DIVIDED HEAVEN is the brainchild of Jeff Berman, a singer/songwriter whose musical path was initially set ablaze in the fertile music scene in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in the mid-90's. Berman started young, always the baby-member in punk and hardcore bands along the East Coast: '77-rockers THE STATIKS, Philadelphia street-punk/Oi band THE BOILS, DC hardcore juggernaut V.P.R., NJ thrashers RITES, Florida hardcore troupe PROTAGONIST. The first spark of DIVIDED HEAVEN came when Berman was living and studying in Berlin, Germany; though it wasn't until 2009, when he settled in Los Angeles, that Berman fully gravitated towards being a singer and evolving as a songwriter and front man. There, he formed DIVIDED HEAVEN: part full-band / part solo-singer/songwriter. Over the course of the next few years, Berman would hone his new voice and songs, as is captured on A Rival City, his resolute and well-received 2012 debut album for Paper + Plastick Records. He would also begin touring, alot. Leaving behind a full-time position as an Educator at a Holocaust Museum, Berman embarked on a string of tours across North America and Europe in support of A Rival City.
By the time the sophomore album, Youngblood, saw release in 2014 via indie-outfit Say-10 Records, DIVIDED HEAVEN had blossomed from a solo endeavor to a polished full band. Produced by Charlie Stavish (Ryan Adams, Jenny Lewis), Youngblood showed a change in songwriting approach (narrowing down to 12 from 36 recorded songs) and a growth in ability (with well-rounded production and sonic vibe by Berman and Stavish). Where as A Rival City was a quick shot, Youngblood exemplified patience, grace and vulnerability. Standout tracks 'Melissa Militia', 'Ego and Nothing More', 'kateiswar' and longtime fan-favorite, 'Gin', saw collegiate, satellite and terrestrial radio airplay across the U.S. became staples of DIVIDED HEAVEN's set. Youngblood's success provided DIVIDED HEAVEN the ability tour for the next two-and-a-half years across North America, Europe, Asia, stints on Vans Warped Tour, and supporting everyone from punk powerhouses Less Than Jake and Anti-Flag to singer-songwriters Sundowner and Jonah Montranga. Berman also began touring both solo and with his band, (consisting of LA-punk scene vets Nic Morreale and Ben Rauscher, as well as PROTAGONIST band mates Brian Forst and Kyle Macdouggal). An EP of B-sides entitled The Worst saw release in 2015, in conjunction with an extensive UK/European tour. In 2015, Berman, along with Say-10 Records head Adam Gecking, completed a charity campaign where they donated one dollar from every record sold of Youngblood's second pressing to East Coast hardcore-scene longtimer, Nate Gluck, who was battling cancer.
By the start of 2017, in absolute and outright antipathy to the US Presidential Election and the horrifying plight of Syrian civilians, Berman created another charitable campaign around the Inauguration Day-release of the single 'The White Rose', a blatant anti-fascist song, with proceeds going to support the Syrian humanitarian aid group, The White Helmets. Unlike anything DIVIDED HEAVEN had ever released, 'The White Rose' showcased a raw and vicious side to Berman's songwriting and was well-received by fans. In the Summer of 2017, Divided Heaven self-released the self-produced EP, Pacific Avenue, with catchy, fun, toe-tapping punk rock songs that contained the same fervor and intensity as 'The White Rose'. The EP's lead single, 'We' was picked up by multiple Spotify playlists, was heard on various TLC and ABC television shows and radio outlets and has become Divided Heaven's biggest song to date.
By this point, all the experience of years on the road and the balance of tour-life versus home-life, lead Berman to this next chapter of DIVIDED HEAVEN: Cold War. This third album, due out Summer 2018 and once again produced by Charlie Stavish, hits hard; musically, lyrically and emotionally. Contemplative, heartbreaking, raw and ambitious; Cold War captures Berman's life in the realm of wild coexistence, a reconciliation attempt with the better angels of his personal and our collective nature. Cold War shows Berman's songwriting at its finest and most poetic. The lead single '1983', the hauntingly desperate 'Love Letter To New York' and the powerful #MeToo anthem 'The Daughters & The Sons' are the strongest and infectiously catchy full-band songs in the DIVIDED HEAVEN canon. Juxtaposed, the subdued tracks, 'Maeby, We Should Say Goodbye' and 'Dance With Old Habits' are the darkest, most sorrowful and vulnerable of his career; speaking to mourning, separation, depression, anxiety and addiction. Cold War's sonic landscape is much different from previous releases; recorded to two-inch tape at Stavish's Clock Tower Recording studio in Joshua Tree, California and mixed to the board, dripping in a plethora of analog effects.
On the eve of the release of Cold War, DIVIDED HEAVEN stands as a band on the verge of a new beginning. The path that led Berman and his bandmates, Nic Morreale and Derik Envy, to now has not been clear of casualties, trials, tribulations or successes. The 13 tracks on Cold War are aimed to bring harmony to those past experiences and be the foundation for DIVIDED HEAVEN to carry on as genuine and singular rock 'n roll band; working-hard, paying dues and catching your ear.
Zoo Front debuted with a show at Waterbury's Brass City Records in July 1991, and released the Open Up Your Cage cassette in August 1992.
The original line up of Ed Ekendu, Ju Dee Luna, Bob Bessette, and Ariane Bessette remained intact until 1995. Ed and Ju Dee decided to continue as a duo using drum machines and sequenced synthesizers. 1995 and 1996 were spent programming everything for live performance.
The band played a very successful show in 1996 as a duo and their machines. Encouraged, they returned to the studio to write, program, and record a collection of new songs which would be featured on their 1999 release, Blunt Trauma.
2001 and 2002 were spent recording the unreleased album Penitence and Zeal. This collection reflected the mood of the post 9/11 era and the band decided that it was too dark and went back into the studio for most of 2003 to rework some of the songs and write and record others culminating in 2004's Betty Luna.
Listener reaction to this set was very good with many saying it was time to start playing shows again. The first one Willimantic in July 2004 and the band made regular appearances thru 2007. In 2008 Kael Dunnack joined on drums and the backing tracks (dubbed Hal) were retired. Kael brought a slightly harder edge to the music and the band brought their act to many diverse settings including: The Willimantic Coop, The Annex at Windham Arts, Two Boots in Bridgeport, New London's Bank Street Cafe and Oasis as well as a Saturday morning show in the window at Fiddleheads. There were numerous shows at Middletown's Javapalooza as well as regular appearances at Against All Odds' performance series at Wrench In the Works in Willimantic. Summers were capped off with shows on Main Street during Willimantic's Third Thursday street festival.
2008 also saw the release of Kevin 13 an EP featuring 3 Songs from the band's appearance on WHUS in November 2006 and a new single Presence Tense.
Kael left to pursue a teaching career in the summer of 2010 and Julie Riccio from The Sawtelles offered to fill in on drums for the remainder of the booked shows. Things were looking good until real life stepped in and the band was forced to go on hiatus in 2011 to deal various personal problems, emerging in early 2012 to help the Willi Coop celebrate its birthday. The rest of 2012 was spent with Ed and new guitarist Nancie Tief working on what would become the Warble & Trill album. 2013 found Zoo Front resuming a more normal schedules of shows. .
2014 was spent writing new material for the 2015 Red Stereo Dress album and the band spent 2015 doing a full slate of shows.
Zoo Front plans on being back on stage in early 2016 with a more new music coming soon.
Hope to see you out there! - ZF