I can’t tell you how stoked I was when we got the opportunity to interview Juliet Simms. She has been in the industry a long time now and is so under rated. I sat down with her after her set on Vans Warped Tour and talked Automatic Loveletter, haters, and Juliet’s incredible drive to keep her music going.
Tell me how the APMA’s went this year!
Juliet: It was awesome! I hosted last year for the first ever APMA, but this year I got to just go as an artist, which is way more comfortable for me. I’m not always politically correct and I’m not ‘Mrs. Hostess’ with all of the questions either. I’m much better at answering questions than asking them. Getting to rock the red carpet with my boyfriend Andy was amazing, presenting the award for best vocalist to Hayley Williams was such an honor, too.
She’s an amazing singer, I look up to her and have so much respect for her. I also got to hang out with her and Cody of Set It Off and talk about our old vocal coach, Ron Anderson. We talked about his technique and how he helped us progress and grow, and we also talked about how eccentric he is haha. If you know him, you understand.
That’s great! Now on this tour have you had any fans ask to hear old Automatic Loveletter songs?
Juliet: Oh absolutely. A lot of my fans have been there since Automatic Loveletter, so of course they are going to ask to hear some of those songs and actually, that is totally OK with me! What a lot of people don’t realize is that Automatic Loveletter, was my band. I was the one that got signed, I wrote all of the songs, I recorded all of those songs, the band came after the fact.
It was a major label deal and guess who was big at the time? Paramore. So what do major labels do? “Well now we need OUR Paramore!” So in that context, I was their Paramore. All of the band members were ‘hired guns,’ which is why there were so many different musicians all of the time! I’m glad we’re talking about this because I can finally start telling people how it really was!
Long story short though, yes haha. I love playing old songs because I’m still the same person I was when I wrote them.
Wild! Let’s talk about the ‘End Of The World‘ music video. What was it like seeing the final product? Did it get you choked up at all?
Juliet: Absolutely. I wrote the treatment for that video at like 3:00 in the morning, came up with the whole concept and idea, but had to figure out how to make it for almost no money. The whole EP was done off of Pledge Music, I’m independent. So I don’t have a budget from a record label or anything to make music videos.
Luckily being in the music industry for so long, I’ve been able to make some friends. One of those friends is actually my good friend Joshua Shultz. He’s a music video producer and also an incredible photographer so I asked him if he would be willing to do this for little to no money, and we in return would plug him like crazy on our social media pages. He said “Fuck yeah I’m totally down with what you are doing and I want to help!” So amazing!
I was able to co-direct and art direct too! It may not be the most believable video production wise, because it was made for less than $500.
I’m actually more impressed now knowing that! Especially the scene with all of the roots hanging? Super sharp and clean.
Juliet: Well Josh had a fucking KILLER idea and we were able to put that whole thing together for like $40? Real cheap haha. You’d be surprised how crafty you can get when you don’t have a lot of money! Back to your question though, I sat there with Josh and edited the whole thing alongside him and when it all come together, it was such a magical moment.
Andy (Biersack) was on the other side of the planet at the time on tour, but he called me after I had sent it to him and he was almost sobbing! It was so sweet! We sent it to his parents, they cried. We sent it to my parents, they cried. I never thought I would be so happy making my family cry haha.
Beautiful. Now every artist has to deal with ‘haters,’ but you deal with a very different breed of hater. Did you ever think that criticism and all of that bullshit would come from the fact that people are jealous of who you are dating?!
Juliet: No. Never. Before I was with Andy and I was doing my thing with Automatic Loveletter, I don’t think I ever got one hate comment. I never had one threat, never dissed or hated on, or torn apart for my looks. When we got together though I was like “Wait, what is this feeling?” I’m not sure I was even sad, I was just alarmed. I put up with it though because I love him so much. We’re each other’s best friends, literally nothing can tear us apart.
So whenever I see those things I say “Man, do I love you. Because I put up with a looooot of shit!” There has been a turn though. There has been so much more positivity and people willing to come to my defense, the hate has started to fizzle away.
Now Andy is no stranger to hate either. Has he taught you anything about dealing with criticism and shitty people?
Juliet: Yeah, for sure. Like I said before I wasn’t having to deal with any of that before him, and he on the other hand was having to rise above all of that to make his band successful and as popular as they are now, I certainly learned a lot from him. He’s almost the king of it right?
Andy helped me learn how to turn the negativity into fuel for the fire, in a positive way.
I’ve heard you say in the passed that if you want something bad enough it will happen. Do you still believe that?
Juliet: Absolutely. Take Pledge Music for instance. When I first looked at the idea of crowd funding and handling everything that that entailed by myself? I thought it was fucking impossible. It’s not as easy as just ‘asking people for money,’ and then you get to make a record. There are things you have to do for the fans once they give you that money. Like hand written lyrics, shout outs, disposable cameras. Imagine buying 150 disposable cameras, using them up, and then one fan gets them all!
Signing all of the CD’s, Skype lessons, Skype concerts, even private house concerts. There was so much to do and at times it was so overwhelming getting every single fans address, answering every single question, paste, post, sign, SEND! It was so much work for one person to do, but I wanted it that bad. I am of the belief that if you want something bad enough and are willing to do all of the work that is required to achieve it, it will be yours.
Amazing. Juliet thank you so much for your time!
Juliet: No problem, thank you!
You can get Juliet’s latest EP All Or Nothing from her Pledge Music page, or at her Merch Tent while on the Vans Warped Tour!