“I always get compliments on my tone. It’s become a running joke: ‘Aren’t they gonna say I’m awesome? Is it all about my tone?!’”: Dirty Honey’s John Notto is back in the studio – and he’s still in search of “that great, elusive riff”

Dirty Honey
(Image credit: Glenn Mossop)

When Dirty Honey’s John Notto spoke with Guitar World back in 2021, ahead of the release of his band’s self-titled debut album, the guitarist exuded supreme confidence. “There was no doubt I was going to succeed as a guitarist, and I knew this band would go over,” he told us. “I know that sounds bold, but for me, failure just wasn’t an option.”

Reminded of his words today, Notto lets out a laugh. “Wow, it’s so funny to think I said that,” he says. “I’m normally not so arrogant. I think I was trying to sum up the band’s mentality at the time. We were dealing with a lot of skepticism, so we took a mantra of, ‘we’re going to get there however we can.’ We had to rally each other. But it’s nice to put your dreams out there and be held accountable for them.”

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Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar World, Guitar Player, MusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.