The guys in Greta Van Fleet are truly as interesting as they are talented. Everything about them has intrigued me from the first moment I heard Josh Kizka's Robert Plant-like wail. They freely admit to channeling Led Zeppelin and 3 out of 4 of them are brothers who are only recently legal to imbibe, all facts for which we lovers of rock music get a feeling of hope and excitement. And that's not only because they sound money but because they are young and with any luck should be around for a loooong time.
I'm not the only one who thinks they are the shit. Their popularity is absolutely palpable. Their fans rage in age from 15-75 and they are selling out venues all over the world. Their July 23rd House of Blues Boston show sold out in 18 minutes. When a second show was added (July 24th) it sold out in 40 minutes...
Wow. Sounds to me like they could/should play the Garden, maybe next year.
On top of their interesting sound and family dynamic, the way they chose their interesting name is also pretty good as that sort of thing goes. The story begins with the band needing a name and deciding to name themselves after an 86 year old well respected elder and musician from their hometown of Frankenmuth, Michigan...
Here is how Josh Kizna explained it in a recent interview with Huffington Post:
Well, Gretna Van Fleet with an “n” between the “t” and the “a” is a well known elder in Frankenmuth. I never really got to meet her prior naming the band after her. We had to come up with the band name a day before one of the shows we were doing, the first big show we would do in the street at the Auto Fest there. Our previous drummer, the original drummer that we had for about a year, had gone to lunch with his grandfather and his grandfather was going to drop him off over here so we could practice here in the garage. It’s the epicenter of our meanderings. We said “My grandfather said he had to go cut wood for Gretna Van Fleet. I think that could be a cool title.” So we took the “n” out because it would be easier. That’s what we stuck with. We went into town and did the first show and from then on, that was title. A lot of interesting things happened since with the title. Because she’s right in town, we would play festivals at the Fischer Hall downtown and there would people calling Gretna asking at her house asking if she was playing a show there. She used to be a drummer in a polka band. Her and her husband came out to listen to us and they gave us their blessing. We’ve had a good relationship with them.
Just another reason to love this band, paying tribute to an 86 year old Frankenmuth Michigan grandmother and polka drummer, just...because. But wait there's more! Huffington Post uncovers everything about the guys here.
Here is a short piece on the guys done by their local TV news station's great feature "Long Live Rock" (a feature I'm thinking of stealing)-
Congratulations Greta Van Fleet!
And thank YOU my fellow rock music fans, for caring and for helping us champion new music.
In late April & early May 2017 I spent time with the up & coming rock band Greta Van Fleet, meeting with the guys in their hometown garage in mid-Michigan & at their recording studio in metro Detroit. I also tracked down the woman who the band is named after.
Greta Van Fleet performs "Safari Song" during a 101WKQX intimate session in The Sound Lounge. The Sound Lounge is Chicago's premiere music venue that hosts private, intimate concerts and exclusive events for 101WKQX. The only way in is to win! Text "lounge" to 312-101 to find out how you can be a part of the next Sound Lounge session!