On their long overdue full-length Truth or Dare, Automatic Loveletter summon an absolute force, carving out the kind of addictive brand of cataclysmic modern rock that generally provides enthusiastic responses from anyone who happens to encounter it. Interestingly enough, that force garners no greater reaction than from Juliet Simms; the band's spirited banshee at the helm of the California based outfit. Channeling exonerated emotion and energy in performance, Simms often lets her body do some serious talking (though obviously her voice is a bit unreal as well), with fiery and often seductive results.
Joined by brother Tommy Simms, the pair strip the usually robust hooks down for an appropriate acoustic performance during their mid-morning visit to The Guest Apartment. Preparing songs from their full-length and one "secret song, the two take a more rootsy approach to their band's music...though that doesn't mean Juilet can just ignore her engrained tendency to let her body go. It all makes for a rather killer acoustic segment, suggesting that even though Automatic Loveletter can turn the volume down, they'll never kill the feeling that goes into their songs. David Pitz
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."