Dirty Honey Guitarist John Notto on Touring with Slash, ‘When I’m Gone’ + More

2019-09-18

Dirty Honey – Story by Anne Erickson, band promo photo

Get to know budding Los Angeles rock band Dirty Honey, who has toured with Slash

Los Angeles rock band Dirty Honey has a catchy, uber-cool rock ‘n’ roll sound that pays homage to the legends of classic rock while also presenting something new and fresh. The band is currently climbing up the mainstream BDS rock radio chart with their hit “When I’m Gone,” and Dirty Honey is also coming up on a cross-country tour with Alter Bridge and Skillet.

Dirty Honey guitarist John Notto checked in with Anne Erickson of Audio Ink to discuss the band’s quick rise, what it was like opening for Guns N’ Roses guitar Slash on tour, the state of rock ‘n’ roll and more. Read and stream the full interview below, and find Dirty Honey online at DirtyHoney.com.

Anne Erickson: Congratulations on the success of Dirty Honey’s song “When I’m Gone,” which is doing well at rock radio. Did you know that song would be a hit?

John Notto: I did not! We’ve always been so involved with the ‘70s rock stuff. I think you can tell what we’re inspired by, and until this whole whirlwind of success, the few years that we were in the trenches, I wasn’t convinced anybody liked rock ‘n roll anymore. But we live in LA, so it’s hard to tell. I love LA, but it’s a different bubble here, so it was hard to tell if we’d ever be a hit band.

I saw someone comment online that Dirty Honey is a mix between Guns N’ Roses and the Black Crowes. What do you think of that comparison?

I love it! They’re both favorites. I think the Black Crowes thing is interesting, but we certainly love that band, and we certainly love Guns N’ Roses. It’s nice when people say that. We get funny comparisons, bands we don’t know or even like, but if the person saying it is saying it and revering us because they love that band, then it’s all good.

You guys were out with Slash last year, which is such an honor.

Yeah! We did 10 shows with Slash, and three of those shows were last October, and those were honestly our first Dirty Honey shows outside of playing small bars in LA. Then come the early part of the year, we got more Slash dates for summer.

What were those shows with Slash like?

The first show was a total out-of-body, eek-out moment. We’d see Slash walking through the hallways, and he’s in his sweat pants, and we’re like, what? He always had his shades, though. I never saw him without his shades. Then, the first soundcheck, I was thinking, Slash can hear me play guitar right now. Another thing is that I think we fit perfectly, and the fans were great. Slash fans fill the place for the opener. They don’t miss the opener. That was a really incredible breeding ground for new rock bands.

What are your thoughts on the state of rock ‘n’ roll today?

I think with bands like us and Greta Van Fleet and other bands out there, the flavor that I like of that ‘90s, ‘70s and ‘80s with Guns N’ Roses stuff, that there’s some cool stuff happening. I was yearning for that older sound coming back, and I think it’s exciting. That fun, swinging, sexy blues-driven rock. I wasn’t hearing much of that before.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future with Dirty Honey?

I hope we are in a position to be… I would love to have a song that crosses over into the mainstream, without turning our sound into, I don’t know, Drake. (Laughs) I’d love to have a big audience. I love playing live, so I’d love to play live all year. I want to graduate to that point, and there are a couple notches in the belt I’d love to have. When I was a kid, the live album became my favorite whenever I scrolled through and found that one. I would love for us to do that… To be another point in history for rock—- for Dirty Honey to be that. So when people look back, they can be like, it was grunge in the ‘90s, and then rap-rock or whatever, and then I don’t know what the 2000s were, and then there was a resurgence and they mention our name.

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