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The Strange Connection Between the Warped Tour and 'The Voice'

Black Veil Brides' Andy Biersack and season two runner-up Juliet Simms explain

Andy Biersack and Juliet Simms
Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic
April 4, 2013 12:15 PM ET

Black Veil Brides will be on the main stage of this summer's Warped Tour, and frontman Andy Biersack's girlfriend of two years, The Voice season two runner-up Juliet Simms, will be returning for selected dates.

So it was only natural that they would appear together last Thursday at L.A.'s Club Nokia for the kickoff party to the 19th annual Warped Tour. The two, who met on Warped, are just beginning to showcase their relationship publicly. "We've been together for almost two years. We just did our first photo shoot together the other day," Biersack told Rolling Stone when he and Simms sat down for a joint interview.

Simms noted the unlikely connection between The Voice and Warped, which season one runner-up Dia Frampton has called "the hardest tour I've ever done." Season three winner Cassadee Pope is another Warped veteran. Simms credits her stints on Warped for her success on the show.

Warped Tour Roars Into SoCal Home Base

"The tour whips you into shape, that's for sure," she said. "That's actually what made me the singer that I could be on The Voice."

While she and Biersack are just now acknowledging their couplehood publicly, they collaborate behind the scenes all the time. "We write together a lot, even on each other's stuff," said Biersack. "Maybe not necessarily outwardly writing songs together. But there's really nothing that we do that we don't take home and say, 'Hey, check this out – how can I punch this up?' We're always collaborating in some way. I foresee us doing something that's separate from our own careers, some sort of project."

Simms did sing on the goth-metal band's recent Top 10 concept album, Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones, and Biersack may appear on her forthcoming solo album, which she hopes to have out this summer. "I would definitely have him sing with me," she said.

While there are numerous examples of musical couples, according to Biersack, he and Simms look closer to home for examples of successful relationships. "A lot of times people have this tendency when you bring up a question like that, particularly for younger couples, to just go for the obvious, 'Oh, Sid and Nancy,'" he said. "We both had great sets of parents who love each other, and those are the more inspiring couples than two drug addicts who happened to hang out and wear cool clothes."

There is one high profile pairing that he does admire – Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow. "They have a very strong sense of keeping their personal life to themselves. You wouldn't see those two people on Twitter – 'We're doing this,' or 'We just got done having sex,'" he said. "There are so many band people, particularly in the younger set, that are in relationships and all they fucking do is tell everybody all they're doing all day. I don't understand sometimes – people want so desperately to share everything, what do you have left at the end of the day?"

To Biersack, he gives everything onstage. He is happy to be back on Warped with founder Kevin Lyman, who showed a lot of faith in Black Veil Brides. "We don't fit in with any of the other bands on tour, and Kevin was very kind and believed in us and put us on the tour in 2011," he said. "Come time to do it this summer, he gave us a very generous and great offer and we're excited to do it again. He's a wonderful person. I know even for her" – he gestured to Simms – "they've had an association for a long time. Watching the way he acts toward her, almost as a fatherly figure, is incredible."

Simms, who just released the single "Wild Child," seconds that admiration. "Kevin was the one who discovered me," she said. "I snuck onto this tour back in 2007 and since then he's had me on the tour for years."

Returning to the tour with a higher profile, she has very clear goals for what she hopes to accomplish. "I want to bring back that sound that's been missing in the female rock world for so long. Where's our Joan Jett? Where's our Pat Benatar and Blondie?"

Biersack is already thinking about the next Black Veil Brides project, which he initially swore he wouldn't do. "As of two months ago, I was like, 'There's no way – we're gonna take a year or two [off], definitely.' And I've already come up with the sequel, so honestly, I don't think that it would be that crazy for us to go into the studio and start working on the follow-up to this record by the end of 2013."

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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