes we did work with Fred. Pre-production with Fred was great- he had a lot of great ideas, and I learned a lot as a writer from him for sure. It was fun, and he has a cool studio in his home. He definitely helped keep the rock alive on this record and that’s something our fans from the beginning can hopefully appreciate.
Where did you find the inspiration for this EP? What were you hoping to accomplish with this EP?
We did a lot of soul searching—as a band and as individuals—for this record. We were inspired by a lot of the cool sounds we were hearing in the more modern indie-pop scene, but we also always want to be a rock band in some way, shape or form. We wanted to find a sound that really had a good balance of that. I was going through a lot of internal conflict at the time, and “Body Wars” felt like a good way to describe that feeling when your head and your heart are disagreeing over something. We wanted to capture internal conflict on this record.
What are your proudest moments on the EP?
Personally, “I Didn’t Mind” and “Pluto” are my proudest moments because I had a hand in producing them. I also just really like those songs. I know the guys are proud of certain moments, and they should be—they all worked really hard. Overall, I think we’re all the most proud of the fact that we didn’t give up. There were a ton of ups and downs making this record, so we’re really proud that it’s finally here, we all still love the record, and we’re closer friends than ever.
Will you be touring to support the EP?
We’re working on more dates for 2017 right now, so, yes!
Have people been reacting to the EP in ways that surprise or delight you?
Definitely. Our sound on this record is pretty different from our earlier releases, and that’s a risk we knew we were taking. We didn’t want to disappoint anyone, but we also knew we needed to put out something we felt good about as artists. We’ve been seeing/hearing fan reactions, and it’s been overwhelmingly positive—from both old and new fans. It’s awesome, and we feel very grateful.
What are your loftiest goals for June Divided?
World domination? Hah, no, I’m kidding. We would like to tour Europe though—we have some wonderful fans over there. We don’t have too many lofty goals. We just want to keep making art. I’m already planning the next record.
(Visit June Divided here: https://www.facebook.com/JuneDivided/.)