Smile Empty Soul

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Smile Empty Soul
Th 1269975236 sesblue.JPG
Background information
Origin Santa Clarita, California
Genres Post-grunge
Alternative metal
Years active 1998-Present
Labels Two Disciples Entertainment
Pavement Entertainment
eOne Music
F.O.F. Label Group
Bieler Bros.
Lava Records
Throwback Records
Members Sean Danielsen
Ryan Martin
Jake Kilmer
Past members Derek Gledhill
Dominic Weir
Mike Booth

Smile Empty Soul is an American hard rock band from Santa Clarita, California.


Smile Empty Soul formed in 1998, while its original members were attending different high schools in the Santa Clarita area. The band, originally a three-piece group, consisted of vocalist and guitarist Sean Danielsen, bassist Ryan Martin and drummer Derek Gledhill.

After playing numerous hometown gigs, Smile Empty Soul ventured to the Castro District, and later passed a demo to John Parker of the West Hollywood indie label, ThroBack Records. That later led to a record deal with Jason Flom's Lava Records.

On May 27, 2003, the band released their self-titled debut album Smile Empty Soul. The album was produced by John Lewis Parker, and mixed by David J. Holman. three successful singles were released. In March 2005, the album was certified gold with sales in excess of 500,000+.

Sometime after the recording of their second album "Anxiety" was finished, drummer Derek Gledhill was replaced by Dominic Weir.

On September 22, 2005, during a concert at The Beaumont Club in Kansas City, Missouri, frontman Sean Danielsen stated that their new album Anxiety, would not be released due to issues with Lava Records. The band told fans that in order to receive the new album they could purchase one of a very limited number of burned copies or attempt to download the album online via BitTorrent.

On July 13, 2006, Smile Empty Soul signed with independent label, Bieler Bros. Records. At this point, drummer Dominic Weir had been replaced by Jake Kilmer, and Mike Booth (ex-Cold) was added as a second guitarist.

On October 24, 2006, the band released Vultures, the official follow-up to their 2003 debut Smile Empty Soul. The album doesn't feature any songs from the unreleased Anxiety. The first single released was the song "The Hit".

Vultures debuted at No. 169 on the Billboard 200 album charts with just over 5,000 copies sold. The band embarked on a co-headlining tour with Evans Blue in support of the album in November 2006. After that they went on tour with The Exies and Egypt Central, with further support on select dates from punk/post-hardcore band Brazil.

Some time on April 17, 2007 Smile Empty Soul parted ways with Mike Booth, which was a mutual split. The band has yet to replace him, and has continued on as a 3-piece.

According to a post on the band's Myspace page they will begin recording their new record in Greenville, SC on February 1, 2008

In February, 2008, Smile Empty Soul announced that recording for their new album entitled "Consciousness" was finished, but in May, 2008, Smile Empty Soul returned to the studio to record a few more songs. On October 29, 2008, the band's Myspace page confirmed that they had signed with F.O.F./EMI records. "Consciousness" was then released in August 2009.

In November 2009, the 2005 album "Anxiety" was released on iTunes.

On March 9, 2010, "More Anxiety", a special edition of "Anxiety" including a bonus DVD was released.

Smile Empty Soul have released music videos for "We're Through" and "Faker" from their album "Consciousness."

At a recent show on the current tour. Sean Danielsen said that Smile Empty Soul were in the process of writing the follow-up to Consciousness. Also that they are shooting for a summer release and trying to enter the studio by late February/early March. They've been testing out a new song currently entitled "Carve" at recent shows.

In early 2011, it was announced that Sean Danielsen has formed a new group with Fuel vocalist Brett Scallions called World Fire Brigade, which also consists of bassist Brad Stewart (ex-Shinedown), Yogi Lonich (ex-Buckcherry) and former Candiria drummer Ken Schalk. The album was released February 2012 through Riptide Music and is currently available for streaming through their website.

On March 14, 2012, it was announced that Smile Empty Soul had signed with eOne Music and will be releasing their new album "3's" on May 22, 2012.

In March 2012, the first single from "3's", "Afterlife" was released.

In April 2013 lead singer Sean Danielsen released his solo EP "Enjoy the Process." Some time later, on May 26 it was announced that the band would be entering the studio to record its 6th album. Recording sessions were finished on June 11. The month later, on July 11 mixing and mastering were done. October 1, 2013 was announced as the expected date of release.

In June 2013 it has been announced that Smile Empty Soul has formed an imprint label called Two Disciples Entertainment in conjunction with Pavement Entertainment and will release "Chemicals" in fall of 2013.

Sean Danielsen has announced a second solo EP to be released on November 3, 2014.

Band members[edit]

Smile Empty Soul performing at South by So What?! music festival in March 2014
  • Derek Gledhill – drums, backing vocals (1998–2005)
  • Dominic Weir – drums (2005–2006)
  • Mike Booth – lead guitars (2006–2007)


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart positions

2003 Smile Empty Soul
  • Released: May 27, 2003
  • Label: Lava
  • Formats: CD, DI
2005 Anxiety
  • Released: September 27, 2005 (Digital Download)
  • Re-Released: March 9, 2010 (Physical CD)
  • Label: MRAfia, F.O.F. Label Group, EMI
  • Formats: CD, DI
2006 Vultures
  • Released: October 24, 2006
  • Label: Bieler Bros.
  • Formats: CD, DI
169 14
2009 Consciousness
  • Released: August 25, 2009
  • Label: F.O.F. Label Group, EMI
  • Formats: CD, DI
2012 3's
  • Released: May 22, 2012
  • Label: eOne
  • Formats: CD, DI
2013 Chemicals
  • Released: October 1, 2013
  • Label: Pavement Entertainment, Two Disciples Entertainment
  • Formats: CD, DI
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.


Year EP details
1999 Hecklers Veto
  • Released: 1999
  • Label: Dyspathy
  • Formats: CD, DI
1999 Smile Empty Soul (EP)
  • Released: 1999
  • Label: Dyspathy
  • Formats: CD, DI
2008 B-Sides
  • Released: 2008
  • Label: MRAfia
  • Formats: CD, DI


Year Song Peak chart positions Album


2003 "Bottom of a Bottle"[A] 107 7 8 Smile Empty Soul
2004 "Nowhere Kids" 27 26
"Silhouettes" 22 25
2005 "Don't Need You" 37 Anxiety
2006 "The Hit" Vultures
2007 "Here's to Another"
2009 "Don't Ever Leave" 39 Consciousness
2010 "Alone with Nothing"
"We're Through"
2012 "Afterlife" 3's
2013 "False Alarm" 27 Chemicals
2014 "Chemicals"
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.

Other songs[edit]

  • "Alone"
  • "Anywhere but Down"
  • "Meaningless" (demo)
  • "Rain" (demo)

Music videos[edit]

  • "Bottom of a Bottle"
  • "Nowhere Kids"
  • "Silhouettes"
  • "This Is War"
  • "Here's to Another"
  • "Jesus Is the Manager at Wal-Mart"
  • "Loser"
  • "Don't Ever Leave"
  • "We're Through"
  • "Faker"
  • "Afterlife"
  • "Not Alike"
  • "Wrecking Ball"
  • "False Alarm"
  • "Chemicals"



External links[edit]