Smile Empty Soul
Interview by ~ Downshifter

Recently Full Metal Rock got to touch base with Jake Kilmer of Smile Empty Soul...


FMR: Jake how's it going? Welcome to Full Metal Rock!

JAKE(Smile Empty Soul): What up Full Metal ROCK! It's going great, getting ready to kick off the NEW YEAR, time fly's.

FMR: I appreciate your time, I know you are quite busy at the moment, out on a big tour with Burn Halo, and The Last Vegas... So How's the tour been?

JAKE(Smile Empty Soul): The Tour has started off great! The crowds have been really responsive and energetic, you can't ask for much more. We've been home for a week for Christmas but start back up on January 2nd, can't wait. Burn Halo and The Last Vegas guys are great guys to hang with too.

FMR: Bad Ass! So tell us a little about your band and the Story Behind The name Smile Empty Soul?

JAKE(Smile Empty Soul): Well, Smile Empty Soul is a 3 piece rock band from Santa Clarita Ca that formed in 1999. We put out our first self titled record in 2003 on Lave/Atlantic and have since released two more albums in 2006(Vultures) and 2009(Consciousness), pick em up and play em loud.. We all grew up listening to the grunge bands of the early 90's so I guess you could say our sound has come from that. We're a band that doesn't wear eye liner or tight jeans or stuff like that, or designer clothing, we think all of that shit is totally lame. We just like being ourselves and playing loud. I joined Smile Empty Soul at the beginning of 2006. Back in the day the guys had a song called Smile Empty Soul, and the band name was Heckler's Veto. It was a song about people that had fake smiles and would live their empty lives faking happiness, if I remember correctly. Sean or Ryan could answer that a little better. ha

FMR: Cool I see what your saying.. so how would you define your music?

JAKE(Smile Empty Soul): I would define our music as alternative rock with a twist of lemon and what I said in the previous answer. We're just a rock band that tries hard to be melodic and dynamic.

FMR: Who are your musical influences or mentors?

JAKE(Smile Empty Soul): I think I could speak for all 3 of us and say and of the Grunge bands in the early 90's we Huge influences on us and definitely impact our sound. But also we all love all types of "Rock" music from Pantera to Pink Floyd to Dr Dre to The Meat Puppets to Mr Bungle to The Police to At The Drive In. Being a drummer and if I had to pick ONE name, overall for me I would have to pick Dave Grohl and Nirvana as a huge drumming influence.

FMR: Your Nirvana Cover is kick ass! Is there anything you hope your listeners/fans get out of your music?

JAKE(Smile Empty Soul): I hope the listeners get the sincerity we try to put out in our music.

FMR: Any secret or special preparations or tricks you do before a show?

JAKE(Smile Empty Soul): Before a show we like to listen to loud music to set the mood, maybe have a drink or 2 and stretch out the fingers. Sean and I will also do a quick little minute vocal warm up for the throat. Other than that we just are stoked we get our 1 hour of the day to have PURE fun.

FMR: Favorite Venue or town to play?

JAKE(Smile Empty Soul): I don't know if we have an absolute favorite town or venue to play but I will say the The Machine Shop in Flint Michigan is awesome everytime. There are so many great clubs and cities out there that Rock!

FMR: Yah, I agree, kind of a lame question... so what song is your personal favorite to perform live and why?

JAKE(Smile Empty Soul): My personal favorite song to play at the moment is "Walking Away". It's off our New album "Consciousness" and I love to play it because it's totally up tempo! Check it out.

FMR: Any crazy Road stories to share?

JAKE(Smile Empty Soul): Let me go into my vault of crazy road stories real quick kids. O here's one. In April 2009 we were headed east towards Texas to start a short 2 week tour. Really late one night when we approached the Texas border patrol(going in Texas) our bus driver was asked to pull over so the K-9's could smell around the bus. When one of the dogs freaked out they asked for everyone off the bus immediately so they could search inside. I was the only one up at the time, everyone was sleeping and I had to wake em all up and say "Hey we're F***ED, the Texas border patrol wants us off now so they can search!" The guys hid whatever they had however they could and we went outside. After about 10 minutes of us standing outside in our pj's in the cold the officer comes up to my ear and say's "Your under arrest for the possession of Marijuana." We hadn't even played one show yet! We all got cuffed, driver included and got booked there at the station. Luckily they only found a not so big amount and basically made someone take the blame so they could issue a good size fine. We all pitched in for the ticket though. The messed up thing though is the officer who cuffed us said after he booked us in their computer system that he was listening to our first record on the way to work. What a dick. Anyhow, we were there for about 4 hours for the whole process and when they let us go we got on the bus headed for Odessa and sparked up a nice well deserved pipe full. That's just a medium crazy story.

FMR: You should write a song about Officer Dick, so who is the jokester of the group, and do tell about a recent victim

JAKE(Smile Empty Soul): We all are jokesters but Ryan is the jokester. there's too many victims it's not fair. funny guy.

FMR: Did you get a chance to checkout Alice in Chains' set, when you played a show with them in Vegas?

JAKE(Smile Empty Soul): I watched over 3/4 of Alice N Chains when we played with them and I was stoked. They must have played 30 songs! I was like a kid watching a magician for the first time. Later that night after several beers I had the privilege to meet Jerry Cantrell by the dressing rooms.

FMR: Cool Man, Describe for me a little of the creative process in writing your songs. Do you guys start with a riff, A Melody, or a Pen?

JAKE(Smile Empty Soul): Sean writes riffs and lyrics all the time, usually it starts with him coming to jams with an idea and we jam on it. Other times he has songs pretty much in form. We all teeter around with ideas though, we all just want the song to turn out the best it can.

FMR: So What can we expect from Smile Empty Soul in 2010?

JAKE(Smile Empty Soul): In 2010 you can expect allot of touring from Smile Empty Soul, we will definitely be going overseas too, we've never been. Our new single "Alone With Nothing" hits radio early February. Cheers everyone!

FMR: Where can people go to find out more Smile Empty Soul?

JAKE(Smile Empty Soul): To find out more about Smile Empty Soul go to it has tour dates, music, news, and more!!

FMR: Well I hope you guys get some kind of as holiday break, and wish you a very Happy Holiday

JAKE(Smile Empty Soul): Cheers, hope you had a good holiday time yourself, happy new years to you Full Metal Rock!

FMR: Thanks So Much for your time, is there anything else you would like to plug or add or any shout outs?

JAKE(Smile Empty Soul): Your welcome. If you want to be trendy, where mass eye liner, especially if your a guy. take care and see you at our shows everyone.


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