I am always interested when a band I have never heard of contacts me. EDGE OF PARADISE is a band from Hollywood, who on their Facebook site list their influences as diverse as Black Sabbath, Muse, U2, Guns & Roses, Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden and Evanescence. Those bands are right up my alleyway, so I just had to chat with Margarita, who is the front lady of Edge of Paradise.
Edge of Paradise is a new band on the scene. Can you tell us how you guys and gal all met?
Dave Bates, the guitarist previously had a band, Bleed fronted by Robin MCauley (MSG, Survivor), and I was working with producer Paul Drago on a single, i met Dave when i asked him to play on my song, Mystified, and from then on we just joined forces and put a band together, that's how Edge Of Paradise emerged.
And can you tell us where you got the name Edge of Paradise from?
The name, Edge OF Paradise is about living on the edge, the unstable existence that can tip us off the edge and out of existence at any moment. There are very few fortunate people in this life that truly reach paradise. And our title track of the Album Mask kind of accents that because it's about a friend that took an easy way out, but he would wear a happy, joyous mask and found release at the end of a rope.
Can you explain the type of music the listeners to your new record 'MASK' can expect?
When we were creating our album Mask, in it's collective stages, the main goal was to create something different and a bit unique, but at the same time user friendly. All of us really just want to create album that is artistically varied, a work of art that will be around for a long time, have an artistic value and live through generations of listeners.
And how would you describe your music?
Edge OF Paradise music is a mixture of a lot of styles and elements that we thought cool throughout the years, and putting a modern edge that makes our music uniques. There is a lot of care and time that goes into the songs, starting with an idea and then molding it, adding words and molding, adding rhythm section and molding again, in some of the songs jazz elements are incorporated, for example, Thrown It All Away is built around lidian dominant scale, a jazz scale that's not typically used in metal, and it's interesting because some critics say that the songs is a metal classic, and yet it's not built on a classic metal style, and that's what makes our music so unique, is because we are metal, but it's all the different styles of music that are present made into a tasteful and molded sound.
Who is involved in the song writing process within the band?
Dave Bates and Robin MCauley wrote the majority of the songs, Dave Bates, Ryan Jones and me, wrote some of the other songs that are on the album. And some of the songs that are not finished yet are written by Me and Dave.
Considering that the band is very young, some of the original songs have longer history. Can you fill us in?
Some of the songs that had a longer life originated in Dave's band Bleed. Dave and Robin MCauley worked on the songs before i came along and then we rewrote and rerecorded to better fit the sharp and modern sound of the band. And having Gregg Bissonette and Tony Franklin as a rhythm section was a big help in shaping some of the earlier songs.
Is this record going to be self released or do you have label support?
We have label interest but haven't decided who to go with yet, we want to make sure whoever we decide to go with will be the best possible fit for our music.
You are from Hollywood. Many people associate Hollywood with the movie industry obviously. What is the metal scene actually like in that part of America?
We are from Hollywood, and the metal scene is not as good as someone would assume, for music in general, LA is a tough scene, and the value for music is slowly degrading, since it's all about the money and not the value of art, i heard it's falling into the ocean anyway:) But in reality, from the beginning we wanted our music to be global and are planing to get on the road to spread our music worldwide.
Considering that the metal scene can still be seen by some people as a male dominated genre, is there ever a problem with being taken seriously having a lady fronting the band?
We are a metal band and we are a female fronted band and it's the part of our sound, and being a part of the writing process it works well. It hasn't been a problem being taken seriously, people are actually open to it nowadays… i can hold my own:)
I observe from your Facebook page that Evanescence amongst many others (inc Sabbath and Maiden) is listed as an influence. I speak loosely here as I have not heard your new album yet, but do you think that too many female fronted bands get compared to Evanescence, quite simply because they are fronted by a lass?
Actually, we sound closer to Black Sabbath or Metallica than we do Evanescence. But keyboards and female vocals are a similarity to Evanescence. And we like their sound.
When relaxing, what do you do to chill out, and what music do you like to listen to in your spare time?
Now that you asked this question, trying to think of it, we don't really chill out, we kind of always work on the music, and live it, although, we all go to the gym frequently. Me and Dave go out and check out other bands, seeing who's out there in LA, i think Steven and Kevin like to go out picking up girls:) Other music i listen to is usually the music of my favorite bands, including, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Queen, Guns&Roses;, Megadeath, Iron Maiden. I also like to listen to Korn and System of A Down sometimes as well. I also listen to classical music, i grew up listening to it so it's always been a part of me.
And what are your fave artists?
Ronnie James Dio, Robert Plant and Freddie Mercury are my favorite artists, I learn a lot from listening to them and i love their music. Dave is a fan of Steve Vai and Randy Rhodes, Eddie Van Halen, Niccolo Paganini.
And if you was given a magic wand and could wave it to produce the ideal band or artist to tour with, who would it be?
I think it would be ideal to tour with Megadeth, Black Label Society, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Nightwish, Symphony X. We would love to tour with any of these bands!
What are your band's plans for the future regards touring, and are there any plans to bring your music to Europe?
Our future plans include putting the album out and promoting it to the world, so coming to Europe is one of our main priorities! We are very excited about the momentum we've been achieving and we look forward to taking the band global!
How important is it do you feel, to perform your music live?
Performing the music live is of paramount importance, that's what we live and love to do. Especially for this type of music, there is an incredible power in the live show.
Well, it would be nice to perhaps catch you in the UK one day. Anyway many thanks for the interview. I can only recommend that our readers check you out. Before I sign off however, is there anything you would like to say to anybody via this website.
We look forward to seeing everybody at our next show, and can't wait to come to the UK! You can always visit us at our website to see what we're up to:)
Edge Of Paradise
Interview with Iron City Rocks
Eric at Radio Free Threedonia
Edge Of Paradise on Shockwaves/HardRadio podcast! Interview with Bob Nalbandian! This episode interviews legendary German metal vocalist Udo Dirkschneider (U.D.O., Accept), DC4 Guitarist/Vocalist Jeff Duncan and brother/drummer Shawn Duncan, and Margarita Monet and Dave Bates from the band Edge of Paradise!
Interview taken from Dave Bates
GEOROCK: First of all I would like to know what was the key element that led to this sound, since all the members not only have a rich
musical background, but also several non similar influences varying from jazz to classic rock and death metal.
DAVE: The key element that led to the sound more than any other was the guitar. All of the songs, with the exception of “mystified” started as a guitar jam or idea I had on the guitar. It’s amazing to me what the guitar can do considering its just a hunk of wood with some steel strings on it. Of course you have to hit the thing pretty hard to get it to cooperate, but once you get it to behave right it can be pretty inspiring.
GEOROCK: You describe the band’s name as a way of living and specifically about living on the edge. Do you adopt this way of life
in your lives, and why did you choose this name?
DAVE: well there are a lot of ways one can live on the edge, good and bad. The way that we think of the meaning behind the name is more to do with being sold on the “American dream” or any kind of iconic “paradise”. We really live on the edge of extinction. All of us live on the edge of paradise every day, but the reality is, every new day brings more war or a new poison. We all dream of making it to paradise, mostly I think so we can ignore our part in our own destruction.
GEOROCK: You mention that your influences are Metallica, Symphony X, U2, Evanesence, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin etc. Have you ever considered that this coming-together of so many influences might confuse the listener? It’s tough to categorize your music, don’t you think?
DAVE: Well, I believe that there are no such things as too many influences. But as an artist we definitely do not want to confuse the listener.
I think what really holds this together is that the musicians and writers involved with “Mask” have all struggled to create an artistic vision
that represents “Edge of Paradise” The idea being to mold many elements into a cohesive balance in the hopes of creating a new sound that is valid and unique enough to be worthy of a long term life of its own. Also, having Gregg Bissonette and Tony Franklin as a rhythm section on a
good part of the music, lays a great foundation.
GEOROCK: I don’t like to categorize music myself, but it comes naturally after several years of being a listener. If I haven’t listened to a single note of the band’s sound, how would you describe your music?
DAVE: Melodic chaos. We are metal, the music is aggressive, guitar driven, with powerful melodic vocals. We like odd time signatures but it is not obvious because we focused on what’s important; The Groove and making good hooks. Margarita have many talents, from what I’ve read in her biography, she’s a pianist, a singer and an actress. She’s tried too many things in her life despite the young of her age. Well, she seems to have found a new home in Edge Of Paradise. Is this due to her total freedom regarding the musical direction of the band? She has done many things, but all of her skills come together nicely and make her into an exceptional performer. Margarita is a great pianist and more importantly, a valuable addition as a song writer.
GEOROCK: Dave was in search of a singer to fill Robin McAuley’s place. A huge gap to fill in my opinion. Why did he chose Margarita?
What did he see in her that made him take this decision?
DAVE: Robin is a great guy and an awesome singer. We all wish him continued success in whatever he finds himself doing. I first met Margarita when I was hired by a music producer in L.A. to play guitar on a song. Obviously, the first thing I noticed was how beautiful she was. The second thing I noticed was her dedication. After we completed the project, we just continued writing and working. It was very natural. We both live 24-7 for this band.
GEOROCK: Despite that the band formed in the beginning of this year, you have already an album waiting to be released. This is way too fast.
How did this happen?
DAVE: I’d like to say it was magic, but Robin and I were writing material For a while, and when he got the Survivor gig I began writing more music with Ryan Jones a great singer/ song writer from the bay area. This has left me with a pretty good collection of musical choices. Margarita and I are also writing some music for “Edge of Paradise” that is very cool.
GEOROCK: Dave is a very talented guitarist. If I haven’t listened to the band, I would have expected a mix of neoclassical metal and classic rock. Well, there are some elements of this sound in your music, but the songs are dominated by heavy, sharp riffage. Why so?
DAVE: Thank you. This direction just feels right. I really didn’t start with any pre conceived idea for the music, I just sat down with the guitar and the music came to me. I love all of the guitar gods of the past and really enjoy playing their music. But as a songwriter struggling to be
an artist, I have to let my soul breathe through the music. The guitar is my tool and this pursuit has led me here, resulting in the CD “Mask”
GEOROCK: It seems that this kind of music is most popular in the USA. Was commerciality in your minds when writing music?
DAVE: Not at all, but I don’t want to end up homeless either. It’s always a struggle for the artist. I am very proud of what we have done here
with “Mask” I hope others will enjoy the music as much as I enjoyed making it.
GEOROCK: What are your plans after the release of “Mask”?
DAVE: to play live as much as physically possible.
GEOROCK: You have done many live performances so far. What was the reaction of the crowd with you on stage. Did you hear any comments about the band?
DAVE: the response has been great so far. The current line-up is really strong, and we all enjoy playing the music live. We are looking forward to getting out there in support of the CD!
GEOROCK: I wish everything goes as planned for you. Share any last thoughts, wishes or whatever you like with us.
DAVE: Thank you. We wish you the best as well. Keep it rockin’!
For BeRock Radio MiniZine (2011)
Hello there Margarita, welcome to the interviews with Rocket Queen. How are you doing today? And now here are your questions:
Margarita: Hello Susi! I'm very excited to tell you about the band and our upcoming CD!
1. Please introduce your band Edge of Paradise to my readers first!
Margarita: Edge OF Paradise is a females fronted hard rock/metal band started when me, Margarita and guitarist/songwriter Dave Bates joined forces. Later on joined by very talented musicians, Kevin Katich on drums/back vocals and Steven Cook on bass and back vocals.
2.Your band is a real young and fresh band. But you have got a huge history so far even if you are still that young. Would you like to tell me something on about how you make it to the music business? When did you start making music – was it always a dream to become a musician?
Magarita: The band is very young, but we've been moving so fast because each member of the band had a lot to bring. Dave, the guitar player is a veteran musician, he has been in many bands and wrote many songs. Some of the songs originated in Dave's previous band, Bleed, fronted by Robin McCauley (MSG, Survivor). And it takes a lot of rewriting and rerecording to get the songs to sound really extraordinary and powerful, and that's the most important thing to make it in the music business, to make sure the music is amazing! Then to make sure that the band sounds just as amazing live. I started making music as a solo artist, I was into music since i was very little, i played piano and sang, growing up, i actually focused on becoming a concert pianist and i've played many concerts and competitions, so music has been a big part of my life. But it's not until a few years ago when i started to write songs and create my own music and now my entire life is about music and getting this band to the top!
3. What do you love most to perform in theatres and acting or singing?
Magarita: I love theater because of that energy you get from the audience, and the fact that you get to be someone you're not, i think it's fascinating when you get a chance to live through some other character and experience real emotions. I actually majored in Acting when i attended new York University, and the training helped me with my singing, because i can really connect to the words and the music in order to portray the emotion and the life of the song to the listeners.
4. What does Edge of Pardise stand for and how would you describe your style of music... can it be compared to some other bands?
Magarita: Edge Of Paradise stands for living on the edge, the life that's being portrayed as paradise is really an unstable existence that can tip you off the edge and out of existence. The music the a melodic fusion of heavy guitars, melodic vocals, and grooving rhythms, incorporating styles of meta, blues, rock and progressive metal.
5.Your band started in january 2011. Even if you started this year I read that you are about to release an album soon. Its name should be „MASK“ - So how did you manage to record your album that fast?
Magarita: As soon as i met Dave, we started working on the songs, songs were co-written by Dave Bates, Robin McCauley, Ryan Jones and me, Margarita. We were fortunate to have veteran musicians that played on the songs such as Gregg Bissonette that has done over 300 successful CD's and Tony Franklin from White Snake, Jimmy Page and more. We've been working nonstop to get the album ready. And we are all very excited to release it and take it all the way!
6. So as i read that the original songs some of them are older than the bands launching... So did you do cover songs before?
Magarita: Dave, the guitar player had a band called Bleed fronted by Robin McCauley, i moved to LA and was working as an actress and later on started to work on a rock track, Mystified with a producer Paul Drago, i met Dave and asked him to play on my track, and six months later we are releasing our CD, Mask!
7. What is Edge of Paradise doing at the moment? Putting your album on the market or playing some shows what is the most important thing you focus on at now?
Magarita: We are rehearsing and getting ready to tour nationally and internationally to promote the album. We are working with a PR company and are looking for the right label to back the album!
8. Margerita, which music are you listening to in your free time?
Magarita: I listen to the music of my favorite singers of all time, which are Ronnie James Dio, Robert Plant, Steven Tyler and Freddie Mercury. They are so unique and powerful, so i try to enjoy their music and learn from them at the same time.
9. Please leave a message for all my readers and your fans of course too.
Margarita: Thank you Susi, and Rocket Queen Promotion! Thank you so much for reading about Edge Of Paradise, we are very excited to share our music with you and we hope to see you at our next show! And you can always come visit us at www.edgeofparadiseband.com
© 05 2011 by Rocket Queen *Promotion*