In 2011 the band Edge Of Paradise was founded. Can you tell me how this all came about?
Margarita: Dave and I met in 2011, while he was still in a band with Robin MacAuley, Greg Bissonette and Tony Franklin. As these guys all went on tour Dave was looking for a singer and we met on a project where we found out that we had similar vision about music.
Dave: I was hired for that project and when I met Margarita, we decided to start doing our own thing and as a result Edge Of Paradise was born.
Margarita: we already released our first CD ‘Mask’ just a couple of months after the formation of the band, since we used a lot of the song material that Dave already had for this debut album.
What was the vision that you had when founding the band?
Margarita: we wanted to create an artistic world, which reflects on the image, the art and the music of the band.
What did the first album ‘Mask’ do for the band?
Margarita: it kind of gave us something to build from and establish the band.
Dave: since everything was already written when Margarita came in, she didn’t really have a chance to make the material her own. As she was the singer in the band now, she obviously had to have a bigger part in the song writing process as well. The record was able to put the name of the band on the map which was a good thing for us.
Margarita: it was played on the radio as well and then things really started to go up from there.
In 2015 that second full-length album ‘Immortal Waltz’ saw the light of day, so how did the writing process look like for that one compared to the debut?
Margarita: ‘In A Dream’ was the first song that we had written together and the process was that in most occasions Dave would come up with a guitar part and I would add melodies on the piano and some lyrics and we would further work on the song from there. This time it was really a close collaboration between Dave and me in the song writing process.
How did the other members of the band David Ruiz (guitar), John Chominsky (drums) and Nick Ericson (bass) become part of the line-up?
John: Nick was working in the studio when they recorded some tracks for their second album and as the bass player that they had at that time wasn’t really working out, Nick jumped on board and become a member of the band. I’m a friend of Nick and I played with a different band at that time. When they had an opening for a drummer, Nick recommended me and that’s how I got in. Nick has been very important at the recruiting process because David was actually the roommate of Nick when they were in need for a second guitar player so he became part of the band because of Nick as well. Both Nick and I are in the band now for about five years and David is our latest recruit who’s with us now for about six months.
You did quite a few shows in the US already, so how big are you over there?
Dave: we have driven to a lot of places to perform and some of those places are really in the middle of nowhere. But it’s a good opportunity for us to show what we’re all about and if we can add a few new fans with every performance we’re happy.
Margarita: we’re definitely more known in the US than over here. From CD sales we can see who’s buying what and where and we get more and more request from Europe for our material, so that’s good.
Artistically ‘Immortal Waltz’ was a big step forward but how did the album do from a commercial perspective?
Margarita: yes, the second album sold way better than the first one, but our new EP ‘Alive’ is really doing well at the moment. I think we have had a great vision for ‘Alive’ and that we have really found our style on that one.
Dave: indeed ‘Alive’ is more on target with what we want to accomplish and a more cohesive affair. It’s chapter one for us and the new CD will be chapter two and it will all be part of the Edge Of Paradise catalog.
So why did you decide to release an EP with five songs instead of a full-length album?
Margarita: it’s more about financial reasons, because we want to create songs that are really great recording-wise and production-wise, but also because we have a deal with Universal Distribution and they gave us a clear deadline. So we had five songs with an underlying theme that fitted very well together and it was a good idea to release these to show what the band is involved in now.
John: sometimes bands have big gaps between releases and we didn’t want to disappear from the radar. We wanted to keep putting music out there to stay relevant.
But obviously you’re still writing as you’ve played a new song on this festival, so how many new songs have you written at the moment?
Margarita: we’re always writing, it’s just a matter of when we’re going to record these tunes.
There’s a lot of competition out there, so how are you going to distinguish yourself and stand out from the crowd?
Margarita: I think it’s important that we don’t just put out music, but we want to create a world around it. We make sure that the artwork reflects the music, we have a book coming out which is kind of like the history of the band and we showcase the journey that we have made as Edge Of Paradise. We really want it to be like an experience of the shows.
Dave: bands like Iron Maiden and Kiss have made their own sound and our goal is to create something that is able to stand on its own from a musical perspective. We are not looking to be part of whatever is popular, we want to make our music stand on its own.
A very important asset of your music is the variety in the song material. Is that something that you’re particularly looking for or is that something that just comes natural during the song writing process?
Margarita: that’s something that really comes natural to us. As a piano player I usually write the more ballad-like stuff while Dave being the guitar player is mostly coming up with the heavier parts.
You are now for the first time in Europe. How was this experience for you?
Margarita: it’s really a great experience for us. The people are so friendly and the food is much better than in the US.
Dave: we also like to travel together as we really get along as a band. We’re making this a week-long vacation!
So one of the main goals for the future must be to come back and do a real European tour?
All: yes, absolutely! We want to conquer as many European countries as possible.
How hard was it for you to convince the audience as it was your first show in Europe?
Margarita: the fun thing is that a lot of people over here know us already via Facebook and other on-line media. So it felt more or less like a warm welcome, since they got the opportunity now to see us live for the very first time. I think that the audience, although many of them will probably not know us yet, responded pretty well to our show.
You told me that you like to write about a certain theme, so can you tell me what ‘Alive’ is about?
Margarita: ‘Alive’ is about living in the digital world and if you compare how we live now with twenty years ago, things have changed a lot. It can be very deceiving that technology brings us closer together, because it can also separate us. The communication is totally different now and people don’t connect as much in person anymore. Another thing is that we always race through life and people are not really acknowledging anymore that we’re living and breathing. Our message is to stop for a second and appreciate life. This is the underlying theme of ‘Alive’.
Dave: the whole concept of ‘Alive’ to me is the artificial intelligence thing and how we’re almost replacing ourselves by machines now. We don’t connect to one another anymore and we’re basically making ourselves obsolete.
You have released quite a bit of videos as well. How important are these for you to express things from a visual perspective as well?
Margarita: I think the way we live nowadays is so visual, so we want to kind of have the videos to represent our music as well and to represent our vision through that.
John: when Margarita has a concept for the lyrics, she thinks very visual about the lyrics. Sometimes we haven’t even recorded the song and she already comes up with ideas for the music videos. She tries to create the art in a lot of different levels.
One of the goals is to get back to Europe to tour, but what are some of the other goals that you have set for yourself?
Margarita: we also want to keep touring the US, we want to release some more music and we want to make more videos. We just want to keep doing this for as long as we can.
John: we try to expose our music to more fans and us coming here is a very nice first step for that. We want to invite more people into our little world, give them a chance to hear what we are about and hopefully they will be excited and jump on board.