Music Connection’s Signing Stories are a regular and quite popular offering for readers like yourself who want the inside scoop on the who, what, when, where and why an artist or band decided to sign with a particular label, management firm or music publisher. For one reason or other, we feel the following artists’ stories stood out as the most enlightening to our readers.
Band Members: Marc LaBelle, vocals; John Notto, guitars; Justin Smolian, bass; Corey Coverstone, drums.
Type of Music: Rock & Roll
Management: Mark DiDia - Red Light Management
Booking: Ken Fermaglich - UTA
Legal: Greg Cimino
Publicity: Heidi Ellen Robinson-Fitzgerald, [email protected]
At a time when labels are reluctant to take a chance on a hard-rocking young rock band like Dirty Honey, we are impressed by how these artists aligned with a prominent management firm and self-released their record—which spawned a single, “When I’m Gone,” that made history in October, making Dirty Honey the ONLY UNSIGNED BAND in history to go to #1 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock chart.
Goes to show you how much the record industry is changing. Apparently, you don’t necessarily need a major label to make it to the top of the chart. Rather than beg and plead with labels, Dirty Honey signed with Mark DiDia’s Red Light Management and self-released their album on Dirt Records.
“I ran labels for years, that’s my background,” says DiDia. “So we have a promotion system [at Red Light] for radio. I thought we’d have a good shot at that. [I tried] to get them a record deal last year. I shopped the EP to every label I could think of, and nobody wanted to take the dive with me. Instead of waiting around and begging, I figured I’d do it myself.”
Singer Marc LaBelle confirms that they put a lot of energy into trying to get a label partner at the beginning. “We like the path that we’re on. We’re still taking every label meeting we can get, but there seems to be an authenticity in [not having a] mission statement. It’s just a cooler thing. But if Atlantic were to give us a million dollars, that’s a conversation we’d be having.”
The band has already opened for The Who and Slash. Without a label, but with a seasoned manager, they’re taking giant strides. “Good, old- fashioned, fun, riff-based rock records never go away,” says DiDia.