During a conversation with Classic Rock Magazine, members of Greta Van Fleet talked about their rise to fame, while also addressing some of the criticism they’ve received along the way.
Do you ever think: ‘Out of all the bands out there, at a time like this, why us?’
Jake Kiszka, guitar: “No. I haven’t asked. But I would say it’s because we’re a bunch of kids who play rock ‘n’ roll, who were inspired to be the greatest musicians they can be. Maybe that was enough.”
How do you think you’ve become so successful?
Danny Wagner, drums: “It’s the intensive word of mouth, which is a rare thing nowadays. It’s people interacting with each other. And we get to interact with them.”
Does it feel like you’re successful because you’re so against the grain, at least compared to everything else in the charts these days?
Jake: “Yeah, I think it does. There’s something really inspiring about the fact that it’s not necessarily like anything else. Maybe people are shying away from it because of what people might say – almost an element of fear, because of the context.
“But this is the music we grew up with, it’s ingrained in us. We’d have to go out of our way to sound different to the way we do now.”
How does it feel when you’re criticized like that?
Jake: “It’s strangely reassuring. As much as some people admire what you’re doing, there’ll always be a counterpoint to that, there’ll always be someone who hates what you do.
“And I think that’s a beautiful thing. It’s not really art if you’re not pissing anyone off.”
Come on, you’re just saying that. It must hurt. Or at least piss you off.
Jake: “No. I don’t think it’s pissed any of us off. We’ve never had a conversation where we’re irritated by what someone’s written or said or how someone feels.”
One thing your detractors say is that you’re not bringing anything new to the table. Are you?
Jake: “I think so, yes. It would be a puzzling thing to identify ourselves as a throwback band because we’re a product of our generation.
“The music that was written during the cultural revolution – the building blocks of the genre itself – we’re maybe broadcasters of that. But we’re broadcasting it for our generation. We’re picking up where those bands left off and moving forward with it.”