Smile Empty Soul formed in 1998, while its original members were attending different high schools in the Santa Clarita area. The band, originally a three-piece group, consisted of vocalist and guitarist Sean Danielsen, bassist Ryan Martin and drummer Derek Gledhill.
After playing numerous hometown gigs, Smile Empty Soul ventured to the Sunset Strip, and later passed a demo to John Parker of the Los Angeles indie label, ThroBack Records. That later led to a record deal with Jason Flom's Lava Records – a subsidiary of Atlantic Records.
On May 27, 2003, the band released their self titled debut album Smile Empty Soul. The album was produced by John Lewis Parker, and three successful singles were released. In March 2005, the album was certified gold with sales in excess of 500,000+.
Sometime after the recording of their second album "Anxiety" was finished, drummer Derek Gledhill was replaced by Dominic Weir.
On September 22, 2005, during a concert at The Beaumont Club in Kansas City, Missouri, frontman Sean Danielsen stated that their new album Anxiety, would not be released due to issues with Lava Records. The band told fans that in order to receive the new album they could purchase one of a very limited number of burned copies or attempt to download the album online via BitTorrent.
On July 13, 2006, Smile Empty Soul signed with independent label, Bieler Bros. Records. At this point, drummer Dominic Weir had been replaced by Jake Kilmer, and Mike Booth (ex-Cold) was added as a second guitarist.
On October 24, 2006, the band released Vultures, the official follow-up to their 2003 debut Smile Empty Soul. The album doesn't feature any songs from the unreleased Anxiety. The first single released was the song "The Hit".
Vultures debuted at #169 on the Billboard 200 album charts with just over 5,000 copies sold. The band embarked on a co-headlining tour with Evans Blue in support of the album in November 2006. After that they went on tour with The Exies and Egypt Central, with further support on select dates from punk/post-hardcore band Brazil.
As of December 13, 2006, Vultures had sold 13,130 copies in the United States.
Some time between April 17, 2007 and April 30, 2007 Smile Empty Soul parted ways with Mike Booth which was a mutual split. The band has yet to replace him, and has continued on as a 3-piece.
According to a post on the band's myspace page they will begin recording their new record in Greenville, SC on February 1, 2008
In February, 2008, Smile Empty Soul announced that recording for their new album entitled "Consciousness" was finished, but in May, 2008, Smile Empty Soul returned to the studio to record a few more songs for "Consciousness".
As of July 28, 2008, Smile Empty Soul has completed their new album "Consciousness". It will be released early next year.
On October 29, 2008, the band's Myspace page confirmed that they had signed with F.O.F./EMI records.
The band's new album "Consciousness" was pushed back and was to be released on June 16, 2009. This date has been pushed back even further to sometime in July. The official release date for the album is August 11, 2009.
"Don't Ever Leave" will receive radio airplay on June 9, 2009. Debuted on New Music Inferno(www.blogtalkradio.com/newmusicinferno)
On June 10, 2009 it was confirmed the album was bumped back to August 25, 2009.
In November 2009, the 2005 album "Anxiety" was released on iTunes.
the band also released a "summer tour 09" DVD