First of all, thank you for doing this with us… as a fan and a writer, it’s truly an honor. Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
My name is Juliet Simms, I just put out a new EP called All or Nothing, pick it up on iTunes!
Your new EP, “All or Nothing” was released on January 27th…. Tell us a little bit about the concept behind it.
Yeah, so… around Warped Tour of ’13 as of that summer, I got off my deal with Universal Records… they were trying to get me to do music that was completely out of integrity for me. My strength as an artist is what I’m passionate about, if I was just to sell out, it wouldn’t be believable, it’s not in my blood. I had a really hard time, was dealing with some issues, just having a really rough patch in my life. I shaved my head, totally pulled a Britney. *laughs* That summer, I decided I needed to turn my life around because I had no idea where my life was going. So I said okay let’s get out of LA and work with some really great writers… first person I wrote with was Aaron Sprinkle… within an hour of meeting each other we finished “Evangeline”…. I knew right then that this was my calling, to write with him. Next day we finished writing Mystified and Aaron says “I honestly think that you could do a crowd-funding campaign and we could do an EP for you… you could write up here, record an EP.” Every song is really based around the struggle I went with through my career, it’s a hard industry. I’m grateful I went through that though… the songs are written about prevailing, staying strong, sticking with your guns, dealing with relationship problems and how to get through them. The EP, the concept of it is All or Nothing… either you’re all in or nothing. I’m letting the listeners know I understand what people go through, my music is just to help people… I don’t have this dream of being some huge, massive artist… obviously it’d be nice… but my goal is to help people and that’s the best way I know how is through my music.
What was your favorite song to record and why?
That’s a good one… uhhh… my favorite song to record would have to be “End of the World” and “Before It Rains”… reason why is for me “End of the World”,… I wrote that song in my darkest hours… I have such a connection with that song, so much that I’ve actually cried while performing it. After I wrote it though, it felt super relieving. “Before It Rains”… there’s something about that song that I’ve always wanted to write but could never get out of me until I met Aaron. I just have an emotional connection with that song and it’s about finding true love, like I’ve finally found.
Of course, playing solo shows is going to be incredibly different from playing with your band. How does the experience differ for you from playing with Automatic Loveletter?
Well… the difference I guess is, with Automatic Loveletter it was a sticky situation because all the band members were hired guns, they were friends, there was my brother… we went through these stages of “we are a band, we’re not a band”… I wrote everything for Automatic Loveletter.. everyone except for Daniel were hired guns. I was younger and I was stupider and bitchier and I didn’t know how to run a camp and run a business and run a band. I wasn’t equipped with the tools that I needed to run the show, I felt like we were all learning and tripping over our feet. It was something I had to go through to learn from my mistakes and now with the new guys, not to say anything bad about the other guys, I love them, they’re all my brothers.. with this new band everyone knows their position, what their jobs are… there’s no fights… we’re just happy all the time… we’re not taking anything for granted… we’re all willing to put our all in everything.
I want to take you back a bit: I discovered you from your feature on All Time Low’s “So Wrong, It’s Right”… how did your collaboration on “Remembering Sunday” come to be?
That was awesome, I had just done a record with Matt Squire and ATL was doing their record… they had this song “Remembering Sunday”, I got a call a couple months after from Matt saying “we have this song that we think would be a really great duet and I think you and Alex would mesh together really well”. I actually stayed at Alex’s parents’ house… next day we wrote the lyrics and the melody and Alex said “Okay, that was great… I want to do more songs with her!” So we did the cover with 3OH!3… since then, I went on tour with them for a little while and we’ve been great friends ever since!
One more flashback until we get back to the current happenings. A lot of people learned your name when you were on The Voice… how do you feel that experience impacted who you are as a musician?
Well I mean… it made me a universal name for awhile there, still kind of like a household name… if anything it broadened my fan base and made me jump a hurdle that would normally take 10 years… I really have the show to thank for that kind of exposure… for about 2 years, I would hear… if I went into a store, having that I was robbed or that I should’ve won… after awhile it was kind of depressing… it kind of affected me in a negative way… I didn’t want to be reminded that I lost. But again if I hadn’t gone through this hard time coming off the show… I never would have made the music I’m making now. Had I won, I would have had to be locked into a deal where I had to do what they said and make music that was out of integrity for me and I’m glad I got away from that.
One of my favorite tracks on your new EP, honestly, is “Not Broken Yet” which features Black Veil Brides frontman, Andy Biersack. You can truly feel the connection between you two… there aren’t many duets these days that have that impact on a listener. What was it like recording that track and have you ever performed it live with him?
We haven’t performed it live… yet… that’s all I’m going to say, no more hints on the subject. Recording it, oh my god, I hate to gush over my boyfriend but man do we love each other. Recording it with him was like a dream come true, I mean… I couldn’t believe I’m that girl… I’m a singer and my man’s a singer and we get to do a duet together and it’s like a dream come true… being in the studio with him…. We were so happy, when he was in the studio recording his part I just had this incredibly stupid smile on my face and it was such an amazing experience!
Who or what inspired you to be a musician?
Honestly, the person who first inspired me to be a musician was my brother. Tommy Simms, he started music when he was really young, I always sang… I was singing since I was fuckin’ 2 or 3 years old.. I was singing anything my parents put in front of me… I was always into really into good voices, good melodies and good songs.. Tommy can play everything and I thought that was so admirable… I wanted to sit down and write music to my own song… I asked him to help me out… he sat me down and he handed me a guitar and said learn this… I started taking lessons, and of course growing up listening to bands like Jimmy Eat World, Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Alanis Morissette, Sheryl Crow, whatever I could find that had a great message and great singing.
Out of all the tours you’ve gone out on (solo and band), which can you say is your most memorable and why?
The most memorable tour, let’s see: My most memorable tour was 2011 when it was just me, promoting on the Vans Warped tour… it was just me and my manager… doing that with so little people is very grueling, you have to find out where everything is, have to get ready and warm up and be in the sun and feel like you’re dying and it was a lot of work but it was really rewarding. It was also the tour where I met Andy and fell in love and started our journey together.
This is a 2-part question I love to ask everyone I interview: If you were to headline a tour (either with Automatic Loveletter or solo), what bands/musicians would you like to support you to make your ultimate dream tour?
Umm… The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Foo Fighters, Black Veil Brides!
Second Part: The same question… but what bands would make up your dream tour as a fan?
Didn’t we just answer this, are you kidding me? *laughs* pretty much the same thing!
There’s a petition going around, created by my good friend Christopher Murray (Illuminate Me) to fight back against Facebook’s decision to take away pages organic reach to their fans. What is your take on the subject?
That is horrible! That’s horrible… that’s not the point of social media, that’s the opposite of social media. I don’t like it, at all! I didn’t even know that was going on, I will definitely sign it if it gets sent to me!
What would you say makes Juliet Simms who she is?
I mean, I don’t wanna sound cheesy but my heart… I have a deep, deep care for people and their well-being and helping people, I think what makes me who I am is that I have a massive heart and I really feel a lot.. in a good way, I’m very emotional and I try to take how I feel and my care for the world and people and the only reason I know to help is through my music… what makes me who I am is my music and the art that I try to create.
Well, thank you for taking the time to do this… like I said, it’s a HUGE honor and I hope to meet you one day.
Oh yeah, no problem! Thank YOU for having me!