Cool New Bands: Greta van Fleet
Every once in a while you hear a band that makes you stop in your tracks and say, 'Who is this!?' That happened to me this morning while listening to the radio (yes, the actual, over-the-air-no-satellites-involved radio). For a split-second I thought it was a new Led Zeppelin song I'd never heard (unlikely), and actually waited in the parking lot for the song to end before leaving my car, hoping the DJ would tell me who performed it (don't Shazam and drive).
I was in luck - I'd just had my first listen to Frankenmuth, Michigan-based rockers Greta van Fleet, and apparently I wasn't the only one impressed with their classic rock sound. Though they initially formed in 2012, their debut EP was just released in April, and they followed it up a month ago with the double EP From the Fires. They've already had singles sit at the top of Billboard's Rock charts (for 5 straight weeks, no less), and show no signs of letting up, with a sold-out North American tour currently underway.
“We looked at each other and kind of stopped,” recalls Jake. “That was kind of a chilling moment -- I knew he could sing, but not like that.”
Jake Kiszma, on when they first heard his brother Josh sing
The band is a family affair, consisting of brothers Jake, John, and Sam Kiszka along with drummer Danny Wagner. Their hometown (Frankenmuth, MI - population 5,131) was formerly best known for having the 'World's Largest Christmas Store', and the group is named after a renowned local musician. After they started gaining recognition, she began to get phone calls asking where she'd be playing next - once she went to one of their shows, she gave her blessing for them to continue to use her name.
Watch the video for Highway Tune by Greta van Fleet
A top rock release & a feature in a Detroit-area Chevrolet commercial (a true sign of fame in Michigan) means the road is wide open for Greta van Fleet to lead the way in the current rock resurgence. They certainly look the part, with a Stranger Things-esque logo (using the same font, ITC Benguiat), and have a classic sound and style. I can't wait to see what they come up with next.
In no way did we expect the music would garner this much immediate attention. It continues to be a 'wow!' scenario. It seems that as we go, more things keep happening and we've envisioned a kind of success we would have, just because we're being ambitious about what we're passionate about is what we're going to be, having a vision. When it's really happening and setting in and going far beyond your expectations, then it's like a magical thing. It wasn't even an intentional thing. It was just a natural response to the world around us.
Josh Kiszma, lead singer of Greta van Fleet