Smile Empty Soul keeps it fresh on tour

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Smile Empty Soul singer/guitarist Sean Danielsen lives in a world of contradictions.

“When you’re home, you wish you were on tour, and when you’re on tour, you wish you were home,” he says with a laugh.

This month, he’ll have the best of both worlds as the band wraps up the latest leg of its tour behind Chemicals. Then he’ll have the chance to head home to California.

The band is on the road opening for Wayne Static, but filling in “free time” with headlining gigs, like the one it’s playing on Friday, June 27, at the Electric Ballroom, formerly known as the Roxy Lounge, in Scottsdale.

“We’re going home at the end of this month,” he says. “Then we’ll go back out in late July and do July, August, September.”

For this tour, bassist Ryan Martin is staying home to tend to his pregnant wife, who is due in September. Filling in temporarily is Taproot bassist Phil Lipscomb, a good friend of the band.

“Phil learned 14 songs before the tour,” Danielsen says. “We we’re pretty much sticking with a pretty similar set that’s a nice mix of the different albums for this whole tour because those are the ones that Phil knows.”

This is all to promote Chemicals, its sixth full-length album. Smile Empty Soul recorded the album live—meaning drums, bass and guitar at the same time.

“There was very minimal editing to those tracks and we kind of walked away with the basic tracks finished after a couple days in the studio,” he says.

“We wanted it to represent the live show a little bit more,” Danielsen says. “It feels a little more raw. It’s a cool way to record. We had a blast making the album.”

Smile Empty Soul released Chemicals on an imprint label with a friend of theirs, who is now a business partner.

“We’ve been doing everything ourselves,” he says. “We’ve been running the radio campaign, publicist campaign and hiring teams of people to help, but we’ve been running and controlling it.”

That has lent itself to a much more relaxed and non-stressful career. That feeling even carries over into Smile Empty Soul’s live shows.

“Our show is a pretty straight forward rock show,” he says. “There are explosions. We wear a lot of spandex, glitter and there are dancing chicks on stage. That’s the best part.”

Smile Empty Soul w/Ebenezer, Icelus and A Moment to Rise, The Electric Ballroom, 7443 E. Sixth Avenue, Scottsdale, ticketfly.com, Friday, June 27, 7 p.m., $12-$14

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