“Let me hear you make some noise for 2morrows June!” the announcer screams into the microphone, exaggerating the “u” in June. Marcos Molinar and the band returned to the Spirit and Soul stage on a recent Saturday afternoon. They’re one of the only pop bands in the Bay, and it’s their first performance at the festival after several years.
Marcos stands at the front center of the stage; he’s the band’s lead singer. To his left is the lead guitarist, his brother; to his right is the band’s bassist. Together with a drummer and keyboardist, the band opens its show with the energetic riffs of Maroon 5’s “Sugar.”
“Richmond, how you guys doin’ today?” Marcos says after the crowd’s cheers die down. “We are 2morrows June, we’re gonna play a few songs for you today. Hope you guys like it!”
2morrows June is local to Richmond; they say they’re the only pop band local to the Bay Area. The only other one hails an hour or so away in Sacramento. Marcos describes their sound as “old-school Maroon 5, Songs About Jane style.” He’s a tenor with a relatively smooth falsetto range. When he gets a little too high, his voice cracks just a touch. It compliments nicely with the funk vibes of his lead guitarist and his bassist.
“We’re trying to bring back the real instruments and pop music,” Marcos says. “You know, we kinda miss those kinds of days where it wasn’t so much trap/pop.”
Together, 2morrows June has one very clear facet—presence. It’s clear they take themselves seriously as a band with a goal, but not so seriously that they’re not having fun. Whether it’s a throwback to the smooth rocking rhythm of “My Girl,” or the explosion of intensity as they perform a bilingual version of The Beatles’ “Twist and Shout,” they’re always in the moment.
The group didn’t start out as a quintet, however; they were initially a trio. Marcos and his brother Fernando decided one day with their childhood friend, Vincente Padilla, to try their hands at a band. In high school, they met their drummer and keyboardist, David Burton and Juandeigo Britto, or JD for short.
I caught the group shortly after they performed. After they’d packed away all their gear, Marcos, Vincente, JD, and I attempted to find a quiet place for an interview—the closest we could find without the reverberating energy of the festival blaring in my recorder was an echo-y hallway being used by performers for costume changes and the like.
As we stood in the hallway, Marcos and Vincente reflected on the past and growing up in Richmond. The idea of becoming a band came from a “let’s just do it” moment. The two banter on playfully about how they’d walk and ride their bikes to each other’s houses after school for a jam session. Their parents were lifelong friends and they grew up six blocks from each other.
They started in 2010 when they were part of the Richmond Police Action League after-school program. They called themselves The Originals and played at various community events. Barbecues, festivals, parties—anything, even a sinkhole. Marcos, his brother, and Vincente played at over 100 different shows. As they grew together, they also watched Richmond’s community grow, noting that events went from small get-togethers to shutting down streets.
As they entered high school, they realized their sound needed a little something more. They met JD and David, who now complete the band. JD is one of the members who isn’t from Richmond originally. He was born outside of the U.S. and moved to Richmond when he was three. His father was a musician, too. Jokingly, Vincente and Marcos take a moment to poke fun at their friend and his first performance.
“It was our first big show that we had in San Francisco where we were live. He’d bought tickets to come to see us.” Marcos says. “We were like, ‘Hey actually, we need you to play with us.’”
“Yeah, can’t get your money back either,” Vincente chimes in. “He’s got to come play.”
“He bought tickets to come see himself!” Marcos says.
But when it comes to sound, they don’t see so much influence to their music as they do the natural fusion of genres and experimentation. The Bay Area’s diversity is infused into its musical culture. They’ve written plenty of songs about failed love stories and the like, but have also had the chance to work with rap, hip-hop, R&B, soul and other artists in the area.
“In the Bay Area we’re the only pop band our age,” Marcos says. “And so we play with metal bands, we play with rap artists, hip-hop artists, soul; bands that are today. We constantly have to prove ourselves in a different way. But that hooks us up with so many different styles of writing. It almost doesn’t feel like influencing. It almost feels normal you know because when we write with these people, this is just how they write.
“I find a lot especially like when I write with rap artists and, I’ve done a couple of features. It still flows really well even though I write a little more of a pop style. No one’s so out of the norm here and I feel like if we’re going to say, ‘how does that influence us?’ it’s just like that.”
“We’re just so intertwined that we all kind of do the same thing. So it doesn’t feel different, it doesn’t feel like people are throwing their influences. It just feels normal.”
While the band has seen success in staying together, 2morrows June isn’t paying the bills just yet. By day, each of the members works a pretty typical early-20’s kind of job. Marcos works at the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco. JD works two jobs, one in an ice cream shop, the other in catering; Vincente works in the produce department of a grocery store.
But even though they’re still working day jobs to keep their dream alive, they remain full of hope for 2morrows June’s future.
“We want our music to be heard by everyone,” Marcos says. “We want to tour, we want to do all this stuff that all the bands do. We’re not so into being signed. It’s not really where we’re headed. If the right deal comes around, it’s cool, but our main goal is just to get our music out there, build that following to win people over.”
Still, Marcos concedes, “At the end of the day we want to make a living off this. We want the music to feed us and, you know, to put a roof over our heads.”