MEB staff writer/photographer Murjani Rawls caught up with Juliet Simms, formerly of Automatic Loveletter to talk about her newest EP, All Or Nothing, her experiences on The Voice, and going back on Warped Tour.
MEB: Can you introduce yourself to all the Mind Equals Blown readers out there?
Juliet: My name is Juliet Simms. I just released a new EP, All Or Nothing. Check it out on iTunes.
When did you first start making music?
I actually started writing songs when I was around six or seven. I would put on shows for my family every night. All day long, I would find the songs that I wanted to sing and put outfits together and perform every night for my family.
What and who were some of your influences growing up in terms of music?
I was born in California and my dad was a surfer growing up. Him and his brothers with my mom – they were all hippies. I was born listening to The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Steve Miller – just classic rock and roll. I have three tattoos on me of lyrics from The Beatles. Billy Joel, David Bowie – Hunky Dory changed my life. Even Rumors by Fleetwood Mac, that record is such a staple for me.
Many fans would remember you from Automatic Loveletter. Is the writing process different from music under that band to the new EP?
It’s pretty much the same. Automatic Loveletter was just me. I wrote all the songs and recorded all of the songs. The band that played with me live was different from the actual recording process. Automatic Loveletter was rotating members through the years. I’ve matured a little bit. With Automatic Loveletter, those songs were geared to a certain age bracket. My solo songs are definitely more universal.
I wanted to go into the Pledgefund campaign for All or Nothing. It made more than was required. Your fans came out in droves to get behind the new project. How did that make you feel when you found out and to know you still have that connection since the early days?
That was so emotional for me. Moving! I cried. It made me so happy that my supporters are loyal and dedicated that they could make this happen for me and for them. It just felt like there was a force behind me that could not be reckoned with. It’s truly something that you don’t get overnight. You go for years and years. The fact that I’ve been doing this for over a decade now – it goes to show what hard work can get you.
It was great to see just from a fan perspective that people have that love to follow their favorite musician who have been doing this for a long time.
It’s was like OMG, I get to do this for the rest of my life. They are with me, I’m with them; let’s live our lives together. It makes me so happy.
With avenues like Pledgefund and Bandcamp, would you recommend that route over a major label?
The music industry is always changing, always changing. I think now with technology, it’s a lot easier for a musician to get their music to listeners. You don’t have to go through all these channels, funnels, hoops, and mountains. It’s just artist-to-fan. That’s what music is all about. It’s about getting your music to the listener without having to change anything; it’s a beautiful thing.
There’s definitely an unfiltered element where everything feels real and there’s more of an invested interest between both parties.
I’ve been sitting at a table for the last eight hours and my hands are actually bleeding (laughs). I’m writing labels, I’m packaging, and signing. It’s awesome to see all the names and the pledges that came with it.
How was your experience on The Voice? We see everything from the outside with the finished product. I was wondering what was being on the show?
The struggle is real! You get about three or four hours of sleep. They keep you on a rocky schedule. I got sick the last week with a 103 degree temperature. For me, other people may argue, but because of the song choices, my coach who knew who I was as an artist – it was rewarding. I got to sing the songs that I wanted to sing and the reviews were great acknowledgment. Despite the no sleep, I had a wonderful experience.
The new EP, All Or Nothing seemed like a redemption story. The vocals were very strong and I felt like it was a statement. “I’m here, this is what I wanted to do and say”. You are here and you made it through everything.
That’s a huge compliment! Writing this EP and recording it, it was a “look at me now” type thing. It meant so much to me.
You worked with Aaron Sprinkle who has worked with Anberlin and One Republic. How was it working with him on this EP?
A dream! He’s so hardworking and funny. We would laugh until we were both red. We never got into a fight or bumped heads. If every producer that I worked with can be like him, I’d be the happiest person on the planet.
How does it feel going back on the road and hitting the Warped Tour roads again?
I feel better than ever. I feel more confident about this Warped Tour than I was with ALL. I cannot wait. I have a surprise. A little surprise coming on stage with me every now and again. No hints!
It’s well chronicled that you’re dating Andy Biersack from Black Veil Brides. I love that you guys are just enjoying all the success and that you both get “it” because you’re both musicians.
The thing about mine and Andy’s relationship is that there’s no competition. We just support each other no matter what. The boy is a huge rock star, but at night he’ll be signing packages with me. That man is such a good person.
This was an awesome interview. Thank you for speaking to Mind Equals Blown. Anything you want to say to your fans?
I would like to say I don’t know where I would be without you. I love you from the bottom of my heart. Let’s do this together for the rest of our lives.