Smile Empty Soul Frontman on Their Hiatus: ‘Blame the Music Business!’
Perhaps best known for their 2003 eponymous debut album, and its smash single “Bottom of a Bottle,” Smile Empty Soul are set to return to rock radio with 3’s, their upcoming fifth proper studio album.
Featuring 12 more tracks with the melodic hooks and crunch guitar riffs the Southern California-based power trio have built their career on, it’s surprising that 3’s almost didn’t happen.
“Yeah, it hasn’t been an easy journey,” laughs Smile Empty Soul vocalist/guitarist Sean Danielsen during a recent chat with Noisecreep. “We released a record in 2009 called Consciousness in 2009 and toured the second half of that year, and all through 2010. We came home right before Christmas of 2010 and we were just very discouraged with the way the music business was going. So we took a break and regrouped.”
Noisecreep asked the Smile Empty Soul frontman to be a little more specific: “Well, 3’s will be our fifth album, and it’s going to come out on our fourth different record label. We’ve just had our fair share of instability when it comes to record labels, management and all of that other stuff. It’s discouraging. When you have so many different people doing you wrong, it makes you want to quit the music business every once in a while. But music is what we do, so we move on. I guess we just need to take a break every now and then. So yeah, blame the music business,” laughs Danielsen.
Now set with a May 22 release date for 3’s, Danielsen tells Noisecreep how they managed to get their business affairs in line after so much frustration: “Around March or April of 2011, we got some new material together and then started working on a timeline of what we wanted to do. During that time, we started interviewing different managers to see who would be the right fit for us. We also booked a studio and working schedule to record our next album. The album sessions started in July. Once we got back to work, things started happening the way we wanted them to. About 2-3 weeks ago, we signed with the folks at eOne. We started talking to them in December of 2011 and it was great to get the deal done,” says a happy Danielsen.
For 3’s, Smile Empty Soul hooked up with producer Eddie Wohl: “He also did our Consciousness album and we just love working with him. He understands us as people and our sound. He never goes in and tries to change what we’re about, musically. We tracked the drums at The Steakhouse in North Hollywood, and everything else was done at his home studio, which is called Babyland Studios.”
Noisecreep asked Danielsen what Smile Empty Soul fans can expect from the forthcoming album: “We’ve definitely grown on this album. It’s its own record when you sit it next to the other ones we’ve made so far. This one is heavier and much more riff-oriented than anything we’ve done in the past. It’s more progressive, but it still has the melodic base that we’ve always done. I think people will be surprised by some of the new stuff, but if they liked us in the past, they’ll be happy.”
Watch Smile Empty Soul’s “Bottom of a Bottle Video
Smile Empty Soul will hit the road in support of 3’s starting May 4 in Riverside, Calif. The trek is being presented by Jägermeister and will also feature The Veer Union and Ionia. Dates are below. 3’s will hit stores on May 22 via eOne.
May 4th in Riverside, CA @ The Vibe
May 5th in Phoenix, AZ @ Joe’s Grotto
May 6th in Las Vegas, NV @ Cheyenne Saloon
May 7th in Hollywood, CA @ The Whiskey
May 12th in Sacramento, CA @ The Boardwalk
May 13th in Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theater
May 14th in Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
May 16th in Salt Lake City, UT @ Club Sound
May 17th in Denver, CO @ Moe’s
May 18th in Colorado Springs, CO 2 Sunshine Studio’s
May 19th in Kearney, NE @ The Garage
May 23rd in Des Moines, IA @ House of Bricks
May 25th in Flint, MI @ The Machine Shop
May 26th in Bolingbrook, IL @ Tailgator’s
May 27th in Cincinnati, OH @ Madison Theater
May 31st in Cleveland, OH @ Peabody’s
June 1st in Rochester, NY @ Montage Music Hall
June 2nd in Baltimore, MD @ Recher
June 3rd in Springfield, VA @ Empire
June 4th in Raleigh, NC @ The Berkeley Cafe
June 5th in Jacksonville, NC @ Hooligan’s
June 6th in Cocoa, FL @ 321 Local
June 8th in St Pete, FL @ The Local 400
June 9th in Jacksonville, FL @ Brewster’s Pit
June 11th in Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
June 12th in Nashville, TN @ 12 and Porter
June 14th in Oklahoma City, OK @ The Conservatory