Zachary Levi Raises Money For Operation Smile at NYCC

If you found yourself in The Nerd Machine booth this past weekend at New York Comic Con, you may have noticed a multitude of celebrity guests dropping by for impromptu photo and signing sessions with fans. These guests, as announced via the twitter hashtag #Smiles4Smiles, included stars such as Seth Green, David Duchovny and “Community’s” Yvette Nicole Brown. Actor Zachary Levi, who is currently in New York appearing in Broadway’s First Date, was behind bringing these guests together at NYCC to raise money for Operation Smile.

Can you talk about what Smiles4Smiles is?
Zachary Levi: “So basically, I’m an ambassador for Operation Smile and our main events called NerdHQ that we do at San Diego Comic Con, we make most of our money doing the panels that we do called “Conversations for a Cause“. But there’s a lot of time in between where celebrities might not be able to do a panel for us but they have time to do some photos for us or or do some signings for us. And by for us, I mean for the fans obviously. And I just kind of believe that, I don’t know, for me, you know I’ve been really blessed and…I make my money doing the acting gigs that I do and I love that I’m able to do signings and do photos and stuff and make it affordable– twenty bucks a pop–and you tell people that that all goes to charity, everyone feels a lot better about the whole process of it. So then I was just trying to figure out a catchy way to call it. So it’s Smiles, you’re smiling for a camera for Smiles, Operation Smile. And Signing4Smiles. So that’s what Smiles4Smiles is.”

Levi will next be seen in Thor: The Dark World and I couldn’t help putting a spoiler-free question to the new–taking over the role from Thor‘s Josh Dallas–Fandral the Dashing.

What’s the coolest thing about being an Asgardian?
Being a blond, I guess. (Laughs)

It was more fun being a blond?
It was! It was fun. It was different.


Interview with Smile Empty Soul’s Sean Danielsen

Sean Danielsen is the lead vocalist/guitarist for the band Smile Empty Soul. The band has recently signed with eOne Records to release a new studio album titled “3’s”. Media Mikes had a chance to talk with Sean about the band and their new album.

Adam Lawton: What can we expect from the band’s new album?
Sean Danielsen: The album is called “3’s” and we are releasing it via eOne. The album will be available May 22nd and it is definitely mine and the bands favorite record thus far. The album is more mature and a little more developed. The album is also a little heavier but still has a melody. It’s very musical and fun to play.

AL: Did the band take any different approaches to the writing/recording process?
SD: We pretty much took the same approach that we always do. The songs are different in a lot of ways as they are very guitar riff orientated and progressive. This wasn’t really on purpose or anything but it was more so about what was coming out right now. We recorded very similar to how we did our last album “Consciousness”. We worked with producer Eddie Wohl again as we feel he really gets the band and we have a great process with him.

AL: Will there be a video to go along with the albums single?
SD: We are gearing up to do a video for the first single possibly next month. The first single is called “Afterlife” and we have a really cool treatment that we want to get made. I think it’s going to be great if we can get it all done.

AL: How do you think the band has evolved since its start?
SD: We have all changed so much as both people and as a band. I would have to say that everything is different about us now. We are completely different from when we first started putting out albums back in 2003.

AL: What have you noticed as the biggest change in the industry since the band has been together?
SD: The industry has changed just as much as we have if not more. When we released our first record it was still the tail end of what I guess could be called the glory days. Napster had come out and killed some album sales but the economy was still ok and records were still selling at about half of what they had sold previously. Now everything has been turned completely on its head. It’s a lot more bare bones and low budget. There is a lot of do it yourself type things and social media going on. It’s a strange and always changing industry.

AL: What will be the tour plans for the album?
SD: We have a spring tour booked that stars in May and will go to about mid June. We have 38 dates booked into about 40 or so days. We will be doing a nationwide swoop basically. The Veer Union and a band called Iownya will be heading out with us. The tour is being presented by Jagermeister and it should be a lot of fun. There also have been talks of doing a late summer tour with Fuel. I think the summer is going to be really great.