Greta Van Fleet is an American rock band from Frankenmuth, Michigan, formed in 2012. It consists of vocalist Josh Kiszka, guitarist Jake Kiszka, bassist Sam Kiszka, and drummer Danny Wagner. They were signed to Lava Records in March 2017 and a month later the band released their debut studio EP, Black Smoke Rising. Their debut single, "Highway Tune", topped the Billboard US Mainstream Rock and Active Rock charts in September 2017 for four weeks in a row. A second EP From the Fires, containing the four songs from Black Smoke Rising and four new songs, was released on November 10, 2017, alongside a second single, "Safari Song". The band's heavy rock sound is influenced by the work of Led Zeppelin and many other rock and blues acts, with lead vocalist Josh Kiszka having a voice that has been compared to Robert Plant's "husky howl."
Contents 1 History 1.1 Formation and early years (2012–2015) 1.2 Black Smoke Rising and From the Fires (2016–present) 2 Music and influences 3 Members 3.1 Current members 3.2 Former member 3.3 Timeline 4 Discography 4.1 EPs 4.2 Singles 4.3 Other charted songs 4.4 Music videos 5 Awards and nominations 6 References 7 External links History Formation and early years (2012–2015)
The band was formed in Frankenmuth, Michigan in 2012 by brothers Josh Kiszka, Sam Kiszka, and Jake Kiszka, plus Kyle Hauck. Hauck left the band in October 2013 and was replaced by Danny Wagner the same year. The band name was created when one of its members heard a relative mention Gretna Van Fleet, a resident of Frankenmuth; their use of the variation on her name was done with her (subsequent) blessing. At the time Hauck was the drummer, the band recorded and released three songs: "Highway Tune", "Cloud Train", and "Standing On". On February 28, 2014, a live EP was recorded in one take and subsequently released on June 7, 2014. In 2014, their song "Standing On" was featured in 2014 Chevy Equinox advertisements in the Detroit area. It is one of several songs, along with "By the Riverside", "Cloud Train", "Lover, Leaver, Taker, Believer", "Down to the River", "Sing in the Rain", "Thunder Stomp", "You're the One", and "Written in Gold", that were previously released but are currently unavailable.
Black Smoke Rising and From the Fires (2016–present)
On January 17, 2016 the song "Highway Tune" was featured on the Showtime show Shameless. On March 31, 2017 the first single "Highway Tune" was released on iTunes. On April 2, 2017 iTunes started streaming the song "Highway Tune". On April 18, 2017 the music video for the song "Highway Tune" was released exclusively on Loudwire. The band's debut EP titled Black Smoke Rising was released April 21, 2017. On April 21, 2017 Apple Music named Greta Van Fleet new artist of the week. The band toured with The Struts during May, 2017.
In October 2017, the band won Best New Artist at the Loudwire Music Awards. The band released an eight-song double EP titled From the Fires on November 10, 2017. In addition to the four tracks from Black Smoke Rising, From the Fires features the new recordings "Edge of Darkness" and "Talk on the Street", as well as covers of Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come" and Fairport Convention's "Meet on the Ledge". The four new tracks were recorded in September 2017 at Rust Belt Studios in Detroit and produced by Al Sutton and Marlon Young, the same duo that produced Black Smoke Rising. The band also released "Safari Song" as a single in October, 2017.
Greta Van Fleet opened for fellow Michigan native Bob Seger at the Dow Event Center on September 7. In November 2017, the band announced that they would begin recording their first full-length studio album shortly after the release of From the Fires, and that they expected its release by mid-2018.
The group performed at Elton John's Academy Award Party on March 4, 2018 at the host's personal request. John joined Greta Van Fleet onstage for his "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting" and their "You're the One".
Music and influences Josh Kiszka performing at the Mercury Lounge on August 24, 2017.
Greta Van Fleet's music has been categorized as hard rock and blues rock. Although all four members bonded over blues, each does have their own music tastes; Jake gravitates towards rock and roll, Sam likes jazz, Danny prefers folk, and Josh likes world music. Sam stated that "It's not like we set out to be a rock and roll band, it's just that sound that comes out we get together and play." Songwriting is done by the band as a whole after one of the four members finds the concept for a song. Danny said a lot of their songs are first written in a "folk set up" before evolving into something else.
Greta Van Fleet are often compared to Led Zeppelin. Jake related that he "... went through a year of really intensely studying what Page did ...", but he has studied other virtuoso rock guitarists in a similar manner, specifically mentioning Pete Townshend. Likewise, on his voice being compared to Robert Plant's, Josh said that Plant has certainly been an influence, "though it's not what I was going for." Stating that he did not even know who Led Zeppelin was until high school, he explained that his singing style came out naturally one day while struggling to be heard over the rest of the band. In a March 2018 interview, Plant cited Greta Van Fleet as one of his favorite young bands, saying "they are Led Zeppelin I" and describing Josh as "a beautiful little singer."
Some of Jake's guitar influences include John Lee Hooker, Elmore James, Bert Jansch, Eric Clapton and Keith Richards. Some of the drummers that inspired Danny are Carmine Appice, John Bonham, Mitch Mitchell and Michael Shrieve. Sam's favorite bass player is Motown session bassist James Jamerson.
Members Current members Josh Kiszka – lead vocals (2012–present) Jake Kiszka – lead guitar (2012–present) Sam Kiszka – bass guitar, keyboards (2012–present) Danny Wagner – drums (2013–present) Former member Kyle Hauck – drums (2012–2013) Timeline Discography EPs Jake Kiszka performing in 2017. Album Details Chart positions US USRock USHard Rock USHeat CAN ITA POL Black Smoke Rising Release: April 21, 2017 Label: Republic Format: Digital download; CD; vinyl 182 30 10 2 — — — From the Fires Release: November 10, 2017 Label: Republic Format: Digital download; CD 36 4 1 — 23 76 25 "—" denotes releases that did not chart