For Los Angeles bred band Smile Empty Soul, hard rock not only describes the genre of their music, it also describes the difficulties the band has overcome in the past. “After the struggles and tribulations that we’d gone through with people in the industry turning their backs and the label bailing, we thought we had earned the right to at least put the second record out, but we were never given the chance,” said guitarist and vocalist Sean Danielson. “So Vultures was a reaction to everything we’d gone through with the debut, the process of making the second record and going through the emotional roller coaster of the single not going out, then the album not coming out after working so hard.”
In 2003, Smile Empty Soul released their debut, self-titled album with great success. However, their second album Anxiety, was cancelled because of a disagreement over lyrics with Lava/Atlantic Records. Though the sophomore album was distributed in limited release by the band, Smile Empty Soul released a new album, titled Vultures, an angry mix of songs shadowed by their experiences with Anxiety.
For Consciousness, the band found a new home with F.O.F. Label Group and EMI Music. “We’re all in a much more comfortable, positive space, and we were from the start of this album process — it shows,” said bassist Ryan Martin. “We definitely weren’t angry anymore,” agrees Danielsen. “The whole mess that went down with the second record is such a distant memory, there’s just no point in being angry about it anymore. We just wanted to enjoy the process and enjoy the music, and that’s exactly what we did.”
Smile Empty Soul’s latest release is filled with the positive sound the band feels, encompassing more open lyrics and a creative vibe, evident from the better place the band now works from. “We’ve just become so much more confident in how we want this band to be, and we have matured so much over the past couple of years, that it has been the smoothest recording process we’ve ever been a part of,” said Danielson. “This album really captures the raw energy of us pulling ourselves back together as a band,” added Martin. Though things have gotten easier for this hard rock band, they can now pay tribute to their band name with a smile.
“Alone With Nothing”
Sean Danielsen: Lead Vocals, Lead & Rhythm guitars (1998 - Present)
Ryan Martin: Bass Guitar (1998 - Present)
Jake Kilmer: Drums, Backing Vocals (2006 - Present)
Smile Empty Soul (2003)
More Anxiety (2010)