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Interview: Dirty Honey’s Marc LaBelle & His Summer of Rock

It’s been a summer of rock n’ roll for Dirty Honey frontman Marc LaBelle, who just got off the road touring with KISS, Guns N’ Roses and Rival Sons over in Europe. Throw in some festival appearances and a couple hours in a Swiss jail, and the rising star is sure to have a few good stories to tell the grandkids one day. 

At this point, touring with Guns N’ Roses is almost routine for Dirty Honey who got their start on the road opening for Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators back in 2019. From there, the band opened for GN’R at their highly sought-after Las Vegas shows at Caesars Colosseum and have also added tours with The Black Crowes and The Who onto their growing résumés.

But it isn’t always the stadium gigs with rock n’ roll veterans that hold the most meaning. When Music Existence sat down with Marc LaBelle last week, it seemed like the smaller shows with Rival Sons left a lasting impact on the frontman and the rest of his bandmates. Oftentimes grouped together in the same class of bands considered to be “The New Wave of Classic Rock” (think Greta Van Fleet) both Rival Sons and Dirty Honey’s blues-based approach to rock n’ roll has given the two bands a similar fanbase. “It was everything I could have possibly hoped for, honestly… I’ve loved that band for a long time” says LaBelle. 

“We were in the U.K. with them and they were just super supportive and you could just tell the music aligned really well. I think that obviously we have some familiarity with the U.K. audiences already but it just felt like if you liked Rival Sons you’re probably going to like Dirty Honey.” 

With Europe conquered, the band’s next challenge is to head north where they’ll headline their own tour across Canada and the U.S., for a staggering 28-show tour that will take the band well into October. Mac Saturn will join the bill for all shows with fellow blues-based rocker Dorothy, joining for the American dates. 

For LaBelle, the opportunity to headline shows in Canada is a long time coming. “We’ve been trying to do it for a while now and covid kind of derailed us. It’s funny, in the early days of the band I was sending all the merch myself and every time we’d get an order for a t-shirt, probably like a quarter of them would be going up to Canada somewhere… and I’d be like how the hell do you know about Dirty Honey up in Saskatchewan, or Edmonton, or Calgary?!”

“It’s been a market that’s been supportive since the beginning so it’s only fitting” explained the frontman who grew up in Upstate New York playing hockey, before making the move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in music. In fact, it was his love of hockey that landed the band a couple key deals in the music industry. 

“I’ve been playing hockey my whole life and when I moved to L.A. I was told about this group that plays. It’s the CAA (Creative Artists Agency) hockey skate so it’s all agents, managers, actors and musicians” LaBelle explains. It was there where he met his future manager Mark Didia, whose long history working on the label side has allowed the band to remain independent still to this day. 

But the connections to the hockey world don’t stop there. If you tuned into this year’s NHL Winter Classic you would have seen Dirty Honey kick off the show covering Prince on a frozen lake in Minnesota. Or maybe you were one of the lucky fans in New York City who saw Rangers legend Henrik Lundqvist join the band on stage at Webster Hall. Regardless, don’t be surprised if you see Dirty Honey catching a game this fall when the band hits the road.

So if you can’t afford NHL tickets this season, why not consider catching a Dirty Honey gig instead? They’ve got the backbone and grit of your average fourth line but the swagger and charisma of today’s biggest stars. Plus, the music is pretty good too. 

Dirty Honey Tour Dates

August

25 Waterfest, Leach Amphitheater, Oshkosh, WI*

26 Fine Line, Minneapolis, MN*

27 Fargo Brewing Co., Fargo, ND*

29 The Park Theatre, Winnipeg, MB*

31 Louis’, Saskatoon, SK*

September

2 Starlite Room, Edmonton, AB*

3 Commonwealth, Calgary, AB*

5 Rickshaw, Vancouver, BC*

7 Revolution Hall, Portland, OR^

8 The Neptune, Seattle, WA^

9 Knitting Factory, Spokane, WA^

11 The Pub Station, Billings, MT^

13 Bourbon Theatre, Lincoln, NE^

14 Val Air Ballroom, Des Moines, IA^

16 House of Blues, Cleveland, OH^

17 Del Lago Casino, Waterloo, NY@

19 Club Soda, Montreal, QC*

21 HMAC, Harrisburg, PA^

24 Pine Knob, WRIF Radio Show, Detroit, MI+

25 Louder Than Life, Louisville, KY+

27 The Intersection, Grand Rapids, MI^

28 The Forge, Joliet, IL^

30 Apollo Theatre AC, Belvidere, IL^

October

1 Red Flag, St. Louis, MO^

2 TempleLive, Fort Smith, AR^

5 Rialto Theatre, Tucson, AZ^

7 The Catalyst, Santa Cruz, CA^

9 Aftershock Festival, Sacramento, CA+

  • Mac Saturn will support

@ Dorothy will support

^ Mac Saturn and Dorothy will support

  • Festival date

Dirty Honey Online: Website | Instagram | Facebook | TikTok | Spotify | Apple Music

About Katie Tymochenko

Katie is a Toronto based writer for Music Existence. She loves all things rock n' roll & Star Wars.

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