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About Dirty Honey

Justin Smolian Solo Bio (2023)


Born and raised in Van Nuys, California, Dirty Honey bassist Justin Smolian grew up in an entertainment industry family.  His late father, Peter Smolian, owned a Foley ADR studio, an audio post-production company, with credits that included the motion pictures “Jumping Jack Flash,” the remake of “The Little Rascals,” and Oscar winners, “Back To The Future,” and “Purple Rain.”  When Justin was ten years old, his father bought him his first guitar and arranged for his best friend, who happened to be the guitar player for the musical group Sha Na Na, to give Justin lessons.  But, the guitar was made for a right-handed player, and Justin is left-handed, so he eventually gave it up.  Justin was 12 when he got his first left-handed bass - and his love for playing was reignited.  He took lessons throughout high school with a jazz guitar teacher, learned to read music, and dabbled in keyboards and drums.  He also holds a Bachelor of Music in classical guitar.  His first big break came when he was only 18.  His high school choir teacher thought he had been an exceptionally talented player, so he recorded one of the choir’s performances and took the tape to a recording studio to be mixed.  The studio’s engineer was so impressed by Justin’s playing he helped get him sideman gigs, and Justin started working as a studio musician.  Justin’s tastes in music are eclectic - Tom Petty and The Beach Boys, Dr. Dre’s The Chronic was the first album he ever bought, and Guns N’ Roses’ Appetite for Destruction set him firmly on the path of wanting to be a working musician.  And, of course, Paul McCartney, who Justin feels is nothing short of a bass-playing genius.

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