Greta Van Fleet Reviving Classic Rock in the 21st Century
With a voice hauntingly similar to Robert Plant’s famous cry, guitar riffs that seep with ‘70s influences, and drum beats that turn the ear of any rock fan, Greta Van Fleet is on their way to becoming the next breakout band in rock ‘n’ roll.
Listen to any of their 8 songs off of their new double EP, “Black Smoke Rising,” and you will quickly identify the bluesy-rock influences.
In 2012, the band was created by brothers Josh Kiszka, Sam Kiszka, and Jake Kiszka, as well as Kyle Hauck in Frankenmuth, Michigan. Hauck later was replaced by drummer Danny Wagner in 2013.
While their first few gigs included a lot of Cream and Bad Company covers, lead singer Josh states that he was not familiar with Led Zeppelin until high school. According to the band’s retelling, Josh’s Plant-like voice was discovered during practice as he attempted to vocally power over the band. They immediately stopped playing “and were like, ‘whatever you just did, keep doing that, ‘cause it sounds badass,’” said Greta Van Fleet’s guitarist, Jake.
The band claims that they found their classic sound through listening to blues and soul influences that also shaped many older rock bands. As a young kid, bass player Sam listened to “all the Kings – B.B. King, Albert King, Freddie King – and then, like, Buddy Guy.”
The quartet of old-souls have sold out multiple venues around the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan and are set to play at music festivals including Coachella, Shaky Knees, and Hangout Music Festival. With only a few original songs under their belt, the band has already been invited by Elton John to perform at his Oscar after party.
Their growing popularity is reaching across many age groups, including today’s rock-loving parents as well as their millennial children. “The crowd was multigenerational,” said AXS writer, Mary Andrews. “There were as many older fans as there were younger ones.”
However, many spectators still give a skeptical answer when Greta Van Fleet’s name comes up in conversation.
UPROXX’s music critic, Steven Hyden admits that he was unsure of Greta Van Fleet at first, stating that he was afraid they would be another rip-off Zeppelin-esque cover band. However, due to their raw talent he believes that they will grow into their own sound with time.
“Their first EP that came out, it’s so derivative of Led Zeppelin. One of the things that won me over with them is their age, these guys are between the age of 18 and 21. They’re really good at what they do – it’s really amazing. I’m more forgiving of the derivativeness of their music because they’re so young,” said Hyden.
Regardless of their critics, Greta Van Fleet has found a fan in one of the most relevant characters in their field – Robert Plant. When asked about the band, Plant commented on vocalist, Josh Kiszka, “he’s pretty good. There’s a job somewhere for him.”
Despite their recent hype in the music industry, the band is able to maintain a level-headed view of their success. When asked about selling out shows, Greta Van Fleet unanimously responded that the feat leaves them nothing more than humbled and thankful that their passion for rock has been received so positively.
Greta Van Fleet will be performing at Shaky Knees Music Festival on May 5, right here in Atlanta. Check out their website to see more of their upcoming tour dates.