Dirty Honey

“How Dirty Honey Became the First Unsigned Band to Top the Mainstream Rock Songs Chart”

They’re managed by Mark DiDia and Winky Fairorth.
This is what Winky wrote me last March:

“I play ice hockey here in LA with a great bunch of guys. One of them has been working hard on a music career with his band. His name is Marc Labelle and he’s the lead singer and a big fan of rock. I have showed him several of your letters regarding the industry and how to do this properly in 2019. Not that you say what to do as much as you say what NOT to do. They are out playing club dates now across the US. 24 dates in 30 days driving the sprinter van around. Good old fashioned hard work.

I’ve heard you speak a lot about Greta and I have also heard you say there ain’t enough rock. I think these boys have something. It’s all their own music and it’s produced at a very high level. They will open for Slash this summer and hit a few festivals.

They released an EP today and I wanted you to hear it. I’ll be curious to hear your take. I’ve been in it so long with them now that I feel like I can’t be objective any more.

Enjoy Dirty Honey!”

I was wary, the guys in Dirty Honey are nowhere near as young as those in Greta. And to tell you the truth, I didn’t love the song. It sounds like rock, but despite containing the building blocks, I didn’t find that irresistible hook. I mean the chorus is weak, right?

But then Winky e-mailed me yesterday. And told me to “Check out my boyz:)” and provided a link to the above “Billboard” article.

Now the band is with Red Light. And not only does DiDia have radio experience, Mark Gorlick is doing the promotion, and he used to work at major labels.

And then I got e-mail from John Boyle raving about the track and then…

I figured I was wrong.

So today, I pulled up the numbers.

“When I’m Gone” has 2,204,532 streams on Spotify. Respectable, too many acts have under seven figures, but #50 on the U.S. Spotify chart, “Writing on the Wall,” had 441,590 streams YESTERDAY! As for number one, Post Malone’s “Circles,” it had 1,431,492 streams on Spotify yesterday.

But maybe rockers are not streamers.

So I went to YouTube. “When I’m Gone” has 333,586 streams…THAT’S PEANUTS!

So maybe the “Billboard” article was wrong, let me go to Mediabase, the radio Bible. Yup, there was Dirty Honey’s “When I’m Gone” topping the Active Rock chart, Winky’s information was correct.

But then I looked at the number of spins, “When I’m Gone” had 1,721 spins, with an audience rating of 5.262.

Number one on Triple A was Cage The Elephant’s “Social Cues,” it had…661 spins this week. 661!! That’s not even a thousand, it’s positively anemic! The audience rating was 1.151.

Lana Del Rey’s “Doin’ Time” tops the Alternative chart, with 3,339 spins this week, with an audience of 11.186. But she gets a lot of press, she’s got an established career. Illenium is number two, with 2,961 spins and a smaller audience share of 8.103.

Now I’m seeing how small these numbers are, I wonder how they compare to Top Forty.

Lizzo is number one there. With 19,384 spins this week, with an audience number of 95.136.

But she’s a phenomenon, how about a new act?

Lewis Capaldi’s “Someone You Loved” is number three and has 16,906 spins, with an audience number of 75.303.

In other words, Lizzo’s cut is eleven times bigger than Dirty Honey’s.

It’s almost like rock doesn’t even exist, it’s a zit on the ass of the business. But if you’re in that sphere, there’s absolutely no reason to sign with a major label, nada. The Red Light team did it all by their lonesome, for their management percentage, the act owns the track and does not pay a label. So, it’s a win!

Furthermore, some of these rock acts sell tickets. They may not be big on the radio or streaming, but they’ve got live audiences, and that’s where the money is. Is it that every rock listener is buying a ticket?

Streaming and radio are dominated by hip-hop/pop. But, the truth is hip-hop/pop is a smaller fraction of the marketplace than ever before. Sure, there’s a chart, but not everyone on it can sell tickets, a lot of acts come and go. WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?

Well, I’d like to tell you “Dirty Honey” is slam dunk irresistible, but I don’t think so. If you want a new version of the old sound, it delivers, as far as inspiring new, younger listeners…I don’t think so.

But, once again, unless you make hip-hop/pop, don’t sign with a major label, you can truly do it yourself. It’s nearly free to get on the streaming services, but the truth is those guys at Red Light are experienced.

So what does this portend?

Hip-hop/pop will continue to have an ever decreasing share of the pie. But what will fill the growing hole is unknown. It’s not really driven by radio, and it’s not really driven by streaming. Somehow, people are finding out. But so far, there hasn’t been one track that everyone agrees can be pushed to mainstream success. Then again, maybe all-dominating successes are history.

Dirty Honey’s “When I’m Gone”

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