Interview with Margarita Monet, Lead Singer of L.A. Metallers ‘Edge of Paradise’

 

Skullbanger: First of all I want to say hello from Kuopio, Finland!  Second of all I want to say thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for skullbanger.net.  To start off I have to confess I’m new to Edge of Paradise so I’m going to ask questions as if I’m a little kid in a candy store for the first time and doesn’t know anything!  Haha!  So, what can you tell me and the readers out there in cyberland about yourself and Edge of Paradise?

Edge Of Paradise started as a creative outlet, now it’s main reason for existence is, world domination. World enslavement through sonic messages 🙂 and it serves as the last line of defense for Dave’s sanity. So it keeps Dave sane temporarily. On the music side it is very aggressive maybe Metallica meets funk (which you will hear in Perfect Shade Of Black) with the classical, symphonic realm thrown in for good measure. We don’t limit what elements we choose to create with- all colors of the rainbow are represented here, we execute them with taste and precision- how’s that for a sales pitch? 🙂

Skullbanger: I see you are getting ready for the release of your new EP ‘Perfect Shade of Black’ What can you tell us about it and how it is different from your debut album ‘Mask’?  When will the new music be available?

From the ground up the process was entirely different. Most of the music that was featured on “Mask” were collaborations from previous musical ventures that Dave had. A good portion were written with Robin McAuley, when I came into the picture Dave wanted me to re-write some of the vocals and re-record them. I went in and sang on these songs, but for me they were just a beginning. Now Dave and I are writing, Dave works the music and I work the vocals and keyboards. We have been letting the sound of the band develop and not force anything. We want to introduce people to who we are on an emotional level as conveyed through these sonic landscapes. And we have grown as writers a great deal as well. Our single “Break Away” is available now, and you can expect “Perfect Shade Of Black”EP to be out in June.

Skullbanger: How do you feel you have grown as a band from the debut album to now?  As a singer did you approach the new songs differently than you did on ‘Mask’?  How have you matured?

 Our goal with Mask was to put it out and create a base for the band to grow from. Now that it’s me and Dave writing and I have complete freedom, it allows me to draw from the very depths and create the melodies and lyrics that carry a lot of meaning to me (and I hope will for others as well). So recording the new songs was a totally different experience, I was driven by the feeling and had to figure out how to do what I felt with my voice, this allowed me to really expand as singer.  I also have a background in classical music, I played classical piano for as long as I can remember and that added to our sound, making it more symphonic. Also with the addition of our new bass player, Nick Ericson I’m sure our sound will keep evolving as he brings a lot to the table lyrically and melodically. Our goal is to create a sonic landscape that defines who we are, not just trying to fit in with whatever flavor of the moment exists in the popular medium. Of course by doing this we hope to win the popularity contest 🙂

Skullbanger: As inspiration where do you and the band get ideas for songs?  Movies, books, tv or real life experiences?  Aliens?  Who does most of the songwriting?  Any one person or is it a collection of everyone?

Mostly from Aliens 🙂 So far, Dave comes up with various guitar parts and musical structures, then I come up with words and vocal melodies. Real life provides much inspiration. It is a strange world out there! And sometimes my mind works in weird ways, but I just go with it, the best ideas come when they are least expected and we’re like, Ok, let’s go with this!

Skullbanger: Music can be a powerful and emotional experience for people.  It can also mean different things to different people.  For you, what would you hope listeners could take away from listening to Edge of Paradise’s music?  What would you like them to think or feel when they listen to your albums?

Yes, music is a very powerful thing and we want people to not only enjoy and rock out to our songs, but to somehow be moved by them. For example our new single “Break Away” is shaped around greed, a human trait that could eventually destroy us. It’s visualized as a spell or hypnosis that gains control of our being. Some of us give into the preconceived notion of perfection and loose ourselves to a desire that can awaken the darkest parts of humanity. It’s very hard to stay true to yourself in this world, where ideals and standards are forced upon us from a young age, preventing us from forming our own, unbiased judgement. The chorus is the battle within us and our fabricated ideals. The song ends as it takes you to the epicenter of the war, where we are no longer capable of separating right from wrong, because it doesn’t matter in the end, as it will come down to survival. And I find myself facing this every day, so I hope that by hearing this song, people will take something for themselves and gain control of their own desires.

Another songs, “In A Dream” from our upcoming EP “Perfect Shade Of Black” is more driven by emotion, so I would hope that people would join me for a roller coaster ride and feel great afterwards! Music can be like therapy and we hope our songs will relate to a lot of people out there, because at the end, we all try to figure out this puzzle we call life, face familiar demons and feel similar things.

Skullbanger:  It seems we see more females in the genre now than say 10-15 years ago.   As a singer who did you grow up admiring and what got you interested in metal music?  Have there been any strong role models outside of music, male or female, that has helped in your life to bring you to where you are today?

I grew up around classical music, so I was always drawn to melodies, so when later on I discovered Led Zeppelin and Queen I could not stop listening to them because in addition to a great melody, you had this crazy energy that I got addicted to. Then I heard Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, but i never even thought, i could be fronting a metal band in my life, this kind of happened by accident. Anyways, singers that i idealize are Ronnie James Dio, Robert Plant, Bruce Dickinson. They all had such distinctive voices, with so much attitude and emotion, every word and every song had its own life, to me that’s what makes a great singer!

Skullbanger: Let’s talk a bit about touring.  What’s on the schedule in terms of shows?  Where will you be going and are you hoping for any overseas gigs?

We have many shows in the works, have 2 dates in California (Malones 4/13 and Paladino’s 4/20) and 3 in Washington (The Swiss 4/25, Flights 4/26, and The Mix 4/27) this month. We have also confirmed Vegas for 5/10 it’s a benefit concert for Mark Lewis of Rock Over America at Vamp’d and shows In MD, FL,  ILL and NY for November. We are also working with some dates in Canada for the summer. We would love to go overseas, we have a lot of supporters out there, so we will definitely make it happen!

Skullbanger: I’m going to change things up a bit and ask some fun questions.  I’ll list 3 things and tell me the first thing that comes to mind or what you prefer.  Since I’m not familiar with things that you may or may not know or like…the list might really be off the wall…but here goes!

•           I notice you rock some pretty awesome metal outfits so…’Denim and Leather’ by Saxon or ‘Chains and Leather’ by Running Wild?  ‘Denim and Leather’ by Saxon

•           Since you are a female singer in a metal band I’m going to ask a Nightwish question.  Favorite singer…Tarja, Anette or Floor and why? I think Floor

•           Since I am originally from Tennessee I have to ask, if Edge of Paradise were to cover a Elvis song, which would it be? Jailhouse Rock!

Skullbanger: Ok this is something I just want to get off my chest.  I see you are from L.A., my girlfriend watches The Bold & the Beautiful(which is set in L.A.)…much to my dismay.  Please tell me people in L.A. are not that vapid, stupid and revolting.  Everyday I’m subjected to this horror and need new hope for life.  Please help.

You know, before I moved to LA I’ve wondered the same thing.  You will certainly see people like you see on these crazy TV shows, and sometimes I can’t believe my eyes and ears, some people live in their own fantasy land thinking that pretending can get you to where you want to be, and maybe in some cases it’s true.  When I moved from New York, it was a big change, because people are very upfront in NY and LA you gotta dig through all kind of fabrications. But then of course there are normal and honest people and lots of hard working people, so you will see the best of both worlds 🙂

Skullbanger: Well I guess that just about wraps things up, but before we go is there anything else you would like to tell everyone out there? Any parting words of wisdom or what we can expect from ‘Edge of Paradise’ in the near future?

Thank you very much for this, it’s been a pleasure! We hope that you guys will check out our upcoming EP and you can expect a new music video from us very soon.  We also hope to see you at our shows, that’s our favorite thing to do, bring our music to you personally 🙂

And keep in touch with us through our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/EdgeOfParadiseBand and website http://www.edgeofparadiseband.com/

I think, a word of wisdom would be, not to follow trends, but to create something that will stand the test of time, and to do that, I think you really have to just follow your own creativity and passion!

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