Interview: Edge of Paradise Plays Anaheim House of Blues NAMM week

Edge of Paradise was created in 2011 by singer Margarita Monet and guitarist Dave Bates. After cranking out four releases by 2016, 2017 provided major moments like the release of the Alive EP, adding guitarist David Ruiz and making their European debut at the Netherlands Femme Festival. The roller coaster continues to climb high waiting for the fast rush of 2018.

Edge of Paradise will start the year playing NAMM week, opening for Metal Allegiance at their return to the House of Blues in Anaheim on January 25, alongside theatrical vampires Wednesday 13, Superfix, and the Musician Institute Band.

A unique set is planned along with a sneak peak of new song “Face of Fear.” They’ll also be representing 3D Rock Stars and the Nashville Knights, LFL (Ladies Football League) team along with Kemper, Telefunken and TTM Guitars. Monet will have a life-sized 3D cutout of herself from 3D Rock Stars, “I’m pretty excited about that, it’s super cool. They do different sizes but also do life-size.Monet explains the experience, “It’s kinda like Disneyland for musicians. The cool thing is people from all over the world come. It’s very exciting to see the new stuff they’re coming out with. For us it’s cool because of the relationships from people all over the world. It’s a really cool environment. Everyone is related to music in one way or another. It’s a lot of fun making new relationships. We also get to play, so it’s a fun experience for everyone.”

After living in several countries, she moved to New York and has been in L.A. for six years. Her vocal style is natural, “I grew up playing classical piano. I was never really a singer. I sang in musical theater here and there.” She’s evolved though classes, technique, experiences and growing up listening to Robert Plant, Queen and Dio.

She also teaches piano and voice as her ‘day job’ allowing her time needed for the band, “Having students is great for me, I can teach and go on tour.”

There’s a story behind the band name, “A lot of the cool names were taken but we were thinking since we live in L.A. let’s incorporate that somehow. People imagine it’s paradise. If you’re here, it’s always warm, and very pretty. It’s kind of a facade. People here are always living on the edge. If you fall off the edge of paradise, it’s very hard to get back on your feet.”

She says the L.A. scene is diverse and constantly moving and changing, “There’s so many things going on and a lot of bands but I think the crowds are reluctant to go to shows because everyone has something going on. It’s hard to get gigs out here. We’ve been doing this for six years. Before everything was pay to play. It’s hard for newer bands to break through. You really have to pay your dues. That’s the hard thing about it. L.A. is one of the centers for music.”

There’s always something happening, “We have amazing people we’ve become friends with that love to see us. We’re very lucky [to have] a dedicated fanbase. It didn’t happen overnight and we really worked hard on it. I think for any band you really have to put time in. If you really love what you do, work hard on it. You’re gonna have success one way or another.”

Last year, they performed at the Femme Festival in Eindhoven, a three-day event celebrating women musicians. It wasn’t all female fronted though each band had to have at least one woman performing.  Edge of Paradise were the sole U.S. representatives, “It was a really cool experience. Our first show in Europe. The crowd was amazing and everyone welcomes you. Can’t wait to go back.” They played Saturday September 23 on the de Effenaar stage with nine bands including Amberian Dawn, Theatres des Vampires, headlined by Delain.  “Yeah, we played with Delain, they’re a great bunch of people, it was cool to meet them.”

Monet explains the opportunity, “We have this friend Jim Wilkinson. An amazing photographer out of Texas and goes to the festival every year. He told the promotor about us. He liked what we were doing and brought us over.  We’re very thankful for that.”

Monet has met some music veterans along the way, “I’ve seen Joe Lynn Turner. He’s a great singer. We’ve seen many bands that have been doing this for a lot longer than we have and that inspires us. We enjoy seeing people that have done it for 30 years. It’s s a really cool thing especially if you get to talk to them. They’re very down to earth and encouraging. The most inspiring experience for me has been recording with Michael Wagner. He’s out of Nashville and worked with Metallica and Ozzy. His life is about making music and great songs.”

So far, all their videos have been DIY, “The next one will be interesting, we’re planning on going to Iceland in the spring, it should be cool.”

Monet explains the headdress in the “Shade of Crazy” video, “I’m a theatrical person. I like making stuff and making customs. It’s a part of me that I get to include in the things we create. When we decided to film a music video for the song, I was thinking, what can I make to symbolize another personality. I pulled out a bunch of stuff and put it together. I thought it looked cool so we included it. It kind of helped me. You know when you’re wearing something you normally don’t, it helps you get, not really into character but more out of you. That video was fun.”

Lyrically the song talks about bad relationships, “It’s about if you’re in a toxic relationship, realizing that fine line of which part causes it. A lot of people can’t get out of it because they’re addicted. It fuels them. I’ve had friends that were in relationships like that.” Monet uses experiences with friends and her world outlook as lyrical inspiration.

The video for “Alive” was a project in personal creativity, “Part of it was filmed in downtown Los Angeles in an alley.” Part was filmed in a rented space, filled with plunder from The Home Depot. The laboratory scene doubles as the spot Monet lays on, “It was set up differently in the warehouse. We had to get really creative with the space we had.”

The new records first video will be “Face of Fear” with a visually stunning storyline, “I don’t wanna give it away. We’re working on it right now. The song is very empowering. I’ve had experiences where a close friend committed suicide and it’s really looking into that and what’s going on. It’s a huge problem. The song kind of draws upon that. Hopefully I’m empowering people to join the fight against that.”

This year will be touring, new record and video, “The main thing is to finish the record and video. We recently signed with new management and that’s good for us. We’re just waiting to see which tour will happen.”

They’ve toured 45 states and a one-off in Europe but want to tour the world, “We have our sights on going back to Europe. I really wanna go to Canada and through the U.S. again. Europe, Germany, France and Italy are places we’re looking at now. I’d love to go to New Zealand, Australia and Japan, everywhere.”

Monet discusses the good and bad of social media, “I think social media is a blessing and a curse in a way. A lot of fans came from that. We couldn’t have done it without social media. It’s important to use it and not get carried away. If you post too much stuff, people lose interest. You have to keep things engaging. We love our fans, they’re part of our family and the reason we’re able to do what we do. Social media is one way to connect with them and an amazing tool to communicate with. It also gets saturated and it’s hard to stand out.”

She has a different opinion on cell phone use at shows, “I’ve seen interviews and heard people say they hate it. [The fans] are the ones [there] and if they want to see the show through a screen, it’s their choice. We’re happy to have them. It’s the world we live in. Kids these days grow up with a phone, it’s like their third hand.” The fans have always been amazing and supportive. “If they post something and say how much they enjoyed it, we can’t say anything bad about it.”

The cover art for Alive takes inspiration from humanity vs. technology, “It explores how much our normal life incorporates technology. How that changes us in a way. Kids communicate with other friends through their phones even if they’re standing next to each other. It’s exploring how technology can take away human interaction. What will happen if we just start living through our devices.”

They want to inspire fans to congregate and enjoy life’s social experiences without technology in constant use, “We encourage people to take a moment and acknowledge that we’re alive and really enjoy the moment. I’ve talked to people who’ve had amazing experiences and don’t take it in. I think we take certain things for granted.” They want people to interact more and go to shows. “We love meeting people and grow from those interactions and connections.”

Monet talks about their six-year anniversary book, “We’ve had so many adventures already. I recently put together a book of our pillages and conquests. It’s all in the book. It came out a month ago. At first, I put it out for myself so I could remember the experiences we had. People, were really interested, so we made a bunch of copies and it’s been doing pretty good. I’m glad people are interested in what we’re doing and our history. It’s a cool book. We actually got new copies because of the shows coming up.”

Monet thanks for fans, “Keep an eye out for new music and thank everyone for supporting us. If you’re new to us, you’re welcome in, and hope you become part of Edge of Paradise. We have some exciting stuff in the works. Come out and see us, we have a really cool show.”

This year’s NAMM show will be held January 25-28 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

 

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2 Responses to Interview: Edge of Paradise Plays Anaheim House of Blues NAMM week

  1. John H Dove says:

    Edge of Paradise is a great Band out of LA. Been a fan over two years now. And it’s been a fun ride thus far!!!!

  2. Tod Amy says:

    An excellent article on an amazing band! Awesome musicians and even better people!

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