Juliet Simms: "I’ve Learned To Not Take Life So Seriously."
Juliet Simms has stopped at nothing to create the music she loves. From The Grave, the singer's new EP and follow-up to All Or Nothing is the product of just that, telling the stories of the ups and downs of the music industry and what she has learned about herself along the way. "Resilient" is the perfect word to describe these eight songs, which range from heartbreak and self-doubt to pride, fearlessness and a self-confidence that suits Juliet Simms perfectly. From here, she can only go up, and that's exactly what Juliet plans on doing, with hopes to record a full length record and hit the road in the future. Whatever path she may take, the future looks bright.
Interview by Shannon Shumaker
You’re just getting ready to release your new EP, From The Grave. What are you most excited for fans to hear on it?
I'm just looking forward to the whole thing to be out. There’s not one song I’m not proud of, so I’m excited for every song to be heard.
What was the most rewarding part about working on the EP?
I think the most rewarding part comes when it gets released. There’s no greater feeling than your work *hopefully* being received well by your fans. However, the recording process is probably my favorite part of being a musician. I had such a blast recording these songs. I also enjoyed working on the artwork for this EP more than any other body of work I’ve put out. Every photo is a polaroid from a SX-70 Polaroid Land Camera mirroring the music. Everything is super raw.
Just the title, From The Grave as well as the songs on the EP sort of tell about your own personal growth and overcoming struggles over the past few years. What was it like being able to tell those stories and grow with the EP?
It’s always a feeling of relief when you’re honest with yourself and or with another person. My only hope is someone will listen to these songs and relate in some way to my words and possibly help or inspire them in some way.
I think a lot of people don’t really get to see or fully understand the inner workings and struggles of the music industry like musicians do, and you’ve sort of had to deal with the highs and lows of that over the last few years. What has been one of the hardest obstacles that you’ve had to overcome as a musician?
Some, not all, but some suits in the music industry didn’t have that big of imaginations when It came to me and my voice. In other words at the time, nothing really like the way I sang or wrote was really popular or huge yet or was too old school, so unless it was something they’d seen before or seen stick, they'd tend to run in the opposite direction haha. It seems to be a different story now with certain artists opening up the door to that old school sound being mainstream and popular again. I guess my one regret was not trying hard enough to be the one to turn that knob. Especially because it’s all I’ve been doing my entire life. I’m just thankful it’s more accepted now. So yeah, my biggest struggle has been trying to stay true to who I am as an artist and not give in to the big machine and what I’m being told will make me a star.
There’s also quite a bit of self love in these songs, especially “Say Hello,” which I feel is really great, especially for young women listening to From The Grave to hear. What would you like your fans to be able to take away from the messages on the EP?
I want them to be able to take away from the EP their interpretation of what they get from it. Whether it being finding some more self confidence, strength, inner badass, courage, knowing they’re not alone etc. But it’s not really my job or place to tell someone what they should get from my music. Everyone’s story is different, everyone has their own life or struggles going on and that’s what's unique when you have people who listen to your music. Every set of ears hears something different than the next set. If I could wish one thing, to be taken from my music, all it would be in general is to help in some way.
You address it quite a bit of the EP, so how do you feel that you’ve grown or evolved over the past few years, either as a musician or personally?
Personally I feel I’ve changed a lot. I drastically changed my life style in regards to almost everything. Made some big changes. Most importantly I’ve learned to not take life so seriously, having a lot more true joy and fun everyday, found a fresh new excitement for the future and all that seems to make keeping my head up a lot easier. Musically this has helped me tremendously when it comes to writing lyrics. I feel in touch with darker stuff as much as I am with writing happy lyrics. It’s very odd but it’s something new I have going on.
I know it has been a few years since you were on The Voice, but how do you feel that the experience has affected the way you approach music or write? What was the biggest lesson you took away from it?
Stay far far away.
There are a ton of different sounds on From The Grave. What did you draw influence from musically for this release?
I listen to a whole variety of music and almost anything thats good, inspires me. A lot of these songs were inspired by taking older music and making it modern. Few names to pass around that I was listening to then are, Sheryl Crow, The Eagles, Lenny Kravits, Aerosmith, Metallica, The white stripes, etc
With the EP dropping soon, do you have any plans to hit the road later this year?
If it were up to me and I could wave my magic music wand, I’d make an actual LP and hit the road first thing 2017. I have a couple one offs this year, but I really want to record a full length record. Figuring how to accomplish that is my next challenge.
Thank you for taking the time to chat! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Just want to say thank you, and thank you to all the people who continue to believe in me and have stuck by and stayed true this whole journey <3