Ungefähr 100 km westlich von Philadelphia und in unmittelbarer Nähe von den Städten Intercourse (*pupertäres Lachen) und Elizabethtown (da gab es doch mal einen Film mit Kirsten Dunst und Orlando Bloom, oder?) liegt Lancaster, Philadelphia. Das kleine Städtchen ist bekannt für die erste batteriebetriebene Armbanduhr und Peeps – Marshmallows in Hühnerform. Wer Lancaster jetzt als langweilig bezeichnen möchte, sollte seine Zunge vielleicht doch noch hüten. Immerhin handelt es sich hier um den Geburtsort von Jeff Berman, besser bekannt unter seinem Künstlernamen Divided Heaven. Bevor er in ein paar Monaten wieder auf Tour kommt, hat uns der großartige Singer/Songwriter erzählt, was es in Lancaster sonst noch so zu entdecken gibt.
When did you live in Lancaster?
I lived in Lancaster, Pennsylvania for 18 years, from when I was born (1982) until 2000 when I graduated high school and moved to Washington, DC for university.
What should everyone know about Lancaster?
Lancaster is a wonderfully small American-colonial city located in Pennsylvania. It is a city of great music, art, food, culture and people.
Is there a thing that totally annoys you about the city?
Lancaster is a rather progressive city but the surrounding areas are very conservative, negative and restricting.
What is the greatest thing about living there?
The music scene. Lancaster has–and has had for years–a vibrant music scene: punk, hardcore, indie, psych, metal, rock, singer-songwriter.
How does the city reflect itself in your music? Does it influence you in any way?
Much of Lancaster is at my very core. Growing up there instilled me a sense of determination to always do better and go farther. There are so many lyrical examples in my songs that are still fighting against the conservative mindsets that surrounded me. The unique dynamic of being surround by negativity yet also the encouragement to rebel and find myself truly shaped me into the man, and ultimately the artist, I am today.
What’s your favourite place in the city?
Lancaster has one of the oldest farmer’s markets in the US and I enjoy going there early in the morning, grabbing some coffee and walking around downtown.
I think the slogan could be, ‘Lancaster: The towns around us suck, but we’re the best little city in the USA!’
I wrote a song called ‘Musser Park’ that is on my latest album, Youngblood. I was visiting my parents in Lancaster on tour and while I was walking around I got so lost in my own thoughts that I then got lost in the city. I was mentally wrestling with a serious personal dilemma, so deep in thought, that I ended up in a part of city that was unfamilar. The was life imitating art. ‘Musser Park’ is, literally, me finding my way back home and, figuratively, me concluding that I needed to make difficult changes in my life.