GRETA VAN FLEET: About
In March 2017, rock music fans discovered Greta Van Fleet when the band's debut single and companion music video, "Highway Tune," exploded on digital music services, YouTube, and North American Rock Radio. The band - twin brothers Josh Kiszka /vocals and Jake Kiszka /guitar, were still a month away from celebrating their 21st birthdays, younger brother Sam Kiszka/bass, and childhood friend, drummer Danny Wagner, were just 18 and in their senior year of high school. All four had been born in Michigan and grew up in the tiny hamlet of Frankenmuth, aka Michigan's "Little Bavaria." Even in the late 20th century, all four of their childhoods were seemingly idyllic, born out of a Mark Twain novel - building wooden forts in the summer and snow forts in the winter, exploring the woods near their homes, skimming stones and catching crayfish in nearby creeks, camping, snow skiing, and rock climbing, riding bikes and kayaking. They were all raised in free, creative, safe, and secure environments, and, pretty much while still in the womb, surrounded by lots and lots of music.
The Kiszka home was filled with musical instruments and Kelly and Karen Kiszka's extensive vinyl collection that ranged from Muddy Waters, Lightnin' Hopkins, Robert Johnson, the Allman Brothers, and Miles Davis, to The Who, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, and The Beatles. Dan Wagner introduced a five-year old Danny to artists like Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Van Halen, Aerosmith, and AC/DC; from his mother Lori's love of folk music, Danny discovered artists like Peter Paul and Mary, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, and John Denver, all favorites to this day. The four band members' collective personal musical influences ran the gamut from Tchaikovsky to African spiritual music, Sam and Dave, Wilson Pickett, George Gershwin, and Joe Cocker.
The unanticipated success of “Highway Tune” forever changed the lives of Josh, Jake, Sam, and Danny. The song went on to become an international hit and top Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Singles chart, and then was followed by three more consecutive #1 singles, a debut album that entered Billboard’s Top Rock Albums and Top Album Sales charts at #1, a GRAMMY Award for “Best Rock Album," appearances on “The Tonight Show” and “Saturday Night Live,” a Gold-certified debut album, an overflow crowd at their Coachella debut, a personal phone call from Elton John inviting them to perform at his Academy Awards Viewing Party, and most consequentially, 246 tour dates in 13 countries over five continents.
The overwhelming success and extensive touring introduced Greta Van Fleet to people and lifestyles they’d had no previous, personal awareness of, and their definition of “normal” was exponentially changed. Seeing with their own eyes different cultures, traditions, and standards of living not only created a powerful impact on each of them but, despite the differences, instilled an awareness of just how similar we all are.
Greta Van Fleet’s upcoming new music reflects the band members' personal revolution of that three-year trek.