Ashlee Simpson Cuts LP And Tries Reality TV, But She's No Jessica Clone

Sister of 'Newlyweds' star cites punk, Janis Joplin influence.

Homer, Marge and the kids better watch out: Another Simpson family is out to take over primetime.

Jessica Simpson's "Newlyweds" is returning for a second season and now MTV is shooting a pilot for a reality program about her sister, Ashlee Simpson.

The as-yet-untitled show will also be set against the backdrop of the music industry, as the "7th Heaven" star is recording her debut album.

Ashlee, who signed with Geffen Records a few months ago and is eyeing a June release, is working in a studio she built in the loft of her apartment.

"I didn't want to go to some fancy place, I just wanted to do it where it feels real," the younger Simpson said, phoning on a recent afternoon as she did dishes. "That's where I feel most comfortable."

Ashlee's co-writing and co-producing the album with Sugar Ray drummer Stan Frazier and producer Steve Fox, who worked on the band's recent In the Pursuit of Leisure.

"I met Stan when I was dancing with my sister," she said. "We were doing the Pro Bowl in Hawaii. Afterwards, we were talking about music and I was starting this band with some guys and he was like, 'Dude, I want to work with you, we should write a song,' not really thinking we would actually get together. Then I got back and he called and I went over there and the first song we wrote we just had great chemistry."

Ashlee, whose voice has a Janis Joplin-like rasp, considers the '60s rock icon a major influence, along with Stevie Nicks, Blondie and Hole. "I know [Courtney Love] might be going a little crazy right now, but I still love her," she said.

One singer she does not compare herself to is her sister. "Jessica and my personalities are so different," Ashlee said. "We've always, always been into such different music. In fifth grade, I was obsessed with Green Day and was always going to punk shows, getting in the pit and gettin' dirty."

The punk influence will certainly shine through on Ashlee's as-yet-untitled album, along with other styles she favors.

"I love Mick Jagger, so some songs have a little '70s in it," she explained. "I love '80s rockers, so it has a little bit of that. The best thing about making an album is creating a sound. That's the fun part for us. I think people might be shocked."

Ashlee's unsure about the first single, but has a song she's particularly fond of called "Sucks to Be You." "It's a punk song," she said. "It has horns and everything."

So far, she's not worked with other producers or musicians, but she would love to get Dave Grohl on a track. Jessica, however, need not apply.

"No, not for this album," she said about the chance of dueting with the elder Simpson. "I would love for us to do something together some day. I would love to do a movie."

As a matter of fact, the sisters are negotiating a project together, but Ashlee refused to elaborate because it's not finalized.

In the meantime, expect to see Ashlee on the second season of "Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica," which will begin next year.

"Whenever I was back, I just wanted to let that be their thing," Ashlee said, explaining her mysterious absence from the first season. "I do come around. She is my sister."

As for her opinion of the show, "I watch it all the time," she said. "I'm very fascinated with it."