Have you heard the new single, called “Take Me,” or have you seen the music video on VEVO? It’s Juliet Simms, Season 2 runner-up on “The Voice.” This is Juliet’s first new music since her 2016 EP titled “From the Grave”.
Rarely, do I agree with the winners of music reality shows, but I had such high hopes for that season when Cee Lo Green had Juliet and Tony Vincent (“Rocktopia”) on his team. Juliet grabbed audiences right from the start in blind auditions when singing “Oh! Darling” by the Beatles. Alas, I was disappointed again when she didn’t win! The good news is… I had the excellent fortune recently to sit down with Juliet in New York and talk about her childhood, her music and we even had some girl talk about when she met and fell in love with her husband, Black Veil Brides’ Andy Biersack.
Born and raised in California, Juliet’s dad and her brothers were all surfers. “We grew up on the beach. We ate barbecue, played in the ocean and listened to good music. The music I was brought up on was the legends… The Beatles, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, etc..,” but, she says, “I never had a singing lesson until I did ‘The Voice’. I couldn’t carry a tune or sing when I was a little girl, but I wanted it so bad. I wanted it more than anything in the world. And, I was determined to make it happen. I started from ground zero and worked my ass off. I sang every day for hours. I was determined to spend my whole life working on getting a voice.” Juliet ended up as frontwoman and songwriter for the band Automatic Loveletter from 2007–2011, releasing four EPs and two full-length albums.
While Juliet doesn’t claim to be the greatest singer of all time, she says the artists who inspired her most always had an original sound. “I didn’t want to be just a great singer, I wanted to have my own voice. I sound like me and nobody else. And, I have never recorded a song that I haven’t written!!! It wouldn’t be believable.”
In discussing “Take Me,” she says “When you write a song, you are creating something out of nothing. That’s close to being magic. It comes from a place that I can’t describe. It comes out as it comes out. I can be sitting on the piano and think of a melody and put chords to that. I often sit at night and just write so many lyrics…poems and poems.” Right now, Juliet is currently co-writing with John Sullivan “who is an amazing talented musician and artist. I love co-writing because you get others people’s magic places.”
One of her favorite co-writers is her husband Andy. She says, she always dreamt of having a significant other and writing songs together. Meeting Andy was fate. Originally, she met him through his then-girlfriend, but it wasn’t until a few years later, when they were both single, that she reconnected with Andy when they were on the same tour. They stayed up talking all night, and fell in love…and the rest, as they say, is history. She says, she can’t imagine being married to someone not in the business. “It’s a world, we both understand; therefore, we have the same reality. Our realness is the same as each other’s. Because of that, it creates a great affinity and love for each other because we have this strong connection and great communication.”
Things continue to change in the music industry, so different fromwhen she was first signed to Epic Records years ago, so I asked her… “How do you make it as an artist today?” First thing, she says, “Shut the TV off, watch a documentary, read a book, open your mind. Interest comes when you learn something you don’t know. While learning and creating social media is essential, it can be a slight form of brainwashing if you don’t open your mind. When you listen to other people’s ideas, then you learn about history, music history…you will want to know more.” She says, learn about recording…about the console that they used at the Sound City Studio. Learn about recording on tape as opposed to recording digitally. “There should be a law you have to record to analog,” she jokes. But, truthfully, “you have to be a full package. It’s your brand. But, most importantly, you need something really unique and something special. I think that if it is a good song, that’s where its at!”