Take a cosmos full of confidence, a fist full of defiance, a potent set of lungs alongside a rollicking band and Juliet Simms, better known to the world over as Automatic Loveletter, is unflinchingly kicking down music industry doors and commanding instant attention. Equal parts Pink and Foo Fighters, crossed with Heart or Joan Jett for the Now generation, the singer/songwriter's vehicle to stardom is absolutely unstoppable as her sassy and seductive new CD Truth or Dare so boldly articulates.
"The title comes from the fact that I'm completely honest when I'm writing my lyrics and I don't hold back saying what I want to say," shares the unquestionably authentic Simms. "My stories are inspired by actual events, and when it's set to music, you can see my daring side that's always taking risks and pushing it to the edge. The way I live my life is very spontaneous. I say and do what I want and I don't really have any boundaries. This record really came because of the way I lived life for the past eight years of trying to get signed, getting signed, writing a record, leaving a label, writing another and releasing it under a new deal. I've toured throughout it all and it's been one big game of Truth or Dare."
After moving back to Los Angeles from Tampa at age 16 and making the demo and performance rounds, the California native signed with Sony by age 19, releasing the Recover EP exclusively to Hot Topic in 2008, followed by 2009's self-titled iTunes EP. Along the way, Automatic Loveletter logged in countless miles on the road, sharing the stage with Secondhand Serenade, Cute Is What We Aim For, From First To Last, Say Anything, Between the Trees and Craig Owens, plus prominent performances at Bamboozle and Bamboozle Left and the Vans Warped Tour.
"We started touring in two separate cars with all the instruments packed in and we were literally sleeping on keyboards," the ferocious front woman recalls. "From there, we moved up to a Ford Excursion, then to a van pulling a trailer and eventually got some tour support. We started making actual fans and getting on major tours, which allowed us to earn our stripes and see our dreams come true."
Not only is Truth or Dare the ultimate testament to that perseverance, but it finds Simms entering her 20s with more experience under her belt than many seasoned veterans. Prior to the record, Automatic Loveletter embarked on a club tour alongside Matthew Good Band and will reprise a slot on Warped throughout the summer of 2010. All the while, audiences have swelled beyond measure, bridging generations and scenes thanks to an unrelenting onslaught of no holds barred rock n' roll rebellion.
"It's seriously all over the map, to young girls and young guys, to everybody in their 20s," Simms observes. "But then my most recent tour with Matthew found us playing at a lot of 21 and over venues, which meant the crowds were older, sometimes even in their 40s and 50s, but we were able to win them over and sell tons of merch. We can play for everybody because the goal behind the songs was to be timeless from the start."Such is the case throughout the dozen tracks packed therein, including the jarring and candidly autobiographical "Story of My Life," the growling "Let It Ride" and the pleading alt-pop powerhouse "Don't Let Me Down." "Fade Away" is one of Simms' personal favorites, if only because she vulnerably vents her fears and insecurities, in turn, encouraging fans of all ages to do some soul searching and come out with increased assertiveness. Add in the pummeling lead single "Heart Song," complete with its militant guitars and call and response chorus, and Truth or Dare doesn't just expose Simms' diary to the most revealing extent, but will surely cause fans to reflect on their own existence.
"I want the reaction to be automatic whenever you hear the songs come through the stereo speakers," Simms sums up of the group's moniker, which was originally inspired by the lyrical love letters she wrote to ex-boyfriends. "I just love writing songs and I look forward to it like a fat kid looks forward to the chocolate cake in the fridge! I can't stop thinking about it to the point where I wake up in the middle of the night with a melody in my head and I can't fall back asleep until I get it down. I'm exactly who I am on stage as I am off stage and I basically eat, breathe and sleep music to the point where I want to create it for the rest of my life."