Some Call Greta Van Fleet The Saviors of Rock, But Not Them


When the members of the rock band Greta Van Fleet put their final touches on their first full-length album, they didn’t have fun with a spherical of beers or a flowery dinner. They instantly began engaged on new songs.

“Once we completed Anthem of the Peaceful Army — the very day that we’d OK’d all the blending — we began writing the subsequent album,” mentioned Jake Kiszka, the band’s guitarist. “If we’re stagnant, it turns into boring.”

The younger Michigan rockers whose sound and traditional rock look is paying homage to Led Zeppelin have performed the other of stagnate within the final 18 months. It’s been extra like an explosion, capped by 4 Grammy Award nominations, together with finest new artist and finest rock album.

Since their April 2017 breakthrough with the track “Highway Tune,” they’ve put out two EPs and their Anthem of the Peaceful Army debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s rock chart and No. three on the all-genre albums chart final yr. It has additionally reached the Top 10 in Canada, Italy and Germany. They’ve performed Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, depend Elton John as a fan and have been embraced because the 4 guys who can save rock ‘n’ roll, a tag they politely decline.

“It’s a foolish factor to contemplate anybody a savior of rock ‘n’ roll. In our opinion, nobody king can put on that crown,” mentioned Jake Kiszka, 22. “There’s all the time somebody who carries the torch and takes that into the long run and interprets that via their influences.”

Jason Flom, who signed Greta Van Fleet to his Lava Records, mentioned there’s nothing calculated in regards to the band, saying they make music as a result of it’s what they had been born to do: “It’s nearly like they had been despatched in a time capsule to avoid wasting rock ‘n’ roll,” he mentioned. “They wouldn’t say that, however I’ll.”

Keeping the members grounded via all this fuss is blood — three of the members are brothers. Kiszka’s twin, Josh, is the howling singer, and his youthful brother, 19-year-old Sam, performs bass and keyboards. The quartet is rounded out by drummer and household buddy Danny Wagner, 19.

The Kiszka brothers are so keen about what they do this they used to get into fistfights once they had been youthful over musical decisions. Now they depend on one another to get via the noise.

“When somebody begins to steer a method or one other away from the herd, it looks like there’s all the time somebody there to tug you again in,” mentioned Jake Kiszka, who known as the previous yr “being within the eye of a storm. There’s a lot chaos round you however the very middle appears so calm.”

At the Grammys, going down Feb. 10 in Los Angeles, the band is up for finest rock track (“Black Smoke Rising”), finest rock efficiency (“Highway Tune”) and finest rock album (From the Fires EP). Competition in these classes embrace the late Chris Cornell, Arctic Monkeys, twenty one pilots, St. Vincent, Weezer, Fall Out Boy and extra.

Greta Van Fleet, whose title was impressed by the octogenarian bluegrass musician Gretna VanFleet, are also nominated for finest new artist, up towards Chloe x Halle, Luke Combs, H.E.R., Dua Lipa, Margo Price, Bebe Rexha and Jorja Smith.

Asked which of the 4 awards the band most coveted, Jake Kiszka was diplomatic. “I feel finest album and finest efficiency could be among the extra highlighted classes I’d like us to win. It appears to me the perfect new artist is form of a cursed class.” Does that imply they gained’t settle for it? “We’ll settle for it,” he answered, laughing. “That could be impolite.”

Rudeness just isn’t one thing baked into the band, which additionally hasn’t relied on social media to gasoline its rise. Flom, who has additionally guided the careers of artists like Lorde and Jessie J, mentioned he’s impressed by Greta Van Fleet’s work ethic and comradery. “They get every week off, they go hire a cabin within the hills of Tennessee and write songs,” he mentioned. “That is their concept of a great time.”

The band hasn’t gained over everybody, as proved by the snarky feedback on-line following their SNL look final week. Some criticized them for his or her ’60s-styled outfits and for mimicking traditional rock gestures. One viewer known as them “a glorified school cowl band who’ve simply discovered their dad’s Led Zeppelin data.” Music critics even have been blended, however the band isn’t letting any of that get underneath their pores and skin.

“Every particular person is entitled to an opinion,” mentioned Jake Kiszka. “I feel we’ll all the time be humbled with the references and honored by the affiliation of those that have influenced us and impressed us to be musicians. But I feel there isn’t a band on this world that anyone doesn’t hate.”

The Zeppelin comparisons as soon as had been actually warranted however more and more much less apt. The band’s early bluesy rock has advanced right into a extra various, mature sound, together with the laid-back, “You’re the One,” the final track created for the newest album. Jake Kiszka mentioned Greta Van Fleet has moved on from their stripped-down sonic beginnings.

“It was form of an goal of ours to attain considerably simplicity — to get to the emotion of it and the reality of it and the texture of it,” he mentioned. “Once that was achieved, in our minds, it was time to begin shifting ahead in a extra technical method — to develop.”