I had the amazing opportunity to chat with Juliet Simms for a few minutes over the phone. I can’t express how genuinely and passionately she talked about her music, that it would make anyone open up a tab on their internet browser and look her up. Turns out she was also super impressed that I was an OG fan of hers from when she was featured on an All Time Low song. Check out our chat about her new EP From The Grave, Harry Potter, and her fantastic relationship with Black Veil Brides‘ Andy Biersack.
MEB: I tend to start my interviews off the same, so, which is your favorite song off your new EP, From The Grave?
Juliet: That’s a toughy. It depends on what mood I’m in, honestly. If I want to headbang and dance around it would have to be “Say Hello”.
I listened to your songs a lot the previous few days and I’ve noticed quite the genre mix going on. There are a few rock type songs, a pop sounding song, and a few acoustic. How’d you come to mix them all onto one EP?
Because I can do that. (Laughs) I mean, it’s who I am as an artist. I am definitely, when it comes to good music, not one style. I think that goes to show, too, that with my earlier writings with Automatic Loveletter, each record wasn’t fluid, not in a bad way. There were different styles and tones and textures. It doesn’t hurt that these songs weren’t all written at the same time or in the same town or with the same people.
I know you’ve had some harsh times since you started your music. How has it been trying to find yourself through these songs and never giving in?
Well, you know, I’d be a liar if I said it wasn’t hard, especially as a female in the rock industry. You have to toughen yourself up and thicken your skin. It’s been a very hard journey and very much a roller coaster with many barriers that I have to constantly overcome. I’ve been with my manager for a long time and we have this thing where we just say, “Are you serious?” to each other. The easy thing to do would be to just say “f*ck it”, but that’s not who I am. You have to not take it so seriously and just laugh it off. I won’t be happy if I’m not making music. That’s what makes me the happiest. I have to journey ahead and so be it.
Why did you choose a phoenix to portray your goal of personal growth and strength?
Because the phoenix is grace, it’s beauty, it’s ugly, it’s fire, it’s passion, it’s life, it’s indicative of a lot of stuff I’ve been through metaphorically. It’s the perfect example of life and what a lot of people go through. Life isn’t meant to be easy. It’s not. There’s a verge that is so easy to fall into, a path and a road, it’s so easy to veer off and we all do it. I wanted something to connect with my listeners to say I’m just like you, I’m a person. I’ve f*cked up in the past and it doesn’t mean you can’t pick yourself up and be more beautiful and more strong and grab life by the reigns and get back on the road.
Weird question, was there any thought to Harry Potter because of Fawkes?
Oh my god, yeah. Are you kidding me! You’re talking to the biggest Harry Potter nerd ever. I’ve read the books each about six times, literally. I’m not even kidding. The movies are on repeat in my house. I’m the biggest Harry Potter dork. I used to stand in line from 9 a.m. until the books came out. We used to camp out. Harry Potter is one of my favorite things that this world has ever created.
Do you have any upcoming tours lined up?
At the moment, I’m working with my booking agency for one-offs this year. Mostly, before I go on a real tour, I want to get into the studio and finish a full length. Not that these songs won’t be played live when I go on tour, but I think it’s about time I put out a full length album. That’s what’s in the books now.
What was it like touring with the Warped crew, and why aren’t you on the tour this year?
I was on last year. It’s kind of a pattern with Warped. They don’t put bands on two years in a row. I’ve done it six times already and those people are my family. The first time I was on was when I snuck on in 2007. That was 9 years ago and most of those people are my best friends; a lot of them were invited to my wedding, which was a very intimate thing to begin with. I want to see my tour family every day, sure, but it’s nice to be home for the summer with my new husband and our animals doing domestic type things. That’s really nice, especially for two people who tour so much. It’s kind of boring, but we take pleasure in the little things like going to the grocery store.
Being on The Voice must’ve changed your life immensely. Tell me about the overall experience of being on the show and coming in second.
Wow, there’s so much to say about this. The Voice gave me an amazing platform to open up my audience and open up my fan base to a bigger scale. They gave me the biggest stage in the world. All over the world, it was the biggest stage I’ve ever played on. That is something I would never take back. It was completely mind-blowing. However, there is a misconception with reality shows, especially competition shows. That it’s very much driven by people behind the cameras. You’re kept awake sometimes for 24 hours. You’re secluded, with your friends and family for a long time and the show personally fed me empty promises. Once the mic season ended, it’s kind of like, “on with the next.” Especially since I was one of the only artists besides Cassidy Pope and a few others that had pre-existing experience with being on tour and dealing with that stuff. I was literally chosen, I didn’t audition, they came to me and asked me to be on the show. I felt a little bit used and that kind of hurt, especially since I love most of the people there. It was a slap in the face at the end. But, I can’t say thank you enough for the fans and being on the biggest stage in the world.
Personally I know you from the song “Remembering Sunday”. I gotta ask and I know this was from a long time ago, but what was it like working with All Time Low?
I love those dudes. It was great. We’re total buds. I didn’t really know who they were when I was asked to sing on their records and before they became a world wide band. I had already recorded with Matt, who was helping them out, and went to Maryland where I met Alex and the guys and they were all sweet and pumped and incredibly talented. It was fun. Next thing I knew I was hopping in their van to go on a mini acoustic tour with them. Now it’s been ten years since we’ve known each other. We’re buds. Great band, great people.
Have you ever performed that song live with them?
Oh yeah, I sang it live a bunch with them. The most memorable was on their live DVD that was taped in New York.
You’ve recently married Andy Biersack of Black Veil Brides and can I just say how astounding you looked. I absolutely loved the tiara you wore. What’s it like to have that support from somebody who knows exactly what you’re going through and has been there before?
Oh my god, it’s life-saving. It’s stabilizing. It’s reassuring. It’s comforting. It doesn’t hurt that he is one of the most brilliant men in the music industry. He’s so smart when it comes to all this music stuff. The fact that I can turn to him and get that from him, I mean, it’s literally the ideal scenario I’ve always wanted my entire life. It was something that I always wanted. I always put that there. And then it just happened and it’s f*cking awesome, dude.
Is there anything else you’d like the readers of Mind Equals Blown to know about?
Just if you don’t know who I am, check out my records. Check out my band, Automatic Loveletter. For the people who have heard of me and still to this day continue to support me, thank you so much and I love you. I get to keep going because of you. Thanks for always staying by my side.
Thanks so much for taking the time out of your day to chat with me, Juliet. You’re the sweetest.
Awe, thanks babe. I hope to chat with you again soon!