American metallers Edge Of Paradise are just a step away from the release of their third studio album “Universe”. We had a pleasure of interviewing their extremely talented front lady Margarita Monet for this occasion. Besides the album, we discussed EOP’s distinctive style, Margarita’s passion for art, changes and obstacles of the music industry and more. Read our talk below.
MG: Margarita, Edge Of Paradise is well-known for its very unique and complex sound. It brings together a wide range of flavors and elements adopted from different genres and I have to say it works pretty nicely. For someone who has never heard your music, what can they expect from your sound?
Margarita: Thank you very much for having me and that’s great to hear! We always strive to create something unique and push the boundaries. What people can expect are meaningful songs with lots of hooks, driving grooves, explosion of energy, taking you on an intergalactic experience 🙂
MG: I’ve seen you label yourselves as hard rock/space metal band on your Facebook page.
Margarita: I’ve always been fascinated with the mysteries of outer space and how music can evoke such deep emotions. When we started writing the new album, we didn’t have a theme in mind, just wanted to create the best songs. And as the songs started to develop, our style started to evolve! We were joking at first about space metal. We had quite a few band photos on a spaceship, so it caught on with the fans and it seems fitting, considering the title of the album! 🙂
MG: Your third album “Universe” is due out November 8. What are your feelings before the big release?
Margarita: Extremely excited to unleash it into the world! We are so proud of this album. I think we create something special and just can’t wait to share it with the universe 😉
MG: Since you started out this journey in 2011, what was the biggest obstacle you had to face as a band, up until this point where you’re dropping your third album, which, for many bands, is one of the most important records of a career?
Margarita: There are mountains of obstacles when you start a band. When we started we didn’t have any support, any financial backing. Dave and I funded the recordings, promotions, tours. Both of us were teaching music, and Dave had a ’69 Chevelle that he sold, and that’s how we paid for the first album. So the first obstacle is just finding a way to finance the content. Then finding the right people. We went through a lot of band member changes, as well. It takes tremendous dedication to be in a band and so many things have to line up! We were lucky to have worked with Michael Wagener. On our second album “Immortal Waltz”, he brought a lot of inspiration, and that’s when Dave and I wrote our first song together “In A Dream”. That song sparked out sound and the evolution started! As the band grows, so are the obstacles, haha! But it’s like that with any venture in life. We’re running a worldwide business and at times it’s hard to treat it as a business because we are artists and we just want to create and play music, but these days we have to be so much more. So we keep learning and growing every day and embracing the changes in the music industry!
MG: The new album is titled “Universe”. Can you explain why you decided to go with this title?
Margarita: With this album, we set out to create music that transcends time and space, opens up your mind and takes you on a ride through our Universe! I’ve always been fascinated with the mysteries of outer space, and I believe that we are connected to the universe and each other, in more ways than we understand. I also wanted to create a cosmic, otherworldly experience of the album, musically and lyrically. We were actually debating the title for quite some time. I was leaning towards “Exogenesis”, the theory that life came from elsewhere in the universe. It’s not till the very last song was completely finished, and I listened to the album, “Universe” just seemed like the obvious and perfect name for the album!
MG: Is there any new song that was challenging for you vocally or lyrically? Did you have to step out of your comfort zone while recording?
Margarita: Lyrically, songs came easy. I was so inspired and had so much to say that I was lucky that words and melodies kept coming. Vocally, however, it was challenging. I always try to create melodies that make the most impact for the song, and when I have to sing them, I’m like – what was I thinking! Haha, but I love pushing the limits as a singer and it makes me stronger. Now I have to get ready to sing 28 shows back to back, it’s like training for the Olympics 😉
MG: Besides music, you also paint and create some pretty amazing artwork. What’s your favorite motive and technique?
Margarita: I grew up watching my mom paint, and it was something I’ve always loved doing! I love drawing faces, nature, also play around with futuristic themes. Lately, it’s been a lot of themes that have to do with the album, so very cosmic and futuristic ideas. But I love to find a way to infuse some human emotion within a painting. And if you look at the video for “Alone”, there is a painting in one of the scenes that I made to go with the setting. I have a lot of fun with it, just wish there was more time in a day!
MG: You also combine these two passions of yours in Edge Of Paradise. Right now, your fans can pre-order a special artsy edition of “Universe” that comes in a wooden box with your painting inspired by one of the songs. Obviously, the world is changing and so is the music industry. Many bands are selling exclusive and limited editions of albums, merchandise, box sets and collector’s items. Do you think that bands are forced to come up with these extra perks to sell their music physically these days?
Margarita: Yes, I’m very excited about these box sets. I think they came out really cool! I’ve always loved combining the visual arts and music and make our band an experience for all senses 🙂 The music industry is constantly changing, and it’s all about streaming now. I don’t think I was thinking about that too much when coming up with the idea of the box sets. I just really wanted to do that, but I agree, it’s all about getting creative with merchandise, that’s why we have exclusive pre-order bundles available on our webstore. And also what’s really cool, is with each physical CD and album people will get a cypher to our Edge Of Paradise alien language! 🙂 An amazing artist, Dresden7, created this language for us. It’s a symbol for every letter of the alphabet, and inside the CDs, you will find some messages in this language. And soon, we’ll just be communicating with fans in this code, so you guys better jump on board and get the Cypher 😉
MG: What a cool idea! Speaking of art, you’ve been deeply involved in this creative world ever since you were a child. Ballet, theatre, painting, singing, piano… What came first? And what comes first now? Do you still get back to ballet and theatre sometimes?
Margarita: When I was 3 years old, we moved to Moscow, Russia. I was born in Armenia and in the early 90s, it was very unstable there, hence the move. My mom started working at an Arts academy and there was no one to watch me so she started taking me to work with her. And instead of just sitting around, she put me in all the classes. It was an amazing academy, and I was emerged in ballet, theater and music. I performed so much as a child, even got to go to Europe to perform with a dance company. It was really cool! When we moved to the US, I stopped doing ballet, but continued classical piano and theater. Now, being in a band, there’s no time for anything else. I dedicate 24/7 to the band, but everything I learned along the way, I incorporate into what I’m doing now. So I’m very grateful that I was emerged in the world of music and art because creating and performing is what I truly love!
MG: And we love what you create! You’re one of those bands that pay extra attention to their aesthetics and captivating, dynamic visuals, most recently demonstrated in your new video for “Alone” and “Fire”. Where do you get inspiration for this visual aspect of Edge Of Paradise?
Margarita: The Universe! 😉 Yes, it’s very important for me to create captivating visuals, and hope as the band keeps growing and we have bigger budgets, will some really epic videos 🙂
Inspiration comes by listening to the music. I’ve always had really vivid dreams and when I listen to music, it really triggers a lot of ideas. I see it in my head. The challenge is figuring out how to make it happen! But it’s all part of the fun 🙂
MG: You’re embarking on a European tour with Sonata Arctica soon. What are you most excited for about this tour?
Margarita: We’ve been working towards this moment for so long, to be able to do a long European tour and share the music live with the people! We are so grateful to our fans and are really looking forward to finally meet the people that have been supporting our world for years! We are also very excited to make new fans and friends, share the stage with the great band like Sonata Arctica and just enjoy how music brings people together, so we are absolutely thrilled!
MG: Margarita, it was a pleasure for us. This is your chance to send a message to your fans and our readers.
Margarita: Thank you so much for having me! I wanted to say thank you to all our supporters, and if you’re just hearing about us, welcome to our world! I’m so excited for this album to unleash Nov 8th, and hope the songs become as special to you as they are to us!
We are also mailing out signed postcards and guitar picks, so don’t hesitate to send us a message through our social media profiles! Enjoy our music, videos and we can’t wait to see you on tour!