Rock music seems to be in a Schrödinger’s cat style era at the moment with the main debate seemingly trying to figure out if the genre is dead or alive. But, it appears to be a bit of both. Whilst critics say Rock is dead, and major publications such as NME, Rolling Stone and Pitchfork having concentrated their news coverage around TV series like Game Of Thrones, Politics, and Hip-Hop in recent years, you could easily declare Rock as being more 6 feet under as opposed to 6 strings shaking. However, this could not be further from reality.

Many have felt a resurgence in the genre lately, especially throughout 2019. TOOL returned after 13 years and managed to break historical figures by having every one of their albums enter the iTunes top 10 charts in a single day. Rammstein’s new Untitled record was the fastest-selling album in its first week in Germany history for this century selling over 270,000 units, as well as landing a number 1 spot in 14 countries and having "Deutschland" and "Radio" streamed over 150 million times when the album was released. Bring Me The Horizon landed their first UK number one, and Slipknot’s new album, We Are Not Your Kind also took number one chart positions globally.

So, considering this, it’s difficult to still cling to this notion of “Rock is dead”. Love them or hate them, Greta Van Fleet are also dominating the global Rock scene with their Led Zeppelin influenced offerings. Now, another Rock band has managed to cause a stir in the apparent status quo of the modern ax-wielding musical era.

This is crazy - a brand-new, unsigned band has its first single go to No. 1
- Frontman Marc Labelle

Los Angeles based rockers, Dirty Honey, are a band that has made Rock history today. The American Billboard charts have been running since the 1940s and have long been seen as the golden destination for almost every artist that has ever entered a recording studio. Whilst dominated by US acts, the US Billboard Charts are also heralded as Graceland for many UK musicians and it’s commonly accepted that if you can break America, you’ve made it. The now infamous Billboard Hot 100 is the goal for many with the first number one being way back in 1958 and now several genres have their own dedicated Billboard Chart such as the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart, which is where Dirty Honey have dominated.

Now, in almost 4 decades since its inception, the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart has seen its first unsigned artist take the number one spot which was officially announced by Billboard Magazine on 2nd September. Dirty Honey released their smash hit, “When I’m Gone” on March 22nd of 2019 where it has been sitting pretty on the chart for 21 weeks, slowly making its way to the top. The song, written by M.Labelle, J.Notto, J.Smolian, C.Coverstone, was selected as the official theme song for WWE Extreme Rules 2019, a professional wrestling pay-per-view and WWE Network event produced by WWE which is watched by millions around the globe.

“We've been able to identify what speaks most honestly to us, which is what you hear on (the EP)," notes guitarist Notto “What we do is from the prime-time vinyl era -- the 70s and maybe a touch of early 80s, and 90s, with some modern stuff as well”.

The band says music fans today have been starved of classic Rock and Roll. “It's been missing for a long time. People want it. We want to give it to them.”. They make no bones about taking their influences heavily from icons such as AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, and even Guns N Roses who once held the title of ‘The most dangerous band in the world’. Although the band are unsigned, they’ve had a helping hand from their Management company, Red Light Management who has been pushing the song since March of this year.

Whether or not Dirty Honey can follow in the footsteps of their idols in an age dominated by streaming and pop music is another question. When bands such as Guns N Roses, Led Zeppelin, and ACDC ventured out for the first time, Rock music was new, or at least their brand of Rock music was certainly fresh compared to the commercial stylings of The Beatles.

It will also be very interesting to see how music communities react to Dirty Honey. When Greta Van Fleet starting to gain exposure, they were branded by many as copycats and instantly rejected by Hard Rock fans, all claiming they were simply ripping off greats such as Led Zeppelin. Time will tell.

Dirty Honey released a video for ‘When I’m Gone’ on Jun 17, 2019 which has been viewed 218K times at the time of writing this article.

Author Bio: AC Speed

Senior Editor

I started my career as a music journalist in 2013 and have been involved in the music industry as a touring musician, studio engineer and artist consultant since 2002, as well as previously being a signed artist. My passion for delivering high quality, informative music-related news is a daily driving force behind the content I create. Also a huge gaming nerd! Born in the United Kingdom and currently living in Sweden. Skål!


...people just like you all over the world make our work possible. Without you, we would not be able to keep our journalism open and free. Your support is vital in keeping our publication independent.

Every contribution, however big or small, is so valuable for our future. Please consider contributing to our passion.