World Through An Empty Soul – Interview with Ryan Martin of Smile Empty Soul

by Sonya Sutherland / Schwegweb.com

Smile Empty Soul has that I did it for the Drugs (Bottom of the Bottle) single on the radio. Hailing from Southern California, these guys definitely aren’t from the Strip. No glam rock, no wild Girls, Girls, Girls. Just three guys laying down how the world looks through their eyes. On tour with Trapt and Seether, Bassist Ryan Martin sat down for a quick second to chat.

Schwegweb: What are you guys up to? What are you about?

Ryan: I don’t know. We are a rock band from Santa Claria, California. We have been playing together for about four and a half years and we are fortunate enough to be out touring in support of our first album which drops a week from today, May 27th. That’s a pretty vague question.

Do you like the tour?
Yeah the tour has been great. Trapt and Seether, really cool guys. We are playing a lot of cool shoes, like tonight I’m guessing should be fun. We have a lot of fun together. Those guys are really great musicians with really big hearts. They have a great sense of humor too. We enjoy each others company.

Your name is clever, very clever.

Thanks. Smile Empty Soul was actually the name of one of the songs that we used to play. Back before when we had a different name and none of us were the original members of the band we felt that that song best represented the music we were trying to create. It raised the bar of what we were doing in the past. We decided that would be a fitting name.

So basically someone else that you are not connected to in any way came up with that name?
Yeah. And I’m not going to tell you what the old name was either. It was pretty bad.

Who do you feel is your core audience?
Kids. I don’t know our age to teenagers. People from all walks of life. It’s hard to day I don’t market records I just play music. I would say the person we really want to listen to this record is someone who will get something out of it. Someone who will take it and maybe it will make there day a little better or maybe they get something out of one of the songs.

What do you think of the war?
I choose not to answer that question, next question.

What do you think of education in this country?
I think education in this country is fucking ridiculous.

What can be done to improve it?

Well, all the money that the government makes off of illegal drug sales, they could pump some of that into the education system. Taxes. I don’t know. It just seems that they put so many things first before education. It’s actually pretty sad. I was fortunate enough to have really great teachers but that was Santa Clarita. I don’t know what schools are like here in Detroit, but I know schools in L.A. County are ridiculous. Class sizes are way too big. It’s almost like nobody really cares anymore.

What are three things that people can do to better themselves as human beings?
I think people should listen instead of waiting for their turn to speak. I think people should be more open-minded about culture and religion. Um, do drugs and drink alcohol.

What do you think of the idea that record labels are offering more for the money? Marilyn Manson’s new cd came with a DVD. Do you think that singles are going to start being video singles? Especially since the internet seems to be playing such a giant role now.
I think that’s really important, for artists especially nowadays. People are putting out pure shit with like 2 good songs. The singles they are trying to put to radio are shit and it’s like people only want those two songs. Unless you have an album that’s really good or you have something more to offer the audience it’s hard to reach the fans these days. Because a lot of people just want that one song and will take just that one song. Why buy a whole album.

What are the record labels going to have to do to appeal to a buying audience.
Just things like that with the DVD. Enhanced material. Offering extras you know special things that you can only get over the internet by buying the record and registering stuff. They just have to make it more of a connection with the fans and audience because basically I don’t know where the record industry is going but I do know that there will always be kids going to live shows that’s never going to change. So, the record industry needs to find a way to work that into selling records or mp3s on the internet.

Do you have anything that you especially would like to talk about?

Vaginas. Vaginas are way cool you can quote us on that. On the back of our van there is a pink sparkly sticker that says vaginas are way cool. Right next to the Smile Empty Soul sticker.

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