Rising rockers Dirty Honey have made a name for themselves over the past few years with a throwback sound that embraces ’70s rock acts like Aerosmith and AC/DC. Less obvious in their music are elements of grunge, but Pearl Jam’s landmark debut album, Ten, still holds a special place in the hearts of singer Marc LaBelle and guitarist John Notto.
Ten is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, having been released on August 27th, 1991. After a slow build, the album took off in 1992 thanks to such hits as “Alive,” “Jeremy,” and “Even Flow,” and has since been certified 13-times platinum.
LaBelle and Notto took some time to discuss the iconic album during a Zoom conversation with Heavy Consequence. LaBelle, who was a star hockey and lacrosse player as a kid, told us, “‘Even Flow’ was a staple warm-up song growing up on the hockey warm-up or lacrosse warm-up, and such an anthemic riff.”
He added, “It wasn’t until a little later of knowing all those songs that [I dove] into Eddie [Vedder’s] lyrical content, and started to realize, “Whoa, ‘Even Flow’ is a pretty deep tune. … And you start going into the content of ‘Why Go’ and certainly ‘Black’ and ‘Alive,’ those are dark songs — and you realize … this guy’s a f**kin’ genius.”
LaBelle also marveled at Vedder’s phrasing, saying, “He’s got his own style with the melodies. He likes to squeeze a lot of words into his melodies, which I thought was unique and interesting. He doesn’t necessarily stick to the melody.”
From a guitarist’s standpoint, Notto chimed in, “There were just some big standout guitar tracks [on Ten] … [Pearl Jam] were actually still taking guitar solos but they just weren’t doing it with the cartoonish bravado [of hair-metal bands].”
Watch Dirty Honey’s Marc LaBelle and John Notto discuss Pearl Jam’s Ten in the video above, and pick up their 2021 self-titled debut album via Amazon.
For more on the legacy of Ten, check out the latest season of the Consequence Podcast Network and Sony’s The Opus. Host Jill Hopkins is joined by the likes of Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon and The Metro Chicago owner Joe Shanahan to discuss everything fromPearl Jam’s formation to the album’s best tracks to Jeff Ament’s artwork. Follow it all here.
Trouble viewing the video above? Watch it on YouTube.