They’re young, they’re energetic and they’re ready to rock! Dirty Honey is California’s latest rock export set to infest the masses. Their latest release, “Dirty Honey” lays the foundation for the future of this golden state breakout but how did we get here? Ozz finds out in his chat with frontman Marc Labelle.
Dirty Honey is an American rock band from Los Angeles, formed in 2017. It consists of singer Marc Labelle, guitarist John Notto, bassist Justin Smolian, and drummer Corey Coverstone. Their self-titled extended play was self-released in March 2019. The single “When I’m Gone” topped the Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs chart, making them the first unsigned band to ever top the chart.
After moving to Santa Monica in an attempt to duplicate the success of Guns N’ Roses, guitarist John Notto met vocalist Marc Labelle, where they became part of Ground Zero. They decided to independently form their own band in 2017 after performing their second show on the sidewalk of Sunset Boulevard in front of about 100 people. Notto recruited bassist Justin Smolian, and the trio had trouble finding a drummer until Smolian brought in Corey Coverstone, who enthusiastically asked to join. Labelle came up with the name Dirty Honey after hearing Robert Plant mention his band The Honeydrippers in a Howard Stern interview and thought it sounded like such a “dirty” rock and roll name.
After hearing their song “When I’m Gone”, the band’s longtime friend Mark DiDia, a music industry veteran from Columbia Records, became their manager and quickly got them gigs opening for Slash in fall 2018.
The band traveled to Australia to record their self-titled extended play with producer Nick DiDia. It was self-released on March 22, 2019. Eight hours later, the members were contacted by friends and family telling them their music was being played on the radio.
Dirty Honey toured in 2019 as the opening act for Red Sun Rising on their Peel Tour. On May 7, the band opened for The Who at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan as part of their Moving On! Tour. Dirty Honey opened for Skillet and Alter Bridge on their Victorious Sky Tour from September 22 to October 25. They also supported Guns N’ Roses on their Not in This Lifetime Tour on November 1 and 2 in Las Vegas.
Originally having planned to once again travel to Australia to record their self-titled debut album in March 2020, flight restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic halted this forcing them to move to Henson Studios in Hollywood, California, with producer Nick DiDia virtually supervising them, and the complete scrapping of the music video for the track “Heartbreaker” from their previous EP. The album was released April 23, 2021.