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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[2] 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.[3] 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". Their debut full length studio album, Anthem of the Peaceful Army, was released on October 19, 2018, with the first single, "When the Curtain Falls", being released ahead of it in July 2018.[4] The band's heavy rock sound is said to be heavily influenced by the work of Led Zeppelin although they are mostly influenced by traditional artists from blues, soul, funk and folk music, [5][6][7] along with many other rock acts. Lead vocalist Josh Kiszka has a voice that has been compared to Robert Plant's "husky howl."[2]

Greta Van Fleet
Greta Van Fleet.jpg
The band onstage at the Red River Valley Fair, West Fargo, North Dakota, 2017 (l-r: Sam Kiszka, Josh Kiszka, Jake Kiszka, Danny Wagner)
Background information
Origin Frankenmuth, Michigan, US[1]
Years active 2012–present
Website Official website
Members Josh Kiszka
Jake Kiszka
Sam Kiszka
Danny Wagner
Past members Kyle Hauck



Formation and early years (2012–2015)Edit

The band was formed in Frankenmuth, Michigan in 2012 by brothers Josh Kiszka, Sam Kiszka, and Jake Kiszka, plus Kyle Hauck.[8] 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.[9][10] At the time Hauck was the drummer, the band recorded and released three songs: "Highway Tune", "Load Train", and "Standing On". Hauck left the band in October 2013 and was replaced by Danny Wagner the same year. On February 28, 2014, a live EP was recorded in one take and subsequently released on June 7, 2014.[11] In 2014, their song "Standing On" was featured in 2014 Chevy Equinox advertisements in the Detroit area.[12] It is one of several songs, along with "By the Riverside", "Cloud Train", "Down to the River", "Motown Funk No. 4", "Sing in the Rain", "Thunder Stomp", and "Written in Gold", that were previously released but are currently unavailable.[13][14][15][16][17]

Black Smoke Rising and From the Fires (2016–2017)Edit

On January 17, 2016, the song "Highway Tune" was featured on the Showtime show Shameless.[18] On March 31, 2017, the first single "Highway Tune" was released on iTunes. On April 2, 2017, iTunes started streaming the song "Highway Tune".[19] On April 18, 2017, the music video for the song "Highway Tune" was released exclusively on Loudwire.[20] 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.[21] The band toured with The Struts during May 2017.[22][23]

In October 2017, the band won Best New Artist at the Loudwire Music Awards.[24] 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.[25] The band also released "Safari Song" as a single in October 2017.[26]

Greta Van Fleet opened for fellow Michigan native Bob Seger at the Dow Event Center in Saginaw, Michigan (just minutes from their hometown) on September 7.[27] 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.[28]

Anthem of the Peaceful Army (2018–present)Edit

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".[29] After the set Elton John recommended the band get more dramatic and flamboyant with their performance and wardrobe.[30]

On July 26, 2018, the band made their TV debut on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon performing "When the Curtain Falls", the first single off of their upcoming debut album.[31]

In September 2018, the band announced the name of their debut album – Anthem of the Peaceful Army, and its release date, October 19, 2018.[32]

Music and influencesEdit

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.[33] Although all four members bonded over blues, each does have his own music tastes; Jake gravitates towards rock and roll, Sam likes jazz, Danny prefers folk, and Josh likes world music.[34] 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 [when] we get together and play."[33] Songwriting is done by the band as a whole after one of the four members finds the concept for a song.[35] Danny said a lot of their songs are first written in a "folk set up" before evolving into something else.[33]

Greta Van Fleet are often compared to Led Zeppelin.[36] Jake related that he "... went through a year of really intensely studying what [Jimmy] Page did to the point I knew how he thought.", but he has studied other classic rock guitarists in a similar manner, specifically mentioning Pete Townshend.[37] 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."[38] 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.[37] 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."[39]

Some of Jake's guitar influences include John Lee Hooker, Elmore James, Bert Jansch, Eric Clapton and Keith Richards.[40] Some of the drummers that inspired Danny are Carmine Appice, John Bonham, Mitch Mitchell and Michael Shrieve.[40] Sam's favorite bass player is Motown session bassist James Jamerson.[41]


Current membersEdit

  • Josh Kiszka – lead vocals, tambourine (2012–present)
  • Jake Kiszka – guitars, backing vocals (2012–present)
  • Sam Kiszka – bass guitar, acoustic guitar, keyboards, organ, piano, backing vocals (2012–present)
  • Danny Wagner – drums, acoustic guitar, backing vocals (2013–present)[42]

Former memberEdit

  • Kyle Hauck – drums (2012–2013)[43][44]





Album Details
Anthem of the Peaceful Army
  • Release: October 19, 2018
  • Label: Republic
  • Format: Digital download


Jake Kiszka performing in 2017.
Album Details Chart positions Certifications
Hard Rock



Black Smoke Rising 182 10 2 30
From the Fires
  • Release: November 10, 2017
  • Label: Republic
  • Format: Digital download; CD
36 1 4 75 23 60 25
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


List of singles, showing year released and album name
Year Title Peak chart positions Certifications Album
US Alt.





2017 "Highway Tune" 34 1 21 12 39 Black Smoke Rising
"Safari Song" 1 25 12
2018 "When the Curtain Falls" 32 3 14 12 11 30 Anthem of the Peaceful Army
"Watching Over" 41
"Lover, Leaver" 37
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.
Sam Kiszka playing bass guitar at Rock am Ring in Germany on June 1, 2018.

Other charted songsEdit

List of other songs, showing year released and album name
Year Title Peak chart positions Album



2017 "Black Smoke Rising" 39 Black Smoke Rising
"Edge of Darkness" 38 15 From the Fires

Music videosEdit

As lead artist
Title Year Director(s)
"Highway Tune" 2017 Ford Fairchild[60]
"When the Curtain Falls" (two versions) 2018 Benjamin Kutsko[61][62]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Loudwire Music Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2017 Greta Van Fleet Best New Artist Won[63]


  1. ^ "Greta Van Fleet's Profile – Musicpage". Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Chartbreaker: Greta Van Fleet on Led Zeppelin's Influence and 'Living In the Resurgence of Rock'". Billboard. November 10, 2017. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
  3. ^ "GRETA VAN FLEET's 'Highway Tune' Claims #1 Spot At U.S. Active And Mainstream Rock Radio". September 6, 2017. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  4. ^ "Greta Van Fleet Announce Debut LP, 'Anthem of the Peaceful Army'". Retrieved October 19, 2018.
  5. ^ Hiatt, Brian (January 9, 2018). "Inside Greta Van Fleet's Seventies-Rock Revival". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 12, 2018. I went through a year of really intensely studying what Page did,' says Jake, 'to the point where I knew how he thought.
  6. ^ "Greta Van Fleet: Led Zeppelin 'Wasn't an Overwhelming Influence'". Loudwire. Retrieved August 12, 2018. Even if it exactly wasn't an overwhelming influence of ours, it still was influential and we can certainly see it.
  7. ^ FaceCulture (June 28, 2018), Greta van Fleet interview – Danny and Jake (2018), 14:40, retrieved August 12, 2018
  8. ^ White, Sue (June 6, 2014). "Here's the lowdown on Frankenmuth band Greta Van Fleet". Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  9. ^ Frazier, Kelly (April 28, 2017). "Rock Band 'Greta Van Fleet' Call Frankenmuth, Michigan Their Home and Unleash a Bluesy Wonderland with New EP "Black Smoke Rising"". Huff Post. Archived from the original on April 29, 2017. Retrieved April 28, 2017.
  10. ^ Greta Van Fleet Talk Classic Rock Influences, the Woman Behind the Band Name, More (Q1043 New York interview, published to YouTube on December 18, 2017)
  11. ^ "The Greta Van Fleet Live Video is Posted!". March 24, 2014. Archived from the original on April 27, 2017. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  12. ^ Boyer, Cara (March 19, 2014). "Get Lost in the Raw & Eclectic Sounds of Greta Van Fleet". Archived from the original on April 27, 2017. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  13. ^ "Greta Van Fleet Music, Lyrics, Songs, and Videos". March 11, 2014. Archived from the original on March 11, 2014. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  14. ^ "North Star Media Greta Van Fleet profile". North Star Media. Archived from the original on December 20, 2014. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  15. ^ "Greta Van Fleet Myspace Profile". MySpace. 2013. Archived from the original on April 27, 2017. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  16. ^ Robert "Bo", White (January 9, 2014). "Greta Van Fleet: Gemutlichkeit & Pursuit of the Right Sound". Archived from the original on February 27, 2014. Retrieved April 29, 2017.
  17. ^ "Greta Van Fleet". Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  18. ^ Shepherd, Jessica. "Showtime's 'Shameless' to feature song by Frankenmuth's Greta Van Fleet". Saginaw, Michigan. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  19. ^ "'The Future Of Real Rock' Greta Van Fleet Stream New Song ::Greta Van Fleet News". Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  20. ^ Childers, Chad (April 18, 2017). "Greta Van Fleet, Highway Tune Exclusive Video Premiere". Archived from the original on April 26, 2017. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  21. ^ "What a thrill to be @AppleMusic's #NewArtistOfTheWeek!". April 21, 2017. Archived from the original on April 27, 2017. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  22. ^ Ralph, Caitlyn (April 1, 2017). "10 new songs we bet you didn't catch this week". Alternative Press. Archived from the original on April 29, 2017. Retrieved April 29, 2017.
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  24. ^ "Greta Van Fleet Win Best New Artist – 2017 Loudwire Music Awards". Loudwire. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  25. ^ CHRISTOPHER, MICHAEL (October 25, 2017). "GRETA VAN FLEET ANNOUNCE DOUBLE EP 'FROM THE FIRES/". Retrieved October 25, 2017.
  26. ^ "Greta Van Fleet battles being "overly creative" with "Safari Song" – Music News – ABC News Radio". ABC News Radio. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  27. ^ "Greta Van Fleet makes hot rock out of Frankenmuth". The Oakland Press. September 28, 2017. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  28. ^ "Meet Alice Cooper–Approved Kids Bringing Riff Rock Back on the Charts". November 13, 2017. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  29. ^ "Watch Greta Van Fleet Jam With Elton John". Loudwire. March 5, 2018. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  30. ^ "Greta Van Fleet's Jake Kiszka Reveals the Advice Elton John Gave". Retrieved October 19, 2018.
  31. ^ "Greta Van Fleet Get Standing Ovation For Blistering 'Tonight Show' Debut With 'When the Curtain Falls': Watch". Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  32. ^ "The Metal Hammer 11: The best new music in rock and metal". Retrieved October 19, 2018.
  33. ^ a b c "[Interview] Greta Van Fleet Shed Light On Their Surprise Success And Life On The Road". Bullet Music. September 3, 2017. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  34. ^ "GRETA VAN FLEET Vocalist On LED ZEPPELIN Comparisons: 'We'll Take It'". September 16, 2017. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  35. ^ "Greta Van Fleet Interview: Danny Wagner". Blues Rock Review. October 27, 2017. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  36. ^ "Interview ~ Sam Kiszka of Greta Van Fleet". I'm Music Magazine. May 9, 2017. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
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  49. ^ "ARIA Chart Watch #485". August 11, 2018. Retrieved August 11, 2018.
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  51. ^ "Album – Classifica settimanale WK 42 (dal 2018-10-12 al 2018-10-18)" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  52. ^ "Polish Albums. Retrieved February 15, 2018". Retrieved February 24, 2018.
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  61. ^ "Greta Van Fleet unveil retro-looking vertical video for "When the Curtain Falls"". Consequence of Sound. August 3, 2018. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  62. ^ "Greta Van Fleet – When The Curtain Falls". August 15, 2018. Retrieved August 17, 2018 – via YouTube.
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External linksEdit