Post-grunge rockers Smile Empty Soul hoping for best

Sean Danielsen (guitar, vocals), Ryan Martin (bass) and Jake Kilmer (drums), who perform at McGuffy’s House of Rock on Friday, Feb. 5, were sitting on the side of a Florida interstate on a recent Monday afternoon waiting for auto assistance. Danielsen took advantage of the downtime and answered a few questions over his cell phone.

Q: Aside from a flat tire, how has this tour been treating you?

A: “Great. It’s been really fun headlining and playing a full-one hour set. We get to play some material off of each one of our records. The other bands are all very cool and the shows have been awesome, so you can’t ask for more.”

Q: You’ve had problems with getting your albums promoted properly by previous labels. How is that working out with the latest album, “Consciousness,” and new label, FOF/EMI?

A: “They’ve done a much better job promoting this record. We’ve been touring pretty extensively, and it’s going very well. It’s all about promoting and making people aware the records even exist. You don’t want to be in a situation where the records aren’t on the shelves and people can’t find them. That’s not a good place to be.”

Q: During preproduction for “Consciousness,” did you consider the changes in the recording industry or just focus on the songs like it was just another album?

A: “We try not to worry about that kind of stuff. Those are the kinds of things you can’t control. You can’t really let those things control you. You’ve just got to do what you do and just hope things turn themselves around within the industry. You’ve just got to hope for the best and continue doings things the way you’ve always done.”

Q: There are a lot of songs on the new album that seem a perfect fit for modern rock radio. Is it possible to get radio play these days?

A: “It is for a lot of bands, but for us it’s still a struggle. We do our best and now we’re on FOF/EMI, which is a lot better than the last situation we were in. We shall see. ...You’ve just got to do your best and do your thing and do it the way you do it.”

Contact contributing arts and music writer Don Thrasher at

How to go

Who: Smile Empty Soul

Where: McGuffy’s House of Rock, 5418 Burkhardt Road, Dayton

When: 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5.

Cost: $12 advance, $15 day of show

More info: (937) 256-3005 or

Artist info: