Formed by school friends Sean Danielsen, Derek Gledhill and Ryan Martin in Santa Clarita, California in 1998, Smile Empty Soul made a big impact in the early 2000s with their thunderous post-punk style, built around raging vocals and screeching guitar. Sean's father Jerry Danielsen was also a musician, producer, recording artist, film-maker and composer and, although born in California, Sean spent much of his childhood living at a summer camp in Maine, forming his first rock band at the age of eleven. Moving back to California in his teens he met up with Gledhill and Martin, formed Smile Empty Soul and, while playing on Sunset Strip, they were offered a deal with indie label ThroBack Records. Produced by John Parker, their self-titled debut album, featuring the hit tracks 'Bottom of a Bottle', 'Nowhere Kids' and 'Silhouettes', came out in 2003 and went on to sell over half a million copies. By the time they started work on their next album, however, cracks had already begun to appear with the departure of drummer Gledhill, who was replaced by Dominic Weir, who was in turn replaced by Jake Kilmer, and Mike Booth came in as additional guitarist. However, as a result of contractual disputes, their second album 'Anxiety' was aborted (it was finally released in 2009), but they eventually returned with the far less successful 'Vultures' in 2006. Danielsen went of to form another band, 'World Fire Brigade', in 2009 with Brett Scallions of Fuel, but rejoined Martin and Kilmer to rekindle the full-blooded uncompromising grunge rock of Smile Empty Soul with the release of 'Consciousness' in 2009, '3s' in 2012 and 'Chemicals' in 2013. In 2016 they revisited some of their early hits on the EP 'Shapeshifter' and retained their ferocious punk ethos on stage. In 2017 they announced that Martin and Kilmer were stepping down, but the band was continuing with Danielsen at the helm.