On August 2, 2014, just 11 days after she flew from Boston to Cleveland to attend the very first Alternative Press Awards, HayleyRocksU sat down with Juliet Simms, who hosted the red carpet. Juliet’s kind manner and warm smiles were infectious, but in speaking with her, Hayley felt this musician’s strength and drive that has taken her through a bumpy road in the music business, only to arrive stronger for the journey.
Her loyal fans have always followed her, but Juliet was following them right back, in her decision to fan-fund a new EP, and give the Snakeys what they were waiting for. Authentic Juliet. She was supposed to spend the whole day in the recording studio before her interview with Hayley, but as she sang in Lost It All, “We all fall down sometimes.” Juliet had the flu.
She said she tries to stay healthy by living clean – no drinking, no smoking, eating healthy, and practicing yoga – but doing it all takes its toll. She appeared on Skype with Hayley wrapped in her sweatshirt, big butterfly lashes peeking from the hood, and you would think she was just getting comfy, not looking sick in the least. Radiating warmth through the screen, Juliet gave thoughtful answers mixed with soft giggles and shrugs. She leaves you feeling like you’re her new BFF. She listens, and she shares. Her new EP is titled “All or Nothing”. Lucky for us, Juliet chooses ALL.
HRU: Hi Juliet! Thanks for taking the time for this interview!
J: You’re welcome! And you’re wearing my shirt – yay! Is your hair pink?
HRU: Yes it is! It has faded a little.
J: I don’t know if you can see, but there’s some purple/violet in mine!
HRU: I can see it, and I love it! How did it feel to host the red carpet?
J: I felt like I was doing something monumental, and being a part of history.
HRU: What was your favorite thing about being there?
J: Getting to meet Joan Jett, Slash, Joe Perry, and Laura Jane Grace from Against Me.
HRU: How did the job come about? Did someone contact you?
J: Yes, Kevin Lyman, creator of Warped Tour, he had a conversation with Mike Shea, the CEO of Alternative Press, and they contacted me.
HRU: What did you do after the show? Were there any parties?
J: There were PLENTY of parties. But unfortunately, we had to get up early in the morning. Andy had to go back to recording, and I had to fly to Nashville. But we did get together with some of our friends from The Misfits, and All Time Low.
HRU: How does it feel to be funded 100% now with “All or Nothing”?
J: Well, I always had a record deal before. I always had a label, so it was a bit scary. But I feel safe, I can breathe easy now.
HRU: It’s wonderful that you are offering your time in return for pledges. What is it like to be in touch with your fans?
J: (smiles) It feels like I’m starting one BIG family!
HRU: Where are you in the recording process?
J: We have all the drums, all the keys, and all the guitars. I’m starting vocals on Monday, then one more week and it’s finished!
HRU: How would you describe the sound of this new EP?
J: There are a lot of female rock influences, but also influences like The Rolling Stones, and 90’s bands like Smashing Pumpkins and Foo Fighters.
HRU: For many celebrities, being famous puts a burden on their relationships. But you and Andy Biersack seem to thrive in the public eye. How do you make it work?
J: We communicate, a LOT. We don’t keep ANY secrets, and don’t do anything we couldn’t tell the other person. There’s a lot of trust. We have our own separate lives too. We’re not perfect, but we DON’T put our private lives on social media. We keep our relationship really strong.
HRU: Now I’d like to ask about your babies – Femme and Crow. How did you get them?
J: (beaming) It was me & Andy’s second anniversary, and he asked me “What do you want?” I said I wanted a kitty! I wanted a black cat, and we went to a shelter to rescue a cat. We were looking, and I saw these two little puffballs. I couldn’t separate them, so I was like “Can I get two?” (giggling)
HRU: My favorite YouTube video is where you make them dance to Jingle Bell Rock. Will you make another one?
J: I think it’s going to have to be a tradition now.
HRU: Do you give them Christmas gifts?
J: We do! We gave them some salmon, and some milk, and catnip. Once we got them cute little outfits.
HRU: That’s so cute! Where do they stay when you and Andy travel?
J: We are lucky in that we have good friends in LA who come and feed them. They switch off taking care of them.
HRU: I’m wearing one of my favorite bracelets from Never Take It Off. How has the company evolved since you and your brother first started it?
J: (smile) Well I just started to give people some message of hope, and it turned into a whole movement! I’m seeing them all over the place. I just saw some people wearing some of the bracelets at Warped Tour, and I was so happy! It has evolved into a message of REAL hope, and I couldn’t be more excited about it.
HRU: What are some of your favorite pieces?
J: My favorite pieces, hmmm. Dragonfly, Paper Airplanes… oh Coffin! I LOVE Coffin. And Take My Still Beating Heart of course (blushes)… because it’s Andy’s.
HRU: I encourage EVERYONE to check out http://www.NeverTakeItOff.com !!
J: You are so sweet!
HRU: Many people know you from The Voice, and you just hosted the red carpet on AXS-TV, do you see yourself on television again in the future?
J: Well I mean, I’m not running off to do another reality show right now, haha! But if the opportunity presents itself, and if it’s something that I want to do, it would have to be really right for where I am in my life.
HRU: I always love to see what you are wearing. How did you develop your style?
J: I have been into fashion since I was really little, since I was a baby! I just posted online a baby picture of me, and I’m wearing a little beanie and some necklaces. When I was four years old, I would dress up in my grandmother’s clothing (smiles). But I think my style has been from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s… it’s all about wearing something I like with confidence.
HRU: Juliet, it’s been SO great getting to know you. Thanks again for your time, and I hope we can meet in person someday! But until then, best of luck with your EP. I can’t wait to hear it!
J: Thank you! (blows kisses)
After the interview, Juliet gave Hayley two generous gifts, the first was a Hello message from Andy (made her cry)… The second was just one sentence. Five words. And though we’re sure they are meant for every Juliet fan, every member of the BVB Army, it was beyond special to hear them spoken directly to her. Five words ~ “You’re in our lives now.”
Postscript: Hayley DID get to meet Juliet one year later at this summer’s 2015 Warped Tour, and thanks to Juliet for tweeting this great pic!