NAMM 2018: Interview with Edge of Paradise’s Margarita Monet and Dave Bates

Photo provided by: Edge of Paradise.

I’m here with Margarita Monet and Dave Bates, of Edge of Paradise at NAMM 2018. Hello, it’s very nice to meet you.

Margarita: Likewise.

Dave: Nice to meet you as well.

Thank you. Edge of Paradise played at Metal Allegiance Thursday night at The House of Blues Anaheim. You have the best of the best in Metal on stage, how was that experience?

Margarita: It was a lot of fun. It was, probably one of the biggest shows that we’ve played in L.A.  And we had all of our fans in front there, so it’s really cool and the stage was awesome. It was very hectic. Traffic was insane. Dave made it to the show like 10 minutes right before. So we definitely, were living on the edge.

Dave: Yes, I was surprised.

I know the feeling, I got stuck at NAMM a little longer than expected, when I finally arrived here at the House of Blues, it took them 20 minutes to find my credentials, it was crazy for everyone. So I must apologize I missed my time in the photo pit, to photograph the band.

Margarita: It’s ok, we play locally too. We got a really awesome response.

Dave: We had a lot of fun.

Margarita: That’s very cool and we met a lot of people, made a lot of fans. So it was a great experience for us.

I’m sure everything is a bit hectic day of show. Is there an opportunity to make connections for future shows?

Margarita: Yes, we had a lot of connections that are already coming to the show. We started working with some companies like 3D Rock Stars and Nashville Knights. And a bunch of other people. So, yes, it just happens. We haven’t really talked to the other ones yet and we have a really good manager now, John Pettigrass. So he handles a lot of stuff for us.

Dave: But we always make connections when you go out to play, that’s the best part of going out playing, you know.

Margarita: Right, yes.

Dave: Getting out there, meeting people.

Margarita, you stated Edge of Paradise was representing Nashville Knights and 3D Rockstar, what significance are these companies?

 Margarita: Well, Nashville Knights sponsored the show, Nashville Knights is an LFL (Ladies Football League) football team and we are supposed to play their games. So it’ll be like halftime shows at the game in Nashville and it’s like women’s football. It’s very cool. I guess it’s empowering for women to do. I mean, I wouldn’t play football. I can’t imagine doing that, but you know, more power to them and then 3D Rockstar is really cool.

Dave: Merchandising.

Margarita: 3D Rock Stars is a merchandising company, they make life-sized, all kinds of sizes of vinyl stickers. It’s peel off and you can put it anywhere you want.

Dave: And it’s a good company, a really good group of people.

They are here at NAMM 2018, Where are they located demographically?

Margarita: Chicago.

Margarita Monet Edge of Paradise. Photo from Edge of Paradise Facebook page.

This being the last day of NAMM, I met you at TTM.

 Dave: TTM, yes. It’s called Taller Than Midget.

Oh, really??  (Laughs)

Dave: Yes.

Was there anything imparticular you were looking at?

Margarita: Yes, we’re going to stop by Kemper Amps, Dave is playing Kemper now. So, it’s very convenient, really good sounding Amp.  Also, Telefunken microphone and we have some friends at Soletone Cymbals and gonna check out some Korg keyboards. So we have very fun checking out.

Dave: New places and gear.

Margarita: New stuff as well.

Are you going home with any new toys?

Dave: I don’t know yet. Hopefully.

Photo credit Tammy Greene

You and Dave formed the band in 2011, sorry to say you are new to me, and I’m sure there are others that have not heard of you. Can you give the readers a little synopsis of the band?

Margarita: Well, we are an industrial rock band. We started in 2011. We toured over 45 states. We recently made our European debut in the Netherlands. So we’ve been doing this a while. We have three CDs out. Our second album, the “Immortal Waltz” was produced by Michael Wagener in Nashville. Then the new stuff is produced by Mike Plotnikoff and Chuck Johnson. And we’re recording new music now. Recently, we released an “Alive” EP  which is kind of the taste of the evolution of our sound.

Dave: It did pretty good it charted on Billboard.

Margarita: Chartered at the billboard, it got to #1 on Amazon rock charts.

Dave: Yes, true.

Margarita: We actually release the sixth year anniversary blog since we’re documenting our adventures.

2017 was a big year for Edge of Paradise, March you released a five-song EP “Alive”. Which was #1 on Amazon, plus top 40 on Itunes, the first week of release!  A great way to begin.

 Dave: Yes, We wanted to do that because we have to intentionally set out to chart the billboards. So we had a team of people, Chip our PR guy. So we just set everything out so that we could push and then take our existing fan base and have everybody support, so we get the chart and the numbers.

Margarita: Yes, Chip worked the release. So, we set some goals and it’s always important to set a plan and do that. And then our plan for this year is we’re going to have a full-length album. but at the end of the year and also continuing touring.

Dave: Yes, back Europe is our the goal.

Each song has a story or a deeper meaning, I would like to go through the songs and hear a little bit of the meaning. Also, each song had a different person mixing the song, what did they bring to each song?

Album title track…. “Alive”

Margarita: Yes, so that kind of summarizes the meaning of the city which is it explores our society. How we integrate technology into how sometimes it can take over your life. Also, especially like we lived in LA and it’s such a rat race sometimes. Sometimes it can get lost in the race and chase for time, and you forget that you feel alive. So we know, with the music, we want to encourage people to take a moment in their day.

Dave: Stop and enjoy life.

Margarita: Acknowledge and have human interaction not just over the phone. So, yes.

Dave: Internet.

“Dust to Dust”

Margarita: Yes, Dust To Dust, I was always a believer that there’s something more than our physical existence. Yes, so, that song kind of explores that there’s more to us even though we come from dust and end up dust I think there is more to life than just that. I think it’s bigger than our mind like we don’t understand it yet, but it doesn’ mean that it doesn’t exist.

I don’t know if we’ll ever understand this.

Margarita: Yes, exactly and life is such a miracle in a way.

Dave: The aliens will teach us.

Yes, I like that.

Dave: Hopefully.

 “Mystery”  Margarita, this song showcases your talent on the piano.

 Margarita: Yes, Mystery,  kind of picks up from Dust To Dust In Dust I say no we can be fearless, we can be limitless. I think your mind is a very powerful thing. Since you are gifted this miracle of life if you really kind of tune to your own mind that you can be limitless and you can be fearless. The mystery was a song to cope with my own battle. My cousin recently dies in the plane crash at that TU. You probably heard at the Russian plane that went down. He was a very famous opera singer and he lost his life to that. So, I kind of dedicated this song to him and that he was such a wonderful person. So in a way, these things happened. You don’t understand why bad things happen typically. So sometimes I think you just have to accept that life bring good and bad, and without the dark, you won’t recognize the light.

Dave: You don’t have a choice. You have to accept it.

Yes, life, it is the mystery.

Margarita: It’s the mystery of life.

 “Shades of Crazy”

 Margarita: Shade Of Crazy, I think a little bit of us have the shade of crazy in us. And that’s what makes life such an interesting place because everyone has brought their own colors to it. And it also explores relationships. I think sometimes when people are stuck in a toxic relationship, part of it is addicting. So the song is kind of explores and what is that about the toxic relationship that’s addicting. I’m not saying that and you have one.

“Humanoid”

Margarita: So, Humanoid kind of brings home the whole technology versus humanity thing. I think if we get really lost in the chase for money and power, and race for time, we can lose. Our humanity can get deeper and deeper into our shell of a machine and we become a humanoid.

Dave: Or becoming machines, yes.

Margarita: So, yes, with this song.

Dave: We really replace ourselves with the machine.

We just saw that walking through NAMM, the soundboard operating itself.

Margarita: Yes, exactly. So, one of the hooks in the song plays is submitted, get your silicone mind because in the picture you look richer, you think you’re one of a kind and even though you might get all the money and all the power, it doesn’t make you one of a kind.

Dave: It’s more of a submission to falling in line with everybody else.

Margarita: Yes, I think it’s more about your personality. Who you are the person that really defines you and separates you from other people.

A lot of artists say their lyrics come from experiences or situations in life. Where does your influence come from?

Margarita: I think for me, I really want to put my heart and soul into each song. So, some of them might not exactly from experiences, but it’s something that maybe I experience through someone else. My outlook on it. A lot of these songs like I am also stuck in technology. I live in LA. I didn’t have some crazy relationships. I do believe that more than are just physical of being. So, a lot of these songs I am very much, my heart is in there.

The album cover artwork really caught my eye, reminds me a little bit of Transformers, Dragon Ball Z.. power! How does this tie into the album itself?

Dave: And it ties with the humanoid.

Margarita: Yes, so the album cover was created by Timo Wuerz and he’s a German artist that we’ve worked with for a while now. I gave him the songs and I are like, “Here are the songs. I want to see what you come up with to how will the music inspire you.” And he gave us a bunch of different sketches.

Dave: But we gave him the idea futuristic blade runner type of thing.

Margarita: Yes, but the idea behind the artwork to that ended out being the cover is you see a human inside the shell of a machine and half of it is a complete machine. So it’s kind of the machine taking over the human. So, that’s the meaning of the CD. If you don’t hang on to humanity then it will keep getting in deeper and deeper in cover.

Photo provided by Edge of Paradise, Artwork by: Timo Wuerz

Like I mentioned earlier each song has a story. Is “Alive” a concept album?

Margarita: I don’t know.

Dave: No, but the common thread is the futuristic blade runner kind of thing, but it’s not concept per say.

Margarita: Oh, blade runner is just kinda the movie inspiration for the CD cover. But the meaning is, it’s very ……

Dave: It’s futuristic.

Margarita: It’s not futuristic.

Dave: To me it is.

Margarita: To you it is,  but it’s what’s happening to us.

Dave: Yes, we live in the future though. Each day is one more step into the future.

Margarita: Yes, so it’s up to us with the future is.

Well, have you thought about doing a concept album because it is along those lines? 

Margarita: Well, the next album,  we have a, I don’t know if it’s been a title track yet or if we’re going to have a title song, but the new song is called, “Taste Of Fear.” So the new music, the idea of this is just overcoming your inner struggles and to facing your demons head-on. I think there’s so much hate in this world, but there’s also a lot of love in this world. So it’s just facing the hate and overcoming it. So I don’t know if it’s going to be a concept.

You have gone from a quartet to a quintet adding guitarist David Ruiz. What were you looking for adding another member?

Margarita: Well, you can cover that.

Dave: We wanted somebody to make fun of. (laughs)

Margarita: No. Well, our music on the CD, it’s very full. It’s very layered.

Dave: It has lots of layers.

Margarita: Yes, it probably takes us about a month through record a song just because we’ve put so much stuff into it. So, live we wanted to sound as close to the CD as we can and we really put a lot of importance on sounding big.

Dave: You always helped like CDs, so that’s where Taco comes in.

Margarita: His name is Dave.

That’s his nickname?

Dave: Yes, that’s Taco.

Margarita: So, we have two Daves in the band now and they both guitar player. So he adds those layers in the guitars that they don’t cover. So I guess he calls himself a rhythm player, but he does also a lot of harmonies in layers. So, it’s really important to our sound now. I can’t imagine being without him.

In the monumental moments of 2017, you toured in Europe for the first time, at the Femme Metal Festival in the Netherlands? Tell us about that experience?

Margarita: Yes. So, that was a door we had open to Europe. And for us, it was a great European debut. We had a great audience with an awesome stage. People were amazing to us and we really want to go back. So we were actually connected through a photographer that comes to all our Texas shows, Jim Wilkensons who introduced us to the promoters. And yes, we made it happened and we’re working on our next trip to Europe.

Word of mouth.

Margarita: Yes.

This industry is so big, but it was so small.

Dave: Yes, everything is related.

Margarita: Exactly.

One other thing I found interesting is Edge of Paradise is part of Rockers Against Trafficking. How did you become involved in this awareness?

Margarita: Yes, so our friend Kevin Estrada, he’s a really big photographer now around LA. We’ve been friends with him for a while now. He’s an amazing guy and he started the foundation with rockers against trafficking, but now it’s Rocker’s United.

Dave: Sorry, I’m going to show her a picture of Taco.

Margarita: Oh Yeah, that’s David.

Dave: See the border patrol?

Laughing… He’s hiding.

Dave: That’s a natural, so they were looking for him.

Margarita: You can see we are a very light-hearted band.

That’s good!

Margarita: Yes, we don’t think of it so seriously. We have a lot of fun on the road.

Margarita: To go back, so Kevin put together and he has two daughters. So it’s very important issue to him and the money that we raised goes to recovering victims of a human trafficking, sex trafficking.

Dave: In investigation. He’s a good guy. He puts all the money in, he doesn’t keep anything. So whatever he comes up with, he puts it right in.

Margarita: So, was it last year?

Dave: Two years ago.

Margarita: Two years, oh man time flies. So we did the show with Papa Roach at Lucky Strike and I think raised over  $25,000 grand, or $30,000 grand,  a lot of money and one of the moms from few years before, I think he started it about four years ago. She actually came and spoke because her daughter was rescued by the money that we raised.

Dave: They hired a private investigator and then they found the girl and they went and got her.

I didn’t even realize it is such an issue. I mean, we don’t know.

Dave: It’s crazy.

We don’t hear a lot about it.

Dave: I know. When you do then you realize that as a problem.

Whats in store for 2018?

Margarita: So, new music.

Dave: Yes, put little CD there.

Margarita: Yes, so we’re looking to going to Europe in the spring summer and like right now, a lot of things are up in the air, but what we’re focusing on right now is getting the new songs done and we’ll be announcing touring. There’s probably a beginning of February.

Are you adding to the EP that to make it a full length or you just going to start a new?

Dave: Yes, you start new.

Margarita: Yes, I mean, the EP, it’s an evolution of that like we’re growing. The music is more industrial. I don’t want to say electronic, but there are some elements to that. Like we merge a lot of sounds into our music.

Dave: Yes, different people we work with. We have Jacob Hanson on this one.

Margarita: Yes, Jacob Hanson, Mike Plantikoff, Chuck Johnson.

Dave: So different edge of mixers and producers on this whole album.

You have different people that mix those songs. What do you each one bring to those songs?

Dave: There own vision.

Margarita: Yes, like for example, Mystery was mixed by Michael Wagener and I think he did such an amazing job with it because when I went to go to listen to this song, I want them to just kind of fall into the sound and be surrounded by it. And Michael does an amazing job with making the songs out so huge and just put you into the song. “Alive” was mixed by Jay Ruston.

Dave: Exactly, He’s a good guy.

Margarita:  and Jay Ruston is metal and just kind of heavy hitting. Mike Plotnikoff did  “Dust To Dust” and “Humanoid” that was very creative with sounds he uses. So he’s very modern, very futuristic mixer. So, he all brought something to the table and I think each song was really flavored by then.

Would you do the same the future, or try something different?

Margarita: Yes.

You found what works.

Margarita: Yes, and all these people, they’re such a big part of our band and they’re so supportive. So, we want to work with all of them.

Dave: We don’t want to lose any people.

Margarita: Yes and I think it’s just really interesting when some people bring different elements that make the listener, you know, on the edge of a little bit because it’s always something different.

Dave: Because they’re an artist too.

Great, so, did we cover everything? Is there anything else you would like to add?

Margarita: Umm I think that’s a lot.

I did plenty of research.

Margarita: Well, thank you. I think that’s it. Yeah!

Margarita: We want to thank the fans and our friends, and a new one who’s new to the band. We just want to welcome them on board.

Dave: Well, TTM guitars, really cool guitars.

Margarita: Oh, yes, thank you for the TTM guitars. So we played their show and Dave got a new guitar.

Dave: Yes. It’s nice.

That’s nice.

Dave Bates Edge of Paradise. Photo from Edge of Paradise Facebook page.

Margarita: So he was like, Dave never smiles in photos and he had a huge smile on that day.

Dave: Thanks for that one. They are awesome. They play very well. I’d recommend them.

We’re good.

Margarita: Yes.

Thank you very much.

Margarita: Thank you.

It was great to meet you.

Dave: Likewise.

Margarita: Likewise.

 

 

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