The Dirty Honey show at the Waterfront in Norwich was the scene for the opening of the band’s first headline tour of the UK. It was a phenomenal start, and we said there was a sense of witnessing the next stage of something truly world-shaking. MetalTalk’s Paul Monkhouse spoke with Marc LaBelle after the show.
“It felt great,” Marc said after their set. “I think that was a great way to kick off the tour, and we’re just getting back into it ourselves. So it’s an exciting way to shake the cobwebs off.”
The entire tour is sold out, leaving many pleading social media messages from fans. “We didn’t expect that to happen,” Marc said. “I think we’re enjoying the fruits of our labour after putting a lot of hard work in last summer and getting things started over here. But I don’t think anybody could have expected it to go this well, this quick. It’s really encouraging.”
The new song played tonight was Ride On, with its wonderful sledgehammer punch. “I thought it went over really well,” Marc says. “It felt really good for us, which was great, and that’s all you can expect. I felt like people were into the vibe of it, but there’s always a gamble because they obviously know nothing about it. But it felt like it went over pretty good, actually. So that’s encouraging as well.”
The band hit a real sort of pay dirt with the first album, but a second album is always seen as the harder one to do. “After Covid, everybody was making up for lost time touring, and we came here for the first time. We toured the States three times, and then we did Canada. So it’s like you had to really go to work on the road. I think, after this tour, we’re gonna get into the studio and obviously be creative and get some really good new music out hopefully by the summertime.”
In the interview earlier in the day with guitarist John Notto, the topic of the new album was also discussed. Marc says the UK shows give the band the time to add to their creative process. “We thought we were gonna have more time in the summer to work on stuff,” Marc says, “but the schedule was just so crazy that we didn’t really get to dive into it until we got back.
“So I spent a lot of time writing. We recorded a bunch of stuff in early fall, late summer, I guess. So that part is going really well. Now that we’re on our own headlining tour here, there’s more time to suss out ideas on stage before the show starts, and you know if you feel inspired one day, you can really like flesh it out, which is always good.
“But we were hoping to get more done in the summertime, but it wasn’t gonna happen on the Gun N’ Roses stage or the Kiss stage. So we’re pretty happy to be out on our own again. Obviously, we’re super grateful for everything we had in the summertime, but to be on our own stage with some time to work on ideas is pretty key.”
Marc echoes John’s thoughts of progression. “I think there’s always got to be a little bit of a touch of evolution in there. There is only one band in the history of bands that I really love that did quote-unquote the same or similar thing forever, and that’s AC/DC. But they did it so well that nobody else could compare.
“If you want that thing, they are the ones you have to go to, but they even had to deal with some evolution, obviously with Bon dying, but I really look up to them. But I love bands like Aerosmith and the Stones and Zeppelin, and they really experiment with the writing process and instrumentation and get creative with things, and that’s a natural evolution for any artist.”
Things are already going at a huge pace for Dirty Honey, and the second album might be the real killer album to break them through. Are they ready for it?
“I think so,” Marc says. “I was saying to somebody your life doesn’t change much at work, on the road unless you’re Taylor Swift or Metallica or someone where you’re flying private to Germany tonight to go do a show in Munich. If you’re a working musician, that is doing what we do, you’re just getting on a bus at the end of the night, and you’re travelling to the next sound. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing arenas or theatres or little clubs. That’s the life. That’s what you’re signing up for, so I love it. I’m very grateful for everything that’s coming our way so far. But yeah, there’s still way more to achieve and more to explore creatively, and I think that’s what we’re gonna attempt to do on this next record.”
But tonight in Norwich, the 700-capacity venue was full, and most were packed into the parts where you could see the stage. “My merch guy texted me before the show,” Marc said, “and he was like, it’s fucking jammed in here. It’s a good text to get before you go on stage.”
Every single person tonight had spent their hard-earned money to see Dirty Honey. They sang the words and bought the merch.
“They were definitely super, super into it and obviously familiar with the tunes,” Marc says. “It was a really great way to kick off the tour. That’s very flattering, and we never take that for granted.
“I think we bring the heat live, and we can deliver live. It’s now about the next record, and that’s something we’re really focused on after this tour.”