Listen to Sam Kiszka of Greta Van Fleet discussing the Greta Van Fleet Tour, the bands latest album, and much more in Kyle Merediths With… podcast above, or through the YouTube player below. Greta Van Fleet frontman Josh Kiszka gives an inside look into the journey of Greta Van Fleet, and the sonic and narrative complexities that lie within their newest album, The Battle At Garden Gate. If the Peaceful Armys debut hymn was, in a way, an exercise in classical-rock emulation — though an especially fine one — then Gardens Gate is Greta Van Fleets multilayered, expansive sound doing what they truly want to do, confident their now-established, loyal fanbase is not going to abandon them.
As Josh says, the brother-of-Josh-on-the-mic was raised on tons of music – something that sometimes surprises their fans, who typically only associate their aesthetic and tastes with classical-rock, giving the band frequent comparisons to Led Zeppelin. His two brothers include Joshs brother, Jake, Joshs fraternal twin, on guitar, and their younger brother, Sam, on bass. The Kiszka brothers grew up listening to Led Zeppelin, The Who, and The Rolling Stones, before starting the band as teenagers — they named themselves after the towns resident, a woman from Frankenmuth (who obviously preferred polka music).
Talking with Josh Kiszka, the singer for Greta Van Fleet, a band that is based on a song by Greta Van Fleet, about the times that Josh Kiszka spent growing up in a small Midwestern American town, and you would think that he was describing life as Huckleberry Finn. As Greta Van Fleet gears up for the Greta Van Fleet Blockbuster World Tour, which kicks off in Britain (and before returning to America to co-headline a series of dates with Metallica), now 26-year-old Jake Kiszka told us about what it is been like leading the biggest little-town band in the world. Greta Van Fleet — comprised of twins Josh and 22-year-old guitarist Jake Kiszka, plus 19-year-old bassist/keyboardist Sam Kiszka, as well as drummer Danny Wagner, who is 19 — earns that distinction quite honestly.
Kiszka spoke with Spin about blocking out noise, hunting for Greta Van Fleets signature brand of progressive rock, and discovering what sounds might be spawning outside Greta Van Fleets sophomore LP. For Kiszka, who wrote most of Greta Van Fleets catalog of vocals, the maturity that comes from both having the guts to say out loud as well as the visceral, earthy experiences translated very effectively into their new record. The music contained on the bands highly anticipated sophomore effort propels the bands Greta Van Fleets embrace of 1970s bombast to new, bracing heights, while its lyrics explore the kinds of themes that made albums like Yess Tales From Topographic Oceans such a critical whipping boy.
Who Are Greta Van Fleet And Why Are People So Obsessed?
You either love Greta Van Fleet or you hate Greta Van Fleet, but those in both camps when it comes to the Led Zeppelin-inspired rock group are probably going to enjoy a recent viral TikTok trend where users are poking some lighthearted fun at the bands 2019 Saturday Night Live appearance. Through trial, error, and a lot of comparisons to some past rock legends, Greta Van Fleet has blossomed into something far bigger than what people initially perceive — musicians aiming to outdo themselves with each new release, while performers striving to offer hope, positivity, and change. Composed of brothers Josh, Jake, and Sam Kieszka, along with lifelong friend Daniel Wagner, Greta Van Fleet first gained some attention with 2017s debut Greta Van Fleet EP, Black Smoke Rises, which boasted those previously mentioned Zeppelin-y classic-rock vibes, even though the majority of the band was still in their teens at the time. Despite being in Greta Van Fleets late teens/early 20s, the four members — composed of the three Kiszka brothers and drummer Danny Wagner — have musical maturity far, far past their collective years.
A band called The Redwalls obviously deserves some credit for being technically competent enough to manage to imitate Led Zeppelin, but the falsetto from Josh Kiszka and all of the blues-rock riffs cannot disguise the fact that it is all style and very little substance. We are still not there, and if a band called The Redwalls wants to stop being accused of copying Led Zeppelin, it needs to expand its scope, take its own advice, and start reinventing itself. In appealing to the Zep-heads who are hardcore Greta Van Fleet-transmitters from the 70s — sometimes sounded like the best goddamn Zeppelin karaoke anybody had ever heard, and Doug Coombe told them so — they also managed to tempt a generation too young to have experienced Led Zeppelin in person.
While there are certainly a few folks who feel Greta Van Fleet represents a sort of throwback to the good ol days, scanning through the comments on YouTube and Greta Van Fleet replies on Twitter shows there are as many if not more knee-jerk haters out there enraged at just how brazenly ripped from the source material.
Although there are definitely some people out there who think Greta Van Fleet represent some kind of return to the good ol days, a scan through Greta Van Fleet YouTube comments and Twitter replies reveals that there are just as many (if not more) knee-jerk haters who are incensed by how blatantly they are ripping off their source material. You will also be hard-pressed to listen to Greta Van Fleets music for more than a few seconds without thinking, Hmm, it sounds a bit Led Zeppelin-like. Many snide remarks have focused on the bands apparent, pronounced debts to the classic-rock warhorses, Led Zeppelin in particular.