Since bursting onto the scene with their debut album From The Fires in 2017, Greta Van Fleet have gone on to top charts, win awards and tour the world several times over, with a brand of electric guitar-driven rock ‘n’ roll that has earned them legions of loyal fans.
However, despite their success, the four-piece has been unable to shake the comments of detractors who are keen to label them as clones of classic-rock bands – labels that Jake Kiszka and co are none too fazed by.
When quizzed about the comparisons in a recent interview with Guitar World, Kiszka commented, “Art is supposed to elicit strong reactions, isn’t it? I actually think it’s a beautiful thing. There’s something sort of perfect about having one or another direct response to what we’re doing.”
Comparisons to Led Zeppelin are particularly popular among the aforementioned detractors, due to the sonic similarities between the legendary band's repertoire and GVF's thunderous, heavy-riffing offerings.
Of the Led Zep links, the 25-year-old continued, “Critics are hard to press, in particular to the Zeppelin reference, which we’re humbled by. We’re honored by that affiliation, but again there’s a point within factions of society that are drawn to ignorant criticism.”
Despite the comparisons, Kiszka says that the band, who see themselves “a product of our environment”, are “very elastic”, and that “each album we put out will be different from the previous one”.
Citing Lightnin’ Hopkins, Elmore James, Robert Johnson and John Lee Hooker as some of his main inspirations, the guitar-wielding rock hero refused to rule out a stylistic change in the future, saying there is still “so much to cover”.
“We like to change and we want to move in different ways. We can’t be stagnant musically – that would be death,” he continued. “There’s so much to cover, all the different types of music – folk, country, jazz, blues and rock ‘n’ roll. We’re influenced by all of it, and we want to incorporate it into what we’re doing.
“I think we see ourselves as a group that can evolve and try new things. Changing what we do over time could be beautiful and inspiring. Artists shouldn’t be afraid to completely throw something out and try something else.”
Head over to Magazines Direct to pick up a copy of the latest issue of Guitar World, which features the full interview with Kiszka, plus Gojira's Joe Duplantier and an investigation into just what happened to Steve Vai's Crossroads guitar.