When I heard Edge Of Paradise’s debut album “Mask” the first time I got the same feeling as when I heard Meldrum’s (the band) first album. Here we had a band trying to take traditional metal one step further. Interview answered by Margarita (vocals). ©Anders Ekdahl 2011
I kinda expected another generic goth metal band but instead I found a wider register. What do you consider to be your main influence?
-Thank you! Our Main goal is to achieve a sound that would define the band “Edge Of Paradise”. With any of the great “classic” metal bands, or even great rock bands for that matter, they all have a recognizable sound that defines that band. I think that it is so rare in today’s music. Everything is so “cookie cutter” and fits neatly into a core or genre- almost as if most bands “sell out” before they even establish a sound. With Edge Of Paradise, the main goal from the onset was to create OUR sound, and express ourselves artistically- not to attempt to cash in on a particular “core” that might be hot at the moment. Influences are so vast! Life and our daily experiences drive the creative process more than anything, but vocally: Ronnie James Dio, Robert Plant are my biggest influences, guitar wise; Randy Rhodes, Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai, any of the greats!! Fat grooves, and cool hooks! It’s got to have that!
Would you say that the birth of Edge Of Paradise was a chance happening? What would you have been doing had this not happened?
-Yes! It was definitely a chance happening, everything kept leading up to it though, and it all just fell into place and I can’t imagine doing anything else now! Music was always a part of my life, in different ways, I grew up playing classical piano on a serious level, and then went to college for acting and piano, I was also in musical theater for a while. So when I moved out to LA, I was taking the acting route, till I met a producer that convinced me to record a song. So if I never met Dave, I think I would be pursuing acting, but music would still be a part in one way or another.
Now that the band has come into being has the initial feelings changed into something totally different? What was the initial purpose of the band?
-From the onset the purpose was to start something that would evolve and become an entity on its own. We are still very young as a band, but I would say that we are heading in the right direction to achieve the initial goal. I think we are in a constant state of change, an “evolution” and that’s what keeps it exciting!
From what I understand you have separately (successful) careers going on. How does Edge Of Paradise interfere with that?
-Myself and Dave gave up everything for this band, we live it day and night, so everything that we had going on – we put it into the growth of the band. This is our number one priority. And I think it has to be that way, so many musicians here in LA think that they can just “get lucky” and stumble into success. Nothing can be further from reality in this business. Sure we all hear the fairy tale stories of “so and so went to La, and so and so was living in their car and partying day and night, and the next day they were famous!”. These stories are fun to read and make great movies but this is a 24/7 business, one where you could give every last drop of blood and still that might not be enough. We decided from the start that nothing else would get in the way of the band.
In an ever increasing metal scene you need to stand out. Female fronted bands are 13 to a dozen these days. What is it that sets you apart from all the other hopefuls?
-Well, hopefully striving to create our own sound would help to make us stand out from the pack, it is no easy task but having a sound that can define Edge of Paradise definitely sets us apart. We realize that’s the hardest thing to do, but the music is the key. We are here for the long haul. As we evolve, what will make us relevant and worthy of standing next to the other greats that preceded us will be our body of work. The songs have to speak for the band. And we feel confident that we can accomplish that!
What do we find at the edge of paradise? A better place or just the same old?
-We were hoping you could tell us! 🙂 The term “paradise” holds a different meaning for everybody, what you might find might be different what we find. Dave’s paradise will have a bunch of guitars in it. Let’s hope paradise for all of us artists out here will find a way to curb the file sharing epidemic.
I gotta admit that the cover to Mask didn’t at first look very tantalizing but at a closer look it isn’t too bad. Why did you name the album Mask?
-The cover was designed for the the title track “Mask”. The song had a lot to do with previous drummer in a prior line-up that took his own life. He always wore a mask of happiness and control and had the outward appearance of being content and optimistic. All of us put up walls and have a different outward appearance so those on the outside never really know what is going on behind our “mask”. This is so prominent in today’s way of life, people hardly ever open up, usually have ulterior motives and most of us have those inner battles within our minds that we usually never share with anyone. So this is where the inspiration came from for the cover.
I’ve never been in a band or even been close to releasing anything on record. What feelings and thoughts race through your head when you stand there with a finished product? Is it like winning the lottery?
-It definitely feels something like that! There is so much work and care that goes into evolution and the nurturing of the songs and the sound, it does feel like a huge accomplishment! For us in particular, it was exciting because this was the launch for the band, the official birth of Edge Of Paradise, really solidifying the group! And it’s very exciting to watch these songs grow into something and see what people take away from them. It also sparks ideas for the next project, we have a lot of ideas and material that we’re anxious to get out there to further grow and spread our sound. You also never feel like you’re finished, there is always another thing you want to, or could change if you only had the time, or the money or…then you always think “I could have done that better” or “I should have added that”. But that’s just part of the evolution, without that, a band can never grow.
Now with an album out what is your plan now to make Edge Of Paradise the band on everybody’s lips?
-Definitely tour heavy, we start touring US in December and go into 2012 and from then on, expanding to Europe and the rest of the world, we want to bring the sound of Edge Of Paradise as far as we can go. And of course, releasing more material, it’s very exciting to see the band evolve, so we will continue to fuel it and move forward! This interview should get everyone talking right?
What other plans do you have for Edge Of Paradise?
-More songs, more videos (next one will be in a spaceship, we’ve decided)! And the sound is evolving fast; we are really looking forward to releasing our newer material. “Mask” is a glimpse into that evolution; it kind of chronicles the starting point of our story, Chapter 1 if you will. We are looking forward to Chapter 2!! We hope you guys are too!! Thanks for having us!