Juliet Simms on Rockin’ a Kia Hybrid and Getting Fired From Her First Job

October 25, 2016

Tell us about your tour vehicle. Any notable breakdown stories?

Kia, Hybrid. It’s a a four door. About 10K miles. No repairs. Oil changes and tire rotations, that’s about it. I ran out of gas once.

Ok, I’m joking. All the above is accurate but I currently don’t have a touring vehicle and haven’t had one since the days of Automatic Loveletter. I had a white 15 passenger van and thankfully nothing severe ever happened to us aside from the one time we were in a white out and skidded off the road missing a massive ditch by centimeters.

How do you eat cheaply and/or healthy while on tour?

So easy to do these days. Walmart now carries organic and vegan food so its pretty simple. I also pack boxes and boxes of Quest bars, organic veg microwave soups, cans of tuna etc.

How many strings do you break in a typical year? How much does it cost to replace them?

It really depends, since I am mostly just writing on an acoustic guitar I have pretty low overhead when it comes to music expenses.

Where do you rehearse?

I don’t have one. I have stories of ones that I had back in the day but these days typically before heading out on tour I rent a space for my band and I to rehearse and its all pretty professional now. Not that we don’t joke around or have fun but nothing crazy going on.

What was the title and a sample lyric from the first song that you wrote?

“I Need You Now.” I was 12.

Describe your first gig.

Does performing at school count as my first gig? I was 7 and sang “Driving Miss Daisy.”

Outside of that at an actual venue I was 14, I was incredibly sick, I performed all original material. After the show I had people coming up to me left and right telling me I reminded them of Springsteen or Joplin. I guess that extra rasp didn’t hurt.

What was your last day job? What was your favorite day job?

Aside from my jewelry company Never Take It Off, and my Depop store I run currently, my last “desk” sorta job was when I was 15 and I was a receptionist for a consulting firm. I got fired almost immediately though because I spent all my time promoting my music on myspace. For some weird reason they didn’t like that haha!

How has your music-related income changed over the past 5-10 years? What do you expect it to look like 5-10 years from now?

Honestly? Not really changed. It can be very difficult to make money with your music as a mostly DIY artist. Like many artists I have had to find ways to earn a living in various projects outside of the immediate realm of music.

What one thing do you know now that you had wished you knew when you started your career in music?

It’s not as easy as you think it will be, it takes a tremendous amount of work and determination every day to maintain a career in music. I have learned so much over the years and thats one thing I have wish I had been more aware of at the start.

“Resilient” is a great word to describe Juliet Simms.  She has seen the ups and downs of the music industry from up close with her label teams suffering the massive layoffs of the 2000s, another label suffering from the Japanese tsunami of 2010, as well the worldwide exposure of her second place finish on NBC’s hit music competition show The Voice. But she’s managed to keep her head far above the water and bounced back each and every time. With the release of From the Grave, Juliet mined the depths of her songwriting closet and uncovered a collection of mostly previously unreleased tracks that needed to see the light of day. “I wrote these songs in the last couple years,” she explains. “During and after the recording of [2015’s] All or Nothing, a few of the songs I intended for that EP but the crowd funding campaign I ran was for a 6 song EP only. These songs are indicative of life on the other side when having some darkness in your past.”

From the Grave, Simms’ latest release, is available now.  Connect with Simms online