Smile Empty Soul Biography
Review The Artist (19)
BY: Fred Shuster, Music Writer
Smile Empty Soul, suburban Santa Clarita's first entry into the "new Liverpool" stakes, is something to smile about.
Admirers say the trio - whose single "Bottom of a Bottle" just hit No. 9 on Billboard's modern rock chart - doesn't provide the run-of-the-mill head-banging fare you might expect. Although its sound draws on grunge and new metal, the group has been lauded for lyrics and vocals that mean something to listeners.
Smile Empty Soul - the name reflects the notion that most people walk around wearing fake smiles - is seeing its work ethic pay off. Formed four years ago in the comfortable community north of the San Fernando Valley, the group's reputation for exciting live shows has nurtured a loyal fan base.
"Nirvana is my favorite band ever," says Sean Danielsen, 21, the group's singer, guitarist and lyricist. "They traveled everywhere and played for the same people over and over until they had a really strong following. That's our model. We like playing for people."
Currently in the midst of a two-month coast-to-coast trek that tonight comes to the House of Blues in West Hollywood, Smile Empty Soul (which also includes bassist Ryan Martin and drummer Derek Gledhill) is the first Santa Clarita group to reach the national stage. Its self-titled album contains passionate hard rock with a melodic streak and lyrics that touch on the problems of the latchkey generation.
"There is no more 'Leave It to Beaver' family unit anymore," says Santa Clarita producer and broadcaster Brandon Amison. "Out here, both parents usually work and face long commutes every day. The kids are left to their own devices - but a lot of the ones into music are amazingly focused. I've been really impressed with their attitude and work ethic. They're incredibly straight-ahead, serious people."
Amison, who runs Yaking Cat Music Studios, as well as a Santa Clarita- centric Web site (www.scvmusic.com) and local radio show Radio Free Santa Clarita (99.1), points to a burgeoning scene that includes the young, loud and energetic bands Driven, Pale New Dawn and Surf the Black.
"What happens is, the music starts down in the (San Fernando) Valley and as people get older, they move to the outlying areas," Amison said. "Santa Clarita is becoming a music mecca because so many families and musicians live here. It's not that much of a jump to live 20 minutes from Hollywood."
In recent years, Silver Lake, North Hollywood and Calabasas all have been dubbed potential "new Liverpools," shorthand for a series of recognizable musical acts, a la the Beatles, coming out of one place. Smile Empty Soul's Danielsen says his town's proximity to other musical hotbeds has only strengthened his resolve.
"There's not a lot to do around here," he said. "You really can't go out because there's nowhere to go. So, bands really work hard on their music. That's their whole life. We've been working on this for almost five years. We spent all our money and all our time making this work. We weren't hanging out at Magic Mountain a lot."
In the songs "Bottom of a Bottle" and "Nowhere Kids," Danielsen touches on problems that plague all towns.
"I was writing about our friends in Santa Clarita," he said. "Nobody thinks about their future. When most of my friends graduated from high school, they didn't do anything. They didn't go to college. Some of them got lousy jobs and are barely surviving. And those same kids, all they do is get (messed up). That's all they wait for; they live for that."
Despite a growing Canyon Country music scene, there are few places for bands to play. Rock hangouts pop up and do well for several months and then disappear, although there are a number of coffee houses that offer live music.
"It's a very conservative atmosphere," Danielsen said. "The city will see a bunch of kids hanging out and the place will shut down.
"But I'm not leaving. I like it here."
Thanks to firstname.lastname@example.org for submitting the biography.
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nothings perfect but they are damn close | Reviewer: ethon | 4/12/12
Smile empty soul are by far one of the most influencial bands i have ever heard. i grew up listenin to nirvana and marilyn manson and den 1 day i came across a song called nowhere kids and once i listened to it i knew that this band was goin to stick wit me. their songs speak nothing but the truth. they show people how everything really is instead of hiding behind a sugarcoated curtain of oh everything in this world is perfect. its nt. they are 1 of the only bands that plays only what they want to and speak only what they believe in therefore they have my upmost respect. greatest band ever. sooo dissapointed i have not had the chance to see them live because im from ireland. bt as soon as they hit europe i will be there no matter what it takes or where they are playin. fucking love you guys. peace
smile empty soul .. | Reviewer: Chantelle | 2/10/10
I love smile empty soul's music. Everytime i'm thinking * they always seem to pop up in my head. Without a doubt i would die to see these guys play in Saskatoon, Sk. I never heard anyone with such an amazing voice, and lyrics so strong. I recommend people to listen tho smile empty soul.
Personally... | Reviewer: CiaraCyanide | 1/12/10
Smile Empty Soul is my favorite band. I listen to them all the time. They have amazing lyrics and vocals. I have heard a few songs from their new album "Consciousness" and I must say, this should be their best yet. I love Smile Empty Soul because they sing about things that are really happening. They sing about real experiences and don't care what other people think.
Personally.. | Reviewer: CiaraCyanide | 1/12/10
I think Smile Empty Soul has amazing songs. I listen to their songs when I am in a bad mood or am upset and they bring me right out of it. I have heard some of their album "Consciousness" and I must say, it has to be their best yet.
to "Ms. Smiling With An Empty Soul" | Reviewer: naim hussain | 7/16/09
hey "Ms. Smiling With An Empty Soul"...i really admire the way you think about them..they're personally my fav band ... anyways i just want you to know that their new album is gonna get released in august 25th this year (2009)...which has been named "consciousness"...i've heard 4 songs from the album through YouTube..and i have to tell you ..this is really gonna be their best "with the truth, communicating with real people's real pain" album lol...so please buy it or download it and listen to it when it comes out...and dont feel alone..!!
Appreciation. | Reviewer: Ms. Smiling With An Empty Soul | 6/4/09
I honestly accidentally found Smile Empty Soul on Limewire when I was looking up Boys Like Girls. I found "Silhouettes" which was entitled "Smile". I figured that BLG had a new single, so I downloaded it. When I listened to it for the first time I almost instantly knew that the mood of the piece and the voice of the singer could not match the Pop/Rock up-beat-ness of Martin Johnson. Disturbed by the message, I searched the song lyrics on Google. I then spent time going through the lyrics and the song until I memorized it. I then began to buy the rest of "Smile Empty Soul" memorizing all of the album. I feel deeply connected to this band. I can really compare my life and myself to the songs that they write. I can relate to their "tell the truth" attitude that so many other artists out there fail to communicate with. I love Smile Empty Soul's music and love their attitude. I seriously want to just thank SES for allowing me to feel that I'm not alone in this world. Through their songs, I have been able to make a deeper connection to my life and to music. I hope, wish, and dream that they will continue to tell the truth through their work and influence more and more people.
~Ms. Smiling With An Empty Soul
Real. | Reviewer: pretty sounds | 5/29/09
meny people hate smile empty soul which is why they are underrated, they arnt the mainstreem that people want to hear these days, some resons from melodys, they arnt fallowing the current mainstreem metal head scene now, they play what they want to play and how they want to put it out, also lyriclly, they dont sugar coat or water down what they are saying, eather for media or for familly frendlly purpouses. they are putting out there stuff for the people who want to hear it, this honesty and assertivness has made a name for media sources for them, that they are "to harsh" for parents or "to blunt" for tv or radio which is why its hard to find there material like u find other bands work, this is a neutral perspective that i tried to talk from here, in my personal opinon smile empty soul is real and if u want to cover your ears do so but its better to be more aware of whats really going on around you and wihtin yourself, 'please pay attention' is the roots of it, love it or hate it, its stil an obsesion, i love it thx4readn
I dont see how. | Reviewer: Malik | 5/19/09
I dont see how they offend christianity. I think more or less they question whether there is a god or not and if he is so powerful why he lets bad things happen. I don't think they are negative but more like showing the negative sides of life that not too many people see.
I stopped listening to them | Reviewer: Risharde | 5/2/09
I stopped listening to them after I realised they are somehow offended by Christianity. I wonder how they really help people... by being negative all the time? Lots of bands say a lot but do nothing, this seems to be one of the bands that like to condemn but can't handle the truth perhaps
Annonomus | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/3/09
Smile Empty Soul is deffinatly touching on all towns at least thats how my town is all the kids here jsut get high and do nothing all day...thats our normal routine... thats all there is to do in a small city like this
They are just that cool. | Reviewer: Nove LEnducten | 10/7/08
Smile empty soul is amazing. whenever i hear theyre songz i feel like ive either been thre or theyre trying to narate my life. And no matter how much they swear it can flow with the song wich surprises me.
Josh | Reviewer: Anonymous | 4/14/08
Smile Empty Soul is definitely a great band. there's almost no song they've written that i cant relate to. with that being said, i do feel that the lyrics are too....simple. they're incredibly deep, just not complicated. i like songs that make you think about what it's about. there are no SES songs that doesnt have a bit of a straightforward message. Jesus is the Manager at Wal Mart is pretty much the only exception to that. other than that very small problem i have with them, SES has got to be one of my favorite bands. rock on
Love em | Reviewer: Lou | 1/30/08
I have been listening to Smile Empty Soul ever since bottom of a bottle came out! I love em, every song means so much and is soo good. I listen to them everyday, when im depressed, pissed off, happy or anything. They are my favorite band, like you never find a band that every song you hear is good. But with them you do, I could listen to them all day and I kinda do. I dont even know how to explain how much each and every song means to me! But anyway they are a great band and I think everyone should listen to them!
Reflecting me | Reviewer: Xeshan | 11/1/07
Smile empty soul is a band that when people listen to it,they think its reflecting them
I think the same way,i'd love singing the songs to people from Smile empty soul..and if i ever get a chance i would defintly request Smile empty soul to do a track with me =D
respect SMILE EMPTY SOUL =)
I LOVE S.E.S | Reviewer: Ashlie | 9/7/07
I absolutely love these guys they have changed my life for the better and i have been to every show in Springfield ill or anywhere near and ive got pics and autographs and my whole room is them and i think sean is the hottest person ever put on this entire planet!!!!!
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