There have been thousands and thousands of rock bands throughout music history, but not all of them made it big. Mammoth WVH and Dirty Honey are two young rock bands carving out their paths right now, and their singers have explained what it takes to prove yourself and succeed in this day and age.
Mammoth WVH, led by Wolfgang Van Halen, put out their debut single “Distance” in late 2020 — which was a tribute to the late Eddie Van Halen — and then released their eponymous first album in 2021. Dirty Honey made history in late 2019 when they became the first unsigned rock band to have a single reach No. 1 on the rock charts. Both groups have gone on tour with their heroes (Guns N’ Roses, The Black Crowes), and now they’re about to head out together.
Ahead of their co-headlining Young Guns tour, which kicks off Feb. 20, Van Halen and Dirty Honey frontman Marc LaBelle joined Loudwire Nights host Toni Gonzalez for a chat about how their careers have led them to this point.
“Outworking people is the No. 1 ingredient for success. I mean, some people obviously are naturally gifted, but you see naturally gifted people on The Voice and on American Idol all the time, and they don’t really seem to get anywhere. It’s all about putting your nose to the grindstone — putting in the time, becoming a great performer, writing songs,” LaBelle said.
“Writing songs, I don’t know how Wolf feels, but I fucking hate writing songs. I love having written songs, to quote Billy Joel, but I hate writing them. It’s an endless sludge through the Shawshank tunnel of shit,” he continued. “But once you get out the other side, you may have written something you’re really proud of and is fun to perform. But it’s really hard work. If you’re not getting those flashes of inspiration where you get a song in three minutes, it’s fucking hard.”
Van Halen, on the other hand, acknowledged that his last name may have helped spark attention in what he’s doing musically, but he argued that that alone wouldn’t help him succeed in the long run — he has to produce quality material.
“While I do have the name that kind of perks peoples’ ears up and may open certain doors here and there, I don’t think that can keep the door open,” he remarked. “I think you can only really walk through that door and/or keep it open if you have the goods and you’re able to prove yourself. I feel like if I wasn’t proving myself, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing.”
The Mammoth WVH mastermind doesn’t exactly have the same disdain for songwriting as LaBelle, but he, too, has experienced writer’s block, especially as a result of how life has been since the pandemic struck in 2020.
“Luckily, I have many, many ideas I’ve already written that excite me to revisit. But when it comes to making something new, I’m gonna need to find that creative spark again,” he admitted.
To hear more from the two vocalists, tune into Loudwire Nights tonight at 7PM ET, and get tickets for the Young Guns tour here.
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