Divided Heaven Revisits Satanic Panic With New Song, “The Filthy 15”
Jeff Berman was on a city bus in Los Angeles when the creativity struck. “I wanted to write a song about the other side of the Satanic Panic movement – the bands and kids who loved this music,” he says. Known on stage as Divided Heaven, Berman quickly began to evoke his own memories of “religious fanatics pinning the term ‘evil’ on bands and when they tried to blame music as the dominant negative influence on music. culture.”
With “The Filthy 15,” a shameless punk song ripped off from the start, Berman “pits holes in all their scary arguments and hyperbole,” he tells American Songwriter. Starring Jeff Antons on drums and Ben Rasucher on bass, the track, premiering today (May 20), was recorded at FunHub Studios and produced / mixed by Nick Ruroede of Lost in Society.
“The sight of Motley Crue and Def Leppard records thrown into the fire at a rally was supposed to scare me into wanting to listen to their music. It had the opposite effect, ”Berman recalls. “I fell in love with music, rock, at the height of the Satanic Panic movement in the 80s. This song is for all those who have led a good musical life, interesting, dangerous in the face of all these alarmists, the PMRC and the preservative poison.
A native of Lancaster, Pa., Berman has quite a resume, dating back to the early ’90s, when he first entered the scene. His job includes playing in bands such as The Statiks, The Boils, and a hardcore band called VPR, among others. With the talent of always going tough on the pavement, he was studying abroad in Germany when the seed of an idea for Divided Heaven entered his brain. It was in 2009, and it would take another three years before he gave up his debut album.
Throughout his various activities, he remains grounded in an honest approach to songwriting. “I love the journey of taking an idea and making it happen. I love how a simple riff, chord, lyrics or even just a word can turn into a beautiful and powerful piece of music that resonates with people all over the world, ”he says. “Writing songs is a natural extension of my imagination.
“I always sing to myself – my own songs, the songs of other artists, the songs that I like, the songs that I don’t like, and especially the songs that I compose on the spot. However, I do it for a specific purpose. I am always looking for the next beautiful melody. If a voyeur could watch me at home while I sing boring songs to my wife and silly songs to my dog, it might sound manic, ”he admits,“ but it helps keep my ear focused on potential ideas. . The ideas come in the form of vocal melodies that I can build a song around or even musical notation just begging to be played on the piano or guitar. “
Berman then fine-tunes the delicate balance between “musical melody and vocal melody until it feels right,” he adds. “Sometimes I think of a song title or a single word, and then I immediately write all the lyrics.”
30 years under his belt, Berman certainly knows a thing or two about song structure. “The Filthy 15”, officially released this Friday, May 21, testifies to his capacities as a master. Even so, he must have learned a thing or two over the years. “I spent years writing songs that were decent but ultimately fell victim to duration, lack of focus, and overindulgence. There is a place for long songs, and there is a place for distant and unconventional song ideas and structures, even in pop music. Learning a few simple structures and transitions was helpful and made me a better songwriter. Without this knowledge and experience, I would probably still be creating seven minute punk songs in GarageBand. “
Listen to “The Filthy 15” below.
The Filthy 15 by DIVIDED HEAVEN