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Exclusive Q and A: Juliet Simms Takes Us Behind The Scenes of ‘The Voice’

OurStage Exclusive InterviewsUp until Superbowl Sunday, Juliet Simms was known solely in the underground modern rock scene as the vocal powerhouse of  pop punk band Automatic Loveletter. On stage, she was a charismatic performer, earning her stripes on the Warped Tour circuit and on club tours with bands like Secondhand Serenade and Cute Is What We Aim For. But behind the scenes, Simms struggled to find a label to call home and was constantly battling those who believed a woman simply couldn’t hang in the male-centric world of rock music. Simms’ tight-knit fan community were by her side, but she couldn’t seem to break into the mainstream the way she wanted to.
In 2011, she took to The Voice‘s stage in hopes of impressing one of the four judges: Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton, Maroon 5′s Adam Levine and Cee-Lo Green. Her rendition of The Beatles’ “Oh! Darling” in the blind auditions was good enough to make all but Shelton fight for her to join their team. After joining Team Cee-Lo, Simms continued to blow the competition out of the water with her covers of “Roxanne,” “Cryin’,” “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” and more. She finished in second place on The Voice, but is undoubtedly the contestant that the world is waiting on. We caught up with Juliet to find out more about her experience on the show and what we can expect from her career in the future.

OS: What was your audition process for The Voice? What made you decide to sing “Oh! Darling” for your audition?

JS: I’ve never really been one for covering songs. I’ve always just done originals. However I grew up singing The Beatles and just felt if I was going to do this show, I was going to do it my way and represent the music I so much believe in.

OS: Before you auditioned, did you have a first choice for which coach you’d want to work with? How did it feel when three out of four coaches turned their chairs around for you?

JS: I walked onto the blind audition stage just hoping one would turn around for me. When I saw that three had turned for me I was dumbfounded. Cee- Lo spoke from his heart and I could hear the loyalty in his words. I knew he was the right coach to go with!

OS:  What has life been like for you since the show ended? Do you have any immediate plans of things you’d like to start working on?

JS: Life has been drunk…[laughs] no, just kidding. Being out in the wilderness again is taking some getting used to. I’m pretty much just resting…I was and still am pretty sick so I’m trying to get better. My plans are to take immediate action in making an album.

Continue reading ‘Exclusive Q and A: Juliet Simms Takes Us Behind The Scenes of ‘The Voice’’

“The Voice”: Back To The Battleground

Last night, The Voice brought us back to the battleground for the next round of intense and emotional vocal warfare.

The night kicked off with a battle as epic as last week’s final matchup between Anthony Evans, Jr. and Jesse Campbell. Sera Hill and Geoff McBride both brought their soulful and powerful voices to the stage for Aretha Franklin’s “Chain of Fools,” in a battle that either one could have walked away from victorious. Sera’s vocal acrobatics were a perfect compliment to Geoff’s unbelievable tenor, but she ultimately took home the win.

The next jaw-dropping battle came between seasoned rocker Juliet Simms and androgynous folk singer Sarah Golden. Juliet, whose audition left the coaches fighting over her, seemed to have the upper hand from the beginning, as the pair were assigned a song by rock legend Rod Stewart. Sarah’s smooth and rustic tone made her a sharp contrast to Juliet’s dynamic, raspy growl, but—to paraphrase Christina Aguilera—Juliet was the “no-brainer” winner.

Indie rockers Lindsey Pavao and Lee Koch performed a sleepy and “creepy” (Adam Levine’s words, not ours) version of Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box.” Their performance really didn’t give us any reason to look up from writing this post…but Blake Shelton’s comment about never having hearing the original, did. No, he wasn’t kidding. Kurt is rolling in his grave…

Thankfully, the night ended on a literal high note, with Jamar Rodgers taking on good friend Jamie Lono on Foreigner’s “I Wanna Know What Love Is.” Jamie’s nerves got the best of him and caused his voice to crack, but Jamar picked up the slack and murdered the song on his own.

Next week, we’re promised “a shocking battle round first.” We can’t wait to see what goes down!

“The Voice”: Let The Games Begin

After several weeks of blind audition shows, battle rounds on The Voice finally began on Monday night…and they didn’t disappoint. For those of you unfamiliar with the structure of this show, each team has twelve members after blind auditions. The coaches then create six one-on-one battles, for which they also choose the song and celebrity mentor to help train the contestants. The contestants sing the song as a duet, with the coach choosing the winner immediately afterwards.

It’s always interesting to see how the judges match up their battle pairings. More often than not, they’ll choose two artists with very similar styles in order to make their final set of six as strong and diverse as possible. Other times, though, it kind of seems like they just picked names out of a hat. On Monday night, we saw a little of both… Continue reading ‘“The Voice”: Let The Games Begin’

“The Voice”: The Ones That Got Away

Last night, we saw the fifth and final installment of blind auditions on The Voice. As always, we met a wide array of performers, from blues artists to belting divas to that one dude who sang opera and beatboxed (more on that, later). With the audition segment of the season coming to a close, it only seemed appropriate to pay tribute to a few who got away…

Adorable, down-to-earth OurStage artist David Dunn, a self-proclaimed “black sheep of the family,” channeled his inner-Script on stage in round 5. The girls in the audience seemed to squeal with delight at this soulful pop singer, but none of the judges were wowed enough to press that darn button. Hey David, we’ll watch you sing any time!

Armed with a guitar and a set of experienced pipes, sixty-four-year-old Memphis native Preston Shannon, a.k.a. The King of Beale Street, brought the house down with his bluesy performance. Preston’s rustic tone had all of the judges nodding their heads with approval, but unfortunately, none of them made the move to claim him for their team. We could definitely see why they call him “The King!”

Finally, Cameron “Novackaine” Novack made us all scratch our heads when he busted out opera and rap within ten seconds of his introduction. Novack was incredibly confident that he was about to be begged to join at least one coach’s team, but his performance of “You Oughta Know” seemed to confuse more than impress. Cee-Lo immediately regretted his decision, though, and even asked if it would be possible to bend the rules, just this once. Ultimately, though, Novack had to shuffle off the stage and move on to the next opera hall…or rap show. Whichever.

Sadly, The Voice is a numbers game. All of the coaches said that they would be much pickier with performances in the final round, since the spots left on their teams were limited. We can’t help but wonder: Would these singers have made it through to the battle rounds if they had gotten to perform earlier in the show? Maybe. All we can do now is hope that America was paying attention, because many of the rejected vocalists on The Voice still represent some of the best undiscovered talent.

 

“The Voice” Is Back: Ones To Watch

Last year, the premiere of NBC’s The Voice brought new life to the tired format of reality singing competitions. Unlike American Idol and The X-Factor, contestants on The Voice audition for the show by performing for four judges, all of whom have their backs turned. If the judges like what they hear, they press a red button to turn their chair around, thereby claiming the contestant for their team. If more than one judge turns their chair around, they’ll have to fight for the contestant, who then has the opportunity to pick which coach they’d like to work with. Oh yeah, and instead of industry execs and Simon Cowell, the coaches of The Voice are four of the biggest names in music: pop superstar Christina Aguilera, Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, country crooner Blake Shelton and the “Crazy” and colorful Cee-Lo Green. The show has been applauded not only for having a unique format, but also for being extremely accepting of performers from all walks of life, styles and levels of experience.

Last night, The Voice returned for its second season and viewers were not disappointed.  Even the contestants who weren’t chosen by any coaches, like twenty-year-old Daniel Rosa (who performed “Animal” by Neon Trees), were extremely talented. At the end of the night, however, only five performers were selected to compete. Of the group, there is a country singer, an R&B singer, a rock singer, an opera singer and a soul singer, which instantly gets this competition started on a unique note.

Of the five contestants chosen on last night’s episode, two performers truly stood out as early contenders for the win. Jesse Campbell, a formerly homeless single father from Illinois, had all four judges turn their chairs around before he even reached the first chorus of his song. All of them were taken by his flawlessly smooth voice, which is reminiscent to that of season one winner, Javier Colon. When the performance was over, Adam spoke for everyone when he said, “the whole room was on fire.” Though Jesse is an R&B singer, he decided to join Team Christina. We’re sure those two are bound to make a dynamic pair!

The second contestant to watch is twenty-five-year-old rocker Juliet Simms from Clearwater, Florida. Juliet has been a staple in the modern alternative rock scene, performing under the name Automatic Loveletter for several years. Her rendition of The Beatles’ “Oh! Darling” had Adam Levine singing at the top of his lungs, and although Blake didn’t turn his chair around, the other three coaches spent plenty of time fighting over her. In the end, she chose Cee-Lo as her mentor—a surprising move that is sure to have awesome results.

It’s clear that the level of talent is already higher than season one, so the pressure is definitely on. Tune in tonight for another episode of The Voice, starting at 8pm on NBC!

Missed the show? Check out Juliet Simms’ performance of “Oh! Darling” below:

UTG: Gym Class Heroes Stream New Album

Gym Class Heroes are streaming their upcoming release, The Papercut Chronicles II, over on the bands’ Facebook. This material seems to be a healthy departure from their past releases and is pretty catchy.

The album drops this coming Tuesday, November 15, through Decaydance/Fueled By Ramen.

Give the album a spin and be sure to let us know what you think of it!

View original article on Under The Gun Review.

 

 


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