Smile Empty Soul has been a staple in hard rock for over decade now. This LA band has influenced and moved fans all around the world, including myself. The band is made up of guitarist and vocalist Sean Danielsen, Ryan Martin on bass, and drummer/backing vocalist Jake Kilmer. Check out what Sean Danielsen had to say when he sat down with BareBones Ent..
BS: This is a real honor to get to interview you guys. I started listening to you and was a huge fan back in middle school when your self-titled came out. Thanks for the interview.
SES: No Problem, glad to be here.
BS: What was that album like for you? Do you remember how it felt when you released it?
SES: The first album was a great experience. We were young and successful and we couldn’t have asked for more.
BS: For someone who hasn’t heard Smile Empty Soul before, how would you best describe your music?
SES: We’re just a real hard rock trio. There’s no bullshit with what we do, we just put it out there with a lot of heart.
BS: How do you think you have managed to remain relevant through all these years and keep your fans interested?
SES: Probably because we do everything with honesty and we stay true to ourselves. We don’t hop around with the trends trying to remain cool. We do what we do and if you don’t think it’s cool we don’t give a shit.
BS: What do you think is the hardest part about trying to put out music in a constantly changing scene?
SES: The hardest thing about surviving these days is that nobody buys music anymore and that’s our livelihood.
BS: These past few years we have seen so many bands call it quits, what has kept you together? What advice do you have for bands to build their relationships?
SES: Passion for playing music is what’s kept us together, and mutual respect is what’s kept us from ripping each other to shreds living in such tight quarters together over the last 11 years on the road.
BS: In 2013, you released your latest album Chemicals, what was it like making that album?
SES: It was fun…… Really fun. We set up our gear, smoked mass weed, and jammed our songs.
BS: Bands always have to hear some fans complain that the new album isn’t as good as their first or another one, how do you respond to that?
SES: People build memories to music; so they may love an album from the past so much that nothing you could ever do will top that album to them. But every album connects with different people differently, so to each their own I guess
BS: You have an extensive song list, so I am going to make this very difficult on you. What is your favorite song that you have wrote and why? Favorite song to play live?
SES: Don’t have a favorite, but my favorites to play live lately, are “Chemicals”, “Black and Blue”, and “Sitting Ducks”.
BS: Like many fans I have my favorite songs of yours like “This is War”, “The Other Side”, “Wrecking Ball”, “Loser,” the list goes on. What seems to be a fan favorite that fans always want to hear at your shows?
SES: We hear them all from different people, but one of the songs I kept hearing for a long time was “Here’s to Another”
BS: What is it like going to a Smile Empty Soul show?
SES: It’s a rock show, if you really don’t know what a rock show is like, I suggest you go to one.
BS: You just finished up a big tour, how did the tour go?
SES: It was great. The Hed PE guys are awesome, the crowds were great, and it was a lot of fun.
BS: You guys were in Dallas for South By So What, what was that show like for you?
SES: It sucked. They had us on a stage with another band setting up right next to us while we were playing, on a stage that most people didn’t know existed because it was facing the back of the venue. It was also dumping rain.
BS: Any shows that really stood out to you as being memorable, good or bad? and why?
SES: Yeah, we had a few sold out terrific shows that we’re a blast. The Machine Shop in a Flint, MI was one of them.
BS: We all know fans can go crazy for their favorite band. What’s an experience you’ve had with a fan that was kind of crazy?
SES: So many crazy fan moments, but one that relates back to a previous question, is when a dude in Ohio wanted to fight us after we wouldn’t play “LA River”.
BS: Anything else you’d like to say to all your fans out there?
SES: Thanks for supporting us and definitely pick up our new album “Chemicals”.