QUICKIE OF THE WEEK: A short interview with Margarita Monet (Edge of Paradise)

written by Marko Jakob

Pix666: Hello Margarita. Thanks for your time. How are you doing these days, are you alive and well? How are the other guys of Edge of Paradise?

Margarita: Hello, and thank you so much for having me! We’re alive! Sometimes it feels like we’re living in a virtual world, and that feeling definitely reflected on our upcoming album 🙂

The guys are doing great, excited to get back to touring!

Pix666: Please introduce your band to the readers in a few short sentences. How did you meet and what was your inspiration to become a musician? What kind of music does Edge of Paradise make?

Margarita: We’re a hard rock band with an industrial and cinematic edge. Guitarist Dave Bates and I formed the band back in 2011, hard to believe its been 10 years! It took us a few years to find our sound, as Dave comes from more of a traditional heavy metal background and I come from classical music, played piano my whole life, and was in theater, so it took us a few years, lots of ups and downs and tours to really find the sound that defined Edge Of Paradise.

We did that with our latest album Universe! We were lucky to do a European and Japan tour to support the album, and we were excited for our US and Canada tour, but unfortunately that got cancelled due to pandemic. So instead we entered the studio and made out best album to date, The Unknown, which comes out September 17th! You can catch the first single and music video Digital Paradise Jun 14th, we can’t wait to share the new chapter of the band!

Pix666: What are your current favorite bands?

Margarita: I love a lot of different music, some of my current favorites are Rammstein, Nine Inch Nails, Audioslave, Within Temptation… I’ve been listening to a lot of movie soundtracks lately, I love Hans Zimmer and Clint Mansell.

Pix666: You’ve been on the road with Edge of Paradise for about ten years now. What have been the best experiences and milestones so far?

Margarita: Oh so many! We’ve met amazing people along the way and seen such incredible places! I’m really grateful to our bandmates on going on these adventures with us!

I remember our first US tour back in 2014, we drove cross country in a mini van, that was an experience haha! We really paid our dues, but are so grateful that we were able to build such a supportive fanbase. All the trials and tribulations really shaped us into what we are today! I think it’s really important to fight for your dream and no matter the ups and downs, keep moving forward!

Some recent milestones were bringing the band to Japan and our recent European tour.

Of course, putting out our album Universe, which really defined our sound!

Also, completing our new album, that’s produced by Mike Plotnikoff, Howard Benson and Neil Sanderson. This is our best music we’ve ever created and it’s a huge milestone for us that we can’t wait to share with the world!

Pix666: In a month your new single will be released. Have you already shot a video clip for the single? If so, how did that work under Corona conditions?

Margarita: So excited! We actually filmed two music videos already. One for the title track The Unknown, we went on location to the desert. It was a good time to shoot on location because there was no one around. We were very careful and considerate of others, all the crew members wore masks the whole time, so that’s the weird thing not seeing people’s faces.

The one we’re releasing this month, Digital Paradise, we filmed recently, so alot of restrictions were lifted, and we were able to rent a cool location. But before, most places were closed down. We had Scott Hansen direct the videos, it’s awesome working with him, he really gets our vision, and is super resourceful and has everything planned out, so much fun creating with Scott!

Pix666: Your older video clips are great little movies with hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube. Who is part of your filming crew and who comes up with the ideas for these clips?

Margarita: Thank you, that’s a big compliment! And we definitely stepped it up a notch with the new ones! 🙂  Most of the older videos it was a collaborative effort with me and Val Rassi, I usually come up with the ideas and plan it, most of the time, something crazy, like going to Iceland, for Face Of Fear video 🙂 We work often with our dear friends Darren and Tina LaFrenier who help film the videos, they came to Iceland with us, and also filmed several other videos, like Universe And Fire. For those, I edited the videos myself, it’s a lot of fun editing!

For the ALONE video we worked with Filmmaker Nick Peterson, and he is amazing as well, we came up with a cool storyline and I loved how he was able to capture the feeling of the song! Our goal is to keep expanding how elaborate and creative we can take it. So each video is an epic short film 🙂

Pix666: Do you actually look at all these statistics about how often your music is listened to and in which countries…?

Margarita: Sometimes we do, especially as Dave and I were growing the band… it’s a good way to gauge where to tour, where to increase our reach, also to get a sense of our audience. We are lucky to have a great team of people behind us now, that we can focus more on the music and the creative aspect. But at the beginning, launching a band, you do everything yourself, it’s really important to know the tools you have and how to use them!

Pix666: Your new album will be released this summer. How will the album be titled and what can fans expect on the album? Is it already possible to pre-order the album somewhere?

Margarita: The album is due September 17th! But we’ll be releasing songs every month, couple of singles and music videos off the album and some covers with a really exciting collaborations, building up to the album release!

The title of the album is ‘The Unknown’. It’s a very cinematic and meaningful album, with heavy grooves, ripping guitars, melodic and dynamic vocals, has a sci fy and futuristic edge to it! Best way I can describe it, each song is like a mini Christopher Nolan movie like Interstellar or Inception 🙂

Pix666: When you release an album, you want to get out on stage right away and blast the songs at the audience. …but the pandemic unfortunately still has us in its grip, in Germany we are even in a lockdown again. Despite everything, have you already made plans for a tour?

Margarita: It’s hard to believe we haven’t played a show in almost a year, and it’s such a huge part of what we do, we can’t wait to get back on stage!

Yes, we already have European and Japan plans, working on US and Canada as well, if things keep moving in the positive direction, we should be on the road around our album release in September!

Pix666: How important are live performances for Edge of Paradise and how big are the financial losses for your band due to the Corona Pandemic?

Margarita: Live performances have always been the driving force of the band, we love touring and sharing our music with people, meeting them, the whole experience!

Leading up to the pandemic, we started playing bigger shows and we had a lot of expenses, as the band grew, we always want to do bigger things, and to get to the next level it takes investment. So we were just at that point where we broke even and started to get into the profit margin. But when the pandemic hit, we had two big tours cancel. I don’t know how much we would have made on those tours, or lost, because this world is unpredictable, but we started recording the new album pretty much right away, as soon as the world went on lockdown.

And through this album, we signed to Howard Benson’s and Neil Sanderson’s (from Three Days Grace new label Judge And Jury. So it all really worked out for us, now we have backing form Judge and Jury, as well as our European lable Frontiers Records, and we’re just excited to get the music and and take it to all corners of the world!

Pix666: How big is the support from the fans? Do people buy more merch than usual? What do you actually have on offer in the shop?

Margarita: Rock and metal fans are the best! We are so grateful and lucky to have people supporting us through the years. They are really our spaceforce 🙂

We had really good sales at certain points of the year, and I released an art book, which got great reception! Our sales always go up when we have new releases, or if we’re promoting something. At this point, we’re updating our merch store and gearing up for the new release!

We always try to have really exciting and unique items in our merch store, especially for new music. In addition to signed and personalized CDs and Vinyls, we have T-shirts and other apparel, Posters, I make resin lyric and art coasters, I make paintings. For the last album, I painted limited edition box sets, where each box had a painting that related to a song on the album, and inside the box came all the items, like the CD, guitar picks, postcards, pins and more!

For the new album release we have a lot planned! I’m making paintings for each song that will be available in poster and canvas formats, also 2022 calendar out of the paintings and lyrics. We’ll have LED Resin light up Pyramids (you’ll see it in our music video) lots of cool apparel items and of course CD’s and Vinyls with lots of artwork inside!

Pix666: What is the current situation in the USA and especially the mood among the people?

Margarita: It really depends on what state. For example, in Texas, people pretty much forgot the pandemic ever took place, everything is open and no one wears a mask. In California, we still have to wear masks until Jun 15th and there are some restrictions.

Overall mood I would say, people are very eager to get back to their normal lives, as soon as something reopens, like a restaurant, with indoor seating, the place is packed. But in California we still don’t have shows or large gatherings. I’m a bit worried that everything will open up in the summer and then there will be some new virus variant in the fall, and everything will shut down again. But let’s not think that way, let’s stay positive and hope we’re on the other side of this unprecedented event! All I can say, is that I will not be surprised if we have an alien invasion tomorrow! 🙂

Pix666: Do you have any wishes and dreams for Edge Of Paradise for the future – in which countries would you like to play, which festivals or locations do you miss and with which bands would you like to go on tour or share a stage?

Margarita: We definitely can’t wait to get back to Europe! Also, we’ve been wanting to play in South America for a while now! I’d love to film a music video in Japan when we play there, it’s kind of been a theme with the band, going on crazy locations to film videos! So far we filmed in Iceland, in White Sands Desert, in Bisti Badlands, I’d love to film in Ireland overlooking the cliffs, maybe on the moon 😉

Of course we want to keep making music and touring! There are so many amazing bands out there, Rammstein would be epic, I love fire and they got lots of it haha

Also, Three Days Grace, Within Temptation, Avenge Sevenfold, Hammerfall, Beast In Black, In This Moment, Korn, Epica, the list goes on 🙂

Pix666: I read that you are also a visual artist – where can one see or perhaps buy your paintings?  – Are there any other interesting hobbies that you pursue?

Margarita: Yes, I got that from my mom, she is an amazing painter. You can view my art or if anyone would like to order an original piece at this page http://www.edgeofparadiseband.com/margaritas-art.php  Thank you so much!

I don’t get a lot of time for anything outside of music, but I love science, astronomy I always read about new discoveries, and sometimes that inspires some themes in my songs. I also like to make my own outfits 🙂

Pix666: Do you have any other news, that you would like to share with the fans?   

Margarita: We want to thank everyone for being a part of our world! Please keep an eye out for our tour dates, because we can’t wait to see all of you!

Enjoy the music, videos, we wish everyone all the very best always, and see you at the show! \m/ Cheers!

Pix666: Thank you very much for the interesting answers – Good luck with the new album and stay healthy!!!


photos © Edge of Paradise and tamselbaerchen.ch