Juliet Simms talks “All Or Nothing” and Vans Warped Tour 2015

Could you give us a small background on what got you into music and how you knew that you wanted to do this as a career? 

Oh Wow, Yea I was born in San Francisco, CA and grew up basically right on the beaches of San Diego, My brothers and his friends were all surfers and we pretty much spent most of our lives on the beach. Everyday was just laughing, surfing and rock`n’ roll. I grew up listening to Led Zeppelin, Steve Miller, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Simon & Garfunkel, and the list goes on and on and on. Anyway I knew from a very young age that I just loved it, Music that is. I loved it so much, I would go back home and like every night we would have BBQ’s and stuff and I would always put on shows for my entire family. We had a big family, So my favorite thing to do was put on these huge giant productions for them and you know I would dress up and make them sit there and watch me perform and sang lyrics to famous rock and roll songs. I really really started singing when I was around 7 or 8 years old and I was terrible. I was not good at all, I couldn’t carry a note. My parents as supportive as they are, were like your crazy and you could totally do it and cheered me on. Throughout the years I just trained myself to sing properly. So I’ve known that I wanted to do this my entire life. 

Being that you were a fairly known artist prior to appearing on The Voice, Do you feel that the show has helped or hindered your career as a musician?

It has done a little bit of both for me, It had definitely given me a bit more of a mainstream broad appeal, meaning that people who hadn’t heard of me before, Have now heard of me and are now fans which is incredible and very priceless. My fan base has definitely broadened since the show. I think now it’s different as far as it being hindered. You know once I got off the show it was like I was classified as that singing competition girl and for a little bit I was trying to escape the title of the girl that should’ve won and she got robbed. For awhile I was like I don’t want to be that girl for the rest of my life. Thankfully they have done like 25 additional seasons since I got off the show, haha. It kind of went away and now after releasing All Or Nothing and doing it on my own, I think its been enough time that I am now just Juliet Simms and that those old titles from The Voice has finally just been left in the dust which is great! 

What advice would you give to those aspiring singers that live and breathe shows like The Voice & American Idol?

Ugh, It’s hard because I kind of agree with what Dave Grohl has said about singing competition shows. (Check it out here: http://loudwire.com/dave-grohl-blasts-tv-singing-competitions/) He said get in a band play shows at your local bars and get in the garage and suck, suck for years and be terrible. I agree with him and I did that. I read his whole article on what he thinks of singing competition shows and at first I was offended but then I was like wait a minute I did that for so long. Me going on the show was kind of a different story then just waking up one morning and saying that I’m going to win The Voice and my dreams are going to come true. They came to me and were like I really want you to be on the show and I was skeptical and I mean I was a skeptic until up literally the live rounds. I was like I don’t know if I should be doing this, What am I doing? I would tell any other singers out there if they really want to make it as an artist they have a better shot just going out there on their own then with a singing competition show. I mean you have to understand if you don’t win, you’re going to be that singer that lost after so many rounds. It’s more harmful on your career then if you were to just go for it on your own. It’ll be nice yes for 6 months of your life when you’re on live television and people are fawning over you but as soon as those cameras shut off, everything goes blank and goes away; It’s the end.

You’ve launched you’re Pledge Music campaign back in May of 2014 to self release your new EP titled “All Or Nothing” and the campaign exceeded the funding amount needed to create the EP. Now that the EP is created and released, Would you say it was easier or more difficult to self release an EP now that you’ve had the experience of self releasing and label releasing an EP?

Okay, It was not easier but it was way more rewarding and more fun. Through a label you don’t deal with all of the logistics. I have learned so much through this campaign, I was like my own little Record Label. I know now exactly what it takes to fund a record, pay for it, record it, get it made, and get it out. Because I had to go through all the steps of what a record label would do for me. I am more appreciative of the fans and I’m more appreciative of the process itself. Obviously with a record label they take care of making cd’s, getting the printed, etc. That took weeks finding the correct codes to put into iTunes and then you have to sign up for tune core and I mean the whole thing was just like OMG I have to do this now, What? What? It was almost confusing at times and like ugh how am I going to do this. So at the end of it all I just felt the reward of all the hard work I put into the EP so much more. Do I want to do it again? I think if I do it again I want to have more help and I think in order to do a record again with Pledge Music I need to like hire 3 people to help me out this time. It’s also a plus self-releasing cause you don’t have that person at a label on your back saying how your sound should sound, etc.. Being in the studio it was such a relief for me and Aaron Sprinkle, We we’re just like “yea that sounds crazy lets do it” with nobody telling us what to do or how to do it. It was just really fun to make. 

You’ve released your new self-released EP titled “All Or Nothing” back on January 27th 2015, What inspired the name of this album?

Well there is a few things, one being what my life was representing around then It was Im either going to go all in or go nothing at all. It was the same thing with the fans. I named it All Or Nothing cause it was like we’re either all in this together or nothings going to happen meaning like even if I don’t make the goal like we’re all in or nothing at all. So that was one reason why I named it that. Also it kind of represents how I am as a person, I’m very all or nothing even with my personality. I’m very like I’m super into something or I’m like not interested at all. I’m like I’m going to eat this entire bowl of pasta or I’m just not going to eat it at all. I’m very all or nothing. I thought that name suited what I was going through very well and also what I was going through with the fans and my life in general around the time. 

Out of the six songs on the new EP, Which song would say holds the most meaning to you. What does this song mean to you?

End Of the World is definitely my most emotional song when I sing it, It actually holds so much connection for me that I actually hate to admit this but I actually performed it live and began crying. That song definitely holds the most meaning for me. The song is about a couple of things you know, I was going through a pretty tough time back in 2013, it was not a good year pretty dark actually. Andy Biersack, my boyfriend was there for me through it all and he was there for me but you know we had our struggles and you know not even relationship is skittles and rainbows so we had a hard time. He was trying to help me through a period of my life and I was just like OMG. So I wrote that song as a kind of you know he left for tour but you know thats his job, he’s currently gone with his band Black Veil Brides & at the time it was seriously the End Of The World for me and I wrote this song as kind of an apology to him and that I was going to turn things around for the better and I guess I just love the guy so much that I just sing this song like we through it. YAY! 

What influenced you to create and self release this EP?

A couple of things, Well I was in Nashville for some co-writing. I was writing with some other people but the main person who I was writing with and stuck out in my mind was Aaron Sprinkle we were writing some really great songs. Like we even have besides the EP released, we have tons of other songs that we have written together and were saving for the record but I remember standing at his studio out front and smoking a cigarette and He was like I have a really crazy idea cause at the time I have no Record Label and I didn’t know what to do. He was like you should do like a Kick Starter or like a Crowd Fund and I was like yeah but I heard from friends that have done it before that it’s really really a lot of work and really hard and if you don’t make the money needed then you have to give back to money. I was just like problems, problems, problems, being so not into it and he was like no your fans/supporters are there for you they’re crazy, You can do it. I was like okay, really and he’s like yeah. Ive had like artists and bands do it before and they have not had the support you have. You could totally do this Juliet, So I was like let me check it out and look into it. So I get home from the studio and log online and looked it up and was like okay whats the best place to go to CrowdFund where I then actually called Kevin Lyman. Kevin was like PledgeMusic hands down PledgeMusic and he gave me a referral and a guy to talk to that has down crowd funding before. I was just like okay, so I typed in PledgeMusic and the number that it gave me, I just called the number and a guy name Matt Pendergast picked up the phone and still today Matt is my guy, like everything I do on PledgeMusic he is the one. I mean I emailed the guys probably like ten times a day. It was like alright lets do this, It was a lot of work but totally worth it.

How long did it take to create this EP starting from the writing process to the recording and producing/mixing process? How was it working with Aaron Sprinkle?

It was amazing working with Aaron, He is a dream producer to work with. It took, I mean I started the process in May, but we started planning for it in March so it’ll be a year. Everything started being written and all of that a little over a year ago, I mean I went out to Nashville a few times to write and stuff but I been working with Aaron since January of last year. So we wrote Evangeline in January of last year. 

I wanna Congratulate you on your debut on the top 40 Billboard charts. How does it feel to know that an EP, that you self released with funds from your loyal fans, ended up being #34 on the top 40 charts of Billboard, #4 for New Artist & #1 for Alternative Artist? 

Haha, It feels really good. When I got those statistics back I think I laughed and I cried for like a whole twenty minutes because it was just like wow it feels so good and the fact that I did that completely on my own. I have bragging rights for at least a year. It was just great, like the whole purpose of this EP was for myself and for the fans to kind of prove a point to Two Record Labels and thats really what we did. I was so proud of my fan base and my supporters I was just so happy. Literally if I could give everyone a hug I would but that would take a long time. 

What has been the fans response to this new EP now that its been out for about 3 and a half weeks? 

Oh my Gosh, its amazing. The response has been nothing but positivity and the most kind words ever. The praising I almost cant even take it. I’m not like that person who says “Oh give me compliments and fawn over me” like I’m not that person at all. I would read these responses and its almost hard to take I would tear up and It’s just really really really so beautiful and I couldn’t be more happy with the response to it as I am.

How would you say you have grown/matured as a person and musician since you first starting creating musician as a solo musician? 

Oh Wow, Well I been writing music since I was really young and I have gone through quite the roller coaster being signed, being signed here and there, then not being signed like traveling the world. I have done almost all of it. I would say this though, Even including the low times and the hard times I would not be who I am and as focuses as I am as an artist, If I didn’t have to go through such fucking  life’s Jumps and Hoops. I wouldn’t want to say that I have changed or that I’m different in the lifetime that I have lived but Ive grown. People grow, They learn from their mistakes and become better at things and yea its change but I think it’s all positive growing up and growing and taking what you have in the past and using it for your future. I was just say that I have definitely grown.  

You have been announced on one of the worlds largest festivals, Warped Tour 2015! This wouldn’t be your first year on Warped. So you already know what to expect from Warped Tour, although its been a few years since you’ve been on it. What are you most looking forward to this summer on Warped Tour this year? 

I am really looking forward to the fact that I get to be on such a massive stage this year and that I get to be with a whole band, like I’m very excited that I get to play with a full band. It’s been a couple of years since I played with a full band and I’m totally over just playing acoustic. I’m very excited to see everybody that works on Warped Tour as I been on it now 6 years but I’ve visited like 8 times. So I am very excited to see everybody and mostly the thing I’m most excited about is to see and hug fans and sign things for them and just hang out. Also, Ill be able to see my babe everyday and spend the summer with him (Andy Biersack of Black Veil Brides).

If you had to introduced your music to a new fan who has never listened to your music and has never heard of you. What song from any of your music would you choose to debut to them as their first listen to Juliet Simms? 

Oh Wow, thats so tough because I would choose End Of The World but that doesn’t represent the rest of the record. They cant really get an idea of what I sound like with just that song. I would show them End Of The World though to entice them in. 

I wanted to ask a few questions off the topic of music, One being about your Never Take It Off Bracelets, Could you tell us about what they are and what they are meant to promote?

Well, Never Take It Off is now actually a jewelry company, We do everything from bracelets to necklaces to rings and headpieces, all the above. It started off at the beginning of 2011 Warped Tour, I needed a cool merch idea to sell to fans. I wanted something really unique, and My record The Kids Will Take Their Monsters On the first song titled “Never Take It Off” on the record. I was like okay I have an idea we can tie bracelets on kids that are string and they tie and they never take em off. So I sat for like a month before Warped Tour and I sat and made these bracelets with beads and I mean I made thousands of them by hand by myself and thats how it started. I went out on Warped Tour and started tying these bracelets on everybody and thats how Never Take It Off formed. Now, we have artists involved and the whole idea behind these bracelets is like a promise to yourself that you tie on and never take it like I promise to stop cutting and like tie on the bracelets to promise yourself you wont do it. The bracelet is supposed to represent something like a dream or promise you really want to accomplish and that you’ll promise to stop doing and represent more then just a bracelet. 

The Other questions being, If you had to choose 3 songs to describe yourself as a musician, What 3 words would you choose and why?

Passionate, Dedicated, & Truthful.

Other then Warped Tour, What can your fans expect from you this coming year and for The future of Juliet Simms?

Well I am really hoping that after this summers Warped Tour, if all goes well I get to actually create my whole full length album. That would be my ideal dream and lord knows I can make shit happen. I would really really like to make that record this year after Warped Tour. I couldn’t say if it’ll be self released or not. Ive had interests from labels already because of how well this EP has done. Whether its through a label or self released I have no idea. Whatever the wind brings me.

Is there anything you wish to tell your fans or soon to be fans? 

Yes, I love you all so much, Thank you for being the fucking raddest supporters on the planet and I couldn’t ask for anything more! – Juliet Simms

Check out Juliet Simms: https://www.facebook.com/JulietSimms

 

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