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Everything you need to know about Edge of Paradise

Hailing from Los Angeles, Edge of Paradise can be described as a Hard Rock and Heavy Metal band in the simplest of terms, however, there is much more substance than this given label, as they fuse together the elements gathered from industrial, symphonic, and even some traits of Power Metal. Returning with their fourth album, titled ‘The Unknown’ released on Frontiers Records, I had the privilege to conduct this interview, so to you the reader, I do hope you enjoy the conversation ahead, and to the newcomers of the band, may this be a gateway that starts your journey towards their discography.

Hello and welcome to The Metal Digest! First of all, let me express my thanks towards you for taking the time to have this interview, as it brings me much joy to have prepared these questions for which I hope it will bring some semblance of enjoyment on your end! So first question … spoiler alert, it’s a really difficult one, like… earth-shattering type, so here goes nothing … how…are..You? Take a moment to let it sink in haha… alright alright, enough of my mediocre humor. You recently released your fourth (4th) album, ‘The Unknown’ (congrats by the way, it’s a really immersive album) how has the after experience been for you knowing that it’s finally out there? Also, if you don’t mind, this question is for me, the name ‘Edge of Paradise’, is this from the Kamelot song? Or is there more towards the name?

Hello and thank you so much for having me and for the kind words, we’re so excited the new music is finally out there! I’m doing good! It feels amazing to finally be able to share this album, this new music is definitely fueled by the decade of this band’s existence and a bit of the craziness of the last few years!

Regarding the name, when we started the band I came from such a different background, I didn’t know most of the bands of this genre, so we found out about Kamelot when people started asking us if we named the band after their song 🙂

The name actually came from being based in Los Angeles, it’s where Dave (guitarist and co-founder) and I met.

Los Angeles is almost like a facade, to others it may appear as paradise, it’s always sunny, we got beautiful ocean and mountains, but life here can be hard, most people live on the “edge” and one wrong move, it’s very easy to fall off and incredibly difficult to find your way back on your feet. Also, the name is a good representation of our music, Dave brings the heaviness and I bring out the melodic side!

From my listening experience, the album felt rather cinematic and grandiose, as though you can pluck a track off the album and place it into a fantasy-themed movie that has reached its crescendo, as the songs feel very climactic in flavor, was this intentional when putting the album together? Basically, what was the main motivator and inspiration that was injected into the making of this album?

Thank you, that’s a great compliment to us! You know, it’s been a natural evolution with our music. Our previous album Universe, really defined us as a band, and that album started to showcase the cinematic element of the band. I love to tell epic, larger-than-life stories with our songs, and I’ve always played keys, so as our music kept evolving, I started to incorporate these cinematic and industrial elements and everything just started to head in that direction naturally. You can’t force the music, we learned that a long time ago, we just follow where the songs take us! The album was created out of 2020, we spent the year in the studio and it kept us sane during that crazy year!

We are always inspired to create, and with this album, I really wanted to explore endless possibilities of our future, the implications of the rise of technology, the concept of time, pushing boundaries of reality as we know it, almost continuing the journey, our previous album Universe set of! The quest of discovering the unknown worlds and unlocking forever 🙂

The lyrical aspect for ‘The Unknown’ seems to divert into different realms, where some seem to stem from personal feelings (with the title track) while others have a science-fiction like aura to them… I know that lyrical interpretation can be subjective to the listener, but I am rather curious to hear from you what was the main source in crafting the words that would represent this album? Also, I have always been fascinated by artists who recall stories from their recording sessions, as it’s a different energy and zone…so I’d like to hear from you how is it do you get into the mindset to bring life towards the penned lyrics?

The Unknown is the most personal and meaningful song I’ve ever written, it’s my heart and soul and is definitely the heart of the album! I think all of us, and definitely myself, I tend to fear the unknown to a certain degree, things I can’t control. From wondering how life will unfold, to what’s beyond this life. And i wanted to change the narrative from fear and find strength and power within the mysteries, and just have faith in the universe and look forward to uncovering and discover the unknown. I’ve always believed there is more to reality as we know it, and even with science, the more we know about ourselves, our brain, our universe, the more questions and mysteries arise.

I love recording, since these songs came from myself, it was easy for me to immerse myself in the world of the songs.

The track itself, The Unknown was actually one of the most emotional sessions I’ve ever had! I was there with Dave, Mike Plotnikoff and Neil Sanderson, and usually, I’m very open to any suggestions and changes. But with this song, I remember Neil wanted to change some words and I just broke into tears, it felt as my heart was on a chopping block haha, so we left it be and I think we really captured the fragility and strength all at the same time with that song. Later on, I added vocals to it with Howard Benson, we added more harmonies to the choruses. Sometimes people think it’s an effect on my voice, but it’s actually stacks of super high and low harmonies, to really elevate and give it an epic feel to the sections of the songs where the music really takes off!

So far you have released four music videos lead to the unveiling of ‘The Unknown’, each music video draped in a different aesthetic and in terms of quality, I must say it was shot really well… so my next question is, how important are the visual aspects to you as an artist where Edge of Paradise is concerned, as you seem to marry them rather seamlessly with the music.

 Thank you so much! Visual aspects are very important to us! I want our videos to get more and more elaborate, to really recreate the world of the songs! I’ve always been a visual person, I have very vivid dreams and when I make a song, i see it in my mind. If we didn’t have limitations with a budget, you’d be seeing full-on movies from us haha! But actually, we are working on a short film for one of the songs, it’s an epic action story-driven 15-20 minute video, with dialogue interlaced throughout our song, so we’re pretty excited about that one!

 ‘Universe’ and ‘The Unknown’ has a time gap of two years, so I guess it’s safe to assume that the conception of this new album began during the pandemic? If so, how was the writing and recording compared to previous albums? Was it more relaxed or more strenuous? I am most curious to find out!

It’s hard to believe, time flies! We were lucky we got to tour Europe to promote Universe, when we got back, two months later everything shut down! We’re always working on new music, and at the time we thought we had a few months before our next tour, so we called up our producer, Mike Plotnikoff, and wanted to record a song. Actually, it was “Tidal Wave”. At the time, Mike was working with Three Days Grace, and he introduced us to Neil Sanderson (their drummer) and we hit it off right away, and he became a part of the project. Neil was on zoom from Canada every time we were recording.

Something happened and we just kept writing these songs, we were really inspired, the music pretty much kept writing itself and as we kept recording, the world started to shut down, and the track The Unknown, I wrote after driving back home through deserted freeways of Los Angeles, finding out all our tours were definitely canceled for the rest of the year. This album was definitely a silver lining for us. it kept us sane, it was also the first time, we were able to focus entirely on creating music, as before we always either had shows, or we were doing something in between. So this time, things were more relaxed. And as Howard Benson took interest in the band, and became a part of the production team, halfway through, we were able to record everything in the studio. Before we did guitars in our home studio set up.

So with this record, we were all in, and it felt pretty great to immerse ourselves entirely into creating this world of the Unknown!

Edge of Paradise has been a band that is closing in on a decade, with four albums and two Eps, that’s mighty impressive, so congratulations on that milestone! Since the inception of the band going back to the first album, how does it feel as an individual to accomplish this achievement? Also is there any advice you would give to your younger self if you had the opportunity to do so?

Yes, it’s pretty crazy! Thank you so much, it means a lot to us! It feels great, because looking back, I can’t believe some of the things we had to overcome, we really started from nothing, everything we built, Dave and I really had to fight for. And we’re really grateful to our band members through the years and the amazing lineup we have now! But every milestone, really felt impossible at the time. However, I’m grateful for all the trials and tribulations, because everything shaped us into who we are today as people and musicians, and gave this fire to our music, that we might have not had if things have been easier along the way!

To my younger self I would say, try to enjoy the journey and really take in every experience, because moments turn into memories way too fast!

Your vocal range is very much unique as it possesses an ethereal vibe towards it, where different emotions can be expressed, so the next question I would like to ask( and apologies if it may sound a tad bit vague)is how did you ‘find’ your voice, as in the voice that would animate your lyrics? Following up on that, were there any vocalists or bands that you looked up to in the beginning or anyone in particular who inspired you to venture upon this path? These stories are the ones I have always been intrigued with when it concerns the origin of an artist.

Thank you very much! You know I was never a singer before, I played classical piano and was in theater,

I actually got kicked out of musical theater cause my teachers said I was better at dramatic stuff than singing 🙂

Our first album Mask, I was really pretty much teaching myself how to sing. On the second album Immortal Waltz, that’s when I really caught the fire of wanting to do this. We recorded with legendary producer Michael Wagener, and his love for music inspired me like nothing else at the time. I always loved rock music because to me, it was all about the emotion, and that’s always been my goal, to make people feel something. With “finding” my voice, I think what helped me is having a mindset that I did not have limitations. So whatever I heard in my head within the song, I just figured out how to do it with my voice, and it took years of evolution and I hope to keep reaching for the stars 🙂

Regarding influences, I always liked Ronnie James Dio, Freddie Mercury, Robert Plant…and I really get inspired by movie soundtracks, I love classical music as well, especially played by orchestras!

If I am not mistaken, you were recently signed to the mighty, ‘Frontiers Records’ where you released your third album, ‘Universe’, how has the relationship been since joining their roster versus your DIY(Do It Yourself) beginnings where you released the first album, ‘Mask’ independently, one can assume the shift from then and now is probably like night and day?

 Yes, it’s been great to have the support of Frontiers, they really elevated us to a new level with the release of Universe! And our team keeps growing with the addition of Judge and Jury records, who are also supporting the band on the production end as well. I think these days it’s also important to realize that we still hold our future in our own hands, we have to be the driving and creative force and keep everyone excited to keep moving forward!

This is a question that seems to be a recurring component in my interviews, I guess in my own words, I have always enjoyed hearing about the artist’s likes beyond their own creation, so… what music new or old have you been listening to lately or even any books that have peaked your interest?

Lately I have loved reading Ray Kurzweil, he is a futurist and it’s really interesting to find out his outlook and predictions. I’m also fascinated by interviews of neurosurgeons and neuroscientists, how perplexed they are with the human brain, the more they know about it the more they don’t know. I love to read about new discovering, from technology to astronomy and everything in between. I also love movies like Interstellar, The Fountain, Inception, whatever makes me think and feel, I’m all for it!

Like I said before, the work ethic of this band is astounding, especially to have a foundation that was built independently to now being signed to a reputable label, even touring with the likes of Sonata Artica, so along this journey if there were any advice you would have to impart upon younger musicians or anyone, in general, what would it be?

 Thank you so much! We are very grateful for all the experiences we’ve had and we look forward to paving the way into the future! And my advice would be to stay true to the world you want to create and share with people, to really do this out of love and passion for music and art. It’s a very difficult journey, but if you embark on it for the right reasons, it’s one of the most rewarding and epic journeys to experience! \m/

In ending here, I would like to say once again THANK YOU so much for partaking in this small conversation, and cheers to another ten years again! So I shall leave the last few words to you, anything you would like to tell the fans or The Metal Digest readers?

 Yes! Cheers to another 10 years! Thank you so much for having me and thank you to all the readers, to our supporters, we would be nowhere without you! Thank you for being a part of our world and we can’t wait to meet everyone at the future shows!

So enjoy the music, we hope to bring a positive light to your day and we can’t wait to teleport you into our dimension for some epic shows! Best wishes and we’ll see you soon! \m/

http://www.edgeofparadiseband.com/

https://www.facebook.com/EdgeOfParadiseBand

https://www.instagram.com/edgeofparadise/?hl=en

https://www.frontiers.shop/new-releases/1231/edge-of-paradise-the-unknown-cd-jewelcase

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Metal Digest is an online music magazine specializing in rock and metal. It is aimed at the mobile market, who can get their fix whilst on the go. Whether you walk, drive, fly, sail or teleport make sure you do it with Metal Digest, bitesize heavy metal rock and metal news, reviews and interviews for when you’re on the go.

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