Voodoo Queen Digital Magazine Interview with Edge Of Paradise
VQDM: How did you become the vocalist and front woman of Edge Of Paradise?
Very unexpected! Growing up I played classical piano, went to college for theater in New York, I was always a performer but never thought I'd be fronting a metal band! The first year I moved to Los Angeles I met Dave Bates, our guitarist. We were hired by a local producer to work on a project, Dave had a band that was fronted by Robin McCauley, Robin got a touring gig singing for Survivor so that band kind of fell apart. Dave and I worked very well together and had similar vision, so we came up with this crazy idea to form a new band and Edge Of Paradise was born :)
VQDM: Influences such as Iron Maiden and Evanescence are two very different styles yet you can hear both of them coming through your music and voice, what has been your main writing influence?
Thank you, i'm a big fan of both bands! Well I think part of the that is because Dave and I come from different musical backgrounds. I grew up on classical music and I think it shows through in parts of our songs. Also, I always loved big, epic orchestra sound, I started discovering rock and metal after i heard an orchestra do a rendition of Led Zeppelin's Kashmir… I would say my biggest influence as a singer is Ronnie James Dio, he was a great singer and put so much attitude and feel into each word, I love that!
And Dave's roots are in traditional heavy metal and and rock, his influences are Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai… so when we write together, we try to find ways to make those different styles compliment each other in a cool way.
VQDM: When you say symphonic hard rock with a metal's edge do you feel your band is automatically compared to bands like Epica or Tristania?
Possibly, it's a bit hard to pin point exactly what we are, a lot of people actually tell me, they thought we'd sound like Epica, but we're quiet different. I love those bands, but my singing style is quiet different, and the music leans more towards more traditional hard rock/metal. Our new music now has a bit more industrial feel to it as well. Also I think image wise we're a bit different. But I don't mind getting compared to those bands, I'm a big fan of European metal bands :)
VQDM: As a female in this industry and being in CA (one of the music headquarters of the world) do you find it hard to find your uniqueness?
You know I don't really think about that, I just try to create something I'm proud of and put my heart and soul into it. I think when you're an artist, any kind of artist, your work really has to be genuine and authentic, then people will connect to it, if it's forced in any way, it doesn't work, at least in the long run. Our goal is to create music that can stand the test of time, and to be able to do that, it really needs to come from the heart! I also think it's pretty inspiring to be among other creative people!
VQDM: How has your music grown from your first album till now?
Immensely, we sound like a completely different band! :)
Our first album Mask, I didn't write any music, it was already written by Dave and Robin McCauely and when I came into the picture, I just re sang the songs. It gave me a chance to figure out what I can do with my voice, we were also searching for what we wanted our sound to be. Our second album Immortal Waltz definitely defined the band, and Michael Wanger, who produced the songs, was a big part of that, working with him was an amazing experience! First song Dave and I wrote together was In A Dream, one of the singles from Immortal Waltz and that song paved the way for the rest of the album. We're very excited for the new songs that will be coming out this summer, our sound has evolved, it's a bit heavier and more modern, I'm really looking forward to releasing them, we're having a lot of fun with the new songs!
VQDM: With the newest trailer of Shade Of Crazy video are you ready for the full viewing of it to hit and who came up with the idea behind the scenes on visualization?
We're definitely ready! We're working with our management on securing the right label for the new music, those things take a bit of time to organize a release! We still have to complete a few more songs by the summer! I usually come up with ideas for the visuals, I love doing that stuff, making outfits as well… but once the idea was there, it was definitely a group effort, we have some behind the scenes footage we'll be releasing after, you'll see all the craziness that went in to making that! :)
Also want to give a shootout to my amazing bandmates Dave Bates, John Chominsky on drums and Nick Ericson on bass, we're very excited for the band to grow, and for us to be able to go nuts with more elaborate stuff in our videos and live shows!
VQDM: I enjoyed the fact you had a Christmas song in your mix on reverb nation it gives a bit of old fashion type feel of the rock and roll bands and yet your take on it, what made you decide to do (Please Come Home)?
We like remaking songs and Christmas was coming around so we thought it would be fun to do and our fans would enjoy it. I always liked that song and giving it a bit of an edge was cool. We had a great time! For Halloween I also remade Sally's song from Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas and filmed a video for it, I thin that's a bit of my theater background coming through, but i love embodying different characters, especially the crazy ones :)
VQDM: Have any of you had to deal with family and children while pursuing your musical goal and if so do you feel your able to balance it?
No kids for me yet, haha the band is like my kid and it takes a ton of time! :)
But I'm very close to my family, I also have a little sister, my parents and her live in Houston, TX, so I definitely miss them and try to visit as much as I can, but they are very supportive and love the band, we played there twice already, all our family friends came to see, it was great!
Our drummer John is married with two awesome kids, twin boys, I don't know his secret to balancing it, but he does, so there must be a way, we don't even ask :)
VQDM: We feel kids are our musical future do you ever get a chance to bring kids up on stage at your live shows?
I agree, and we love playing all ages shows and seeing kids out in the audience, we haven't brought any on stage yet (can't wait to do that!), but we always meet them afterwords and it's the best feeling!
VQDM: What would be your biggest advice to a young girl looking to do what you do?
To do what you love! I think it's so important, I can't imagine living life without music. And nothing in life is easy! So if the passion is there, you gotta follow it, it's gonna take work, but you just gotta do it and not give up. I think it's important we nurture creativity in kids and encourage them to follow their passion.
VQDM: If there was one magical power you could have what would it be and why?
Well besides being able to teleport and fly, I would say jumping in someone else's mind. I know it sounds creepy and crazy, but I'm so fascinated by different people and always wonder what's it like to see the world through somebody else's eyes :) Oh and we need a magic wand to create some peace in this world too!
VQDM: What is in store for this band this 2016 year?
Lots of new music and definitely touring! We're going to try to hit as many places as we can in the US/ Canada, we're also working on bringing the band to Europe.
VQDM: Is there one place you would love to perform live in the world that you have not had the chance to and why?
Can't wait to play one of the festivals in Europe! Would love to play Germany! It's funny cause when I talk to European bands they always say, oh we can't wait to come to America, seems like we all want to cross the ocean :)
We just really love playing live and meeting new people, the best thing about rock and metal are the fans, it's one giant community and it's awesome to be a part and share the music!
VQDM: What has been the hardest obstacle for you to overcome to get where you are today in the music scene?
To grow the band is a huge investment, our biggest obstacles are always financial onces, that's why sometimes it takes longer for us to put out new songs or tour more places, and everything we do we want it to be on the highest level so it takes time and money, but we're getting there! :)
VQDM: Last but not least is there anyone or company that you feel you would like to give special thanks to for being there for you or your band over the years?
We are very lucky to have wonderful people be a part of our team, want to give a shootout to Michael Wagener, Skateboard Marketing, producer Chuck Johnson, Chipster PR, Rock N Roll Gangstar, Shrine Of Hollywood..
And want to thank all our fans, friends, show promoters and supporters, we can't wait to see you on the road!
Thank you very much for having me, it was a pleasure!