Edge Of Paradise
With the release of Edge of Paradise’s new album “Universe”, Lyrical Spell Magazine writer Andrea caught up with Margarita Monet to discuss the themes and ideas that led to the creation of this record, the band’s upcoming tour with Sonata Arctica, stage clothes and other interesting details.
LSM: How are you doing?
Margarita: Hello, I’m doing good, thank you so much for having me!
LSM: Let’s start with a little presentation. Who is Edge of Paradise and how was the band formed?
Margarita: We are a hard rock band with an industrial and a symphonic edge. Dave Bates (guitarist) and I formed the band back in 2011. We met when we were hired to work on a project by a local producer. When we talked, we both wanted to create something unique, that we can both be solely dedicated to, and take it all the way, so Edge Of Paradise was born! It took us some time to find our sound, but the journey along the way really shaped the band into what it is today!
LSM: Funny how the universe works sometimes. How would you describe the last couple of years for the band?
Margarita: Roller coaster of excitement, stress, inspiration, discouragement, hope, frustration, determination and epicness ;) We had some big changes in the last few years. We started working with a new produced Mike Plotnikoff, we had some lineup changes, we also got to take the band to Japan, which was an unforgettable, and amazing experience. And of course, making the third album that we put everything into!
LSM: If you were to describe your music to someone who doesn’t know the band, what keywords would you use?
Margarita: Massive, cosmic, dynamic, otherworldly, exciting and enticing!
LSM: Now that the release of the new album “Universe” is approaching, how are you feeling? Are you relieved, excited, exhausted ...?
Margarita: All of those! We are definitely very excited, we are incredibly proud of this record, everything has been leading up to this point for us, and things really lined up on the touring end as well! It’s like all the puzzle pieces came together! We are definitely exhausted haha, especially from all the business end of things, but we are very grateful to everyone on our team, to Frontiers Records, to our management our amazing fans, and can’t wait to start our tour with Sonata Arctica, followed by Hammerfall and Beast In Black!
LSM: Yes, that tour through North America was just announced and sounds like fun. Getting back to the album, the singles released so far sound very fresh and new, with a certain industrial vibe to them. What can you tell me about the album in terms of musical styles / influences?
Margarita: Thank you so much! Our sound definitely evolved into having that industrial edge. Also, you will hear some electro rock/dance groove vibe to it. We want to make music for the masses, and show that music can have substance, have meaningful lyrics, interesting melodies, musicianship, and be appealing to the broad younger generation at the same time! And I think we really achieved it with this album! I can’t say that we had influences on this record, we just wanted to do our own thing, but we love the sound of Rammstein, Volbeat, In Flames, Amaranthe, and that’s why on the production side of things, we wanted to match these massive records.
LSM: I agree, the album does have interesting melodies, great grooves, and substance. We will discuss this aspect a bit later. Production-wise, you have worked with Jacob Hansen (Amaranthe, Volbeat, Cyhra, Anubis Gate), was there a certain sound you wanted to have on this album?
Margarita: Our songs have a lot of layers and we wanted to get a polished clear sound, but still have a raw edge to it, and with our production team, they helped us achieve our vision perfectly! Working with our producer Mike Plotnikoff, he was very helpful with the recording process. Dave and I do a lot at our home studio, but drums and vocals we recorded at Mike’s studio, and he does a phenomenal job getting the sound and always knows the right thing for the song! And also, sometimes when you’re so close to the music, you really need an outside ear to tell you what parts don’t need to be in the song :) And Jacob Hansen brought the songs to life, he really gets our music and whatever he did to the mixes, just elevated the songs to a new dimension :)
LSM: What I found interesting on this album are the vocals, which are soft, and almost whispery at times (like on “Universe”), but also quite melodic and powerful at other times (like on “Electrify”). How did you approach the vocal melodies on this album?
Margarita: I grew up doing theater, it’s all about expressing the emotions through words. For me, since these are my songs and I put my heart and soul into every word, it’s an extension of myself. And I’ve always been very sensitive to music, I can burst into tears if I hear a melody that sounds sad to me, or I can get a burst of energy just by hearing something. When I make a song, I write the melodies first and the words are inspired by the music, so the way I sing a certain part, is just what matches the music and how it makes me feel!
LSM: What are some of the main lyrical themes of “Universe”?
Margarita: ‘Universe’ ultimately is a cosmic love song haha! I think we all want to find love that transcends this reality and makes you forget that time exists. Maybe this is all an illusion, I love to push the boundaries of our reality, and music can make you feel limitless!
LSM: Earlier we spoke about having substance and meaningful lyrics on the album, and the storylines of both “Alone” and “Stars” seem personal but also quite universal. What inspired these songs?
Margarita: That’s very true! Both songs are about finding power within yourself, finding your passions, following your dreams and not waiting for anyone else to do that for you. I had lots of ups and downs in my life, and I felt myself just existing at some point, actually this band is what shocked me back to life, in a way. And we have to fight for our own happiness. I’m a big believer that everyone has a passion for something inside of them, and if we let ourselves follow that, it will radiate and bring light not only to your life, but everyone around you. It’s when we suppress desire to do something we love, that’s when we can dig ourselves a dark hole.
LSM: So far you have released three singles, “Universe”, “Alone”, and “Face of Fear”. Are you pleased with the audience’s response to them?
Margarita: We also just release our music video for FIRE! First track, it really ignites the whole album! We are so excited by the response, definitely the best we’ve gotten since starting the band, so we are just very grateful to all our supporters and really proud of this album.
LSM: You will be touring with Sonata Arctica later this year, so I am curious to know, what was the first song you heard from Sonata Arctica, and what did you think of them at that point in time?
Margarita: Yes, we are really excited that our first European tour will be supporting Sonata Arctica! First song we’ve heard from them was probably ‘I Have A Right’, they have a cool video for it too. We listened a lot to their earlier music, and they sound like Iron Maiden a bit. Their music evolved now, just like with any band who’s been putting out record after record, we have a lot of respect and admiration for the m and can’t wait to share the stage!
LSM: How important do you think stage clothes are for a performer? And how do you choose your stage clothes?
Margarita: To me, I think it's very important! Maybe it’s my theater background coming through, but I’ve always put a lot of emphasis on the visual aspect of the band as well. Our online presence, artwork, photos, videos, stage show, I want it all to reflect and enhance the music, so it’s one whole experience for the audience! If I go to a concert, I want to see someone larger than life, and an outfit can help that! Plus it’s super fun :)
LSM: Do you create them yourself or do you commission them?
Margarita: I made and customized a lot of my clothes early on, and now we found some really amazing, one of a kind designers that we wear on stage and we are so grateful for their support! Shrine Of Hollywood, who makes really cool gothic style clothes, but with a futuristic twist. Zolnar who makes very futuristic clothing, if you are going on a space mission, that’s what you wear! And Al Bane for Leather, anything leather, he makes phenomenally, he creates Dave’s guitar straps and made a jacket I wore in the music video for ‘Face of Fear’! I love how creative people can be, and these designers are true artists!
LSM: Speaking of touring, what music do you listen to when on the road?
Margarita: One time we were going to TX, the only CD we had was Volbeat and we ended up listening it to it like a hundred times, TX is big! That’s actually how we found out about Jacob Hansen! The sound of the Volbeat record just blew our minds, and we wanted to know who did that :)
LSM: Margarita, you are a classical trained pianist. What are some go-to pieces to help develop skills and what do you admire most in specific composers that shaped your musical vision?
Margarita: Being a pianist is like being an athlete but with your hands :) So it’s important to play a lot of etudes, those are pieces to develop your technical skills, and the best ones are by a composer Czerny. My favorites are Beethoven, Rachmaninov, Bach and Chopin. They are the true founders of metal music haha! I love how dynamic, emotional, epic their music is, especially when you hear an orchestra perform some of their works, it’s just incredibly moving! Probably my favorite piece I’ve ever played was Centro #2 by Rachmaninov, that piece, just transports me somewhere else every time I hear it or play, it’s truly otherworldly!
LSM: Do you have any other projects outside Edge of Paradise?
Margarita: No, building one world is enough for me :)
LSM: What would you have been if you weren’t involved in music?
Margarita: Space explorer :)
LSM: And now for the final question of this interview, do you have any kind of life advice for our readers & us?
Margarita: Find your passion, follow your dreams, work hard, be kind and supportive to the people around you! We only have one life on this planet, might as well make it bright, for yourself and the people around you! Thank you so much to everyone for being in our world, and we can’t wait to see you on the road!
A big ‘thank you’ from my part to Margarita for taking time out of her schedule to do this interview with LSM. Be sure to check out Edge of Paradise while on tour with Sonata Arctica through Europa later this year and with HammerFall and Beast in Black though North America next year, and follow the band online: