If you’ve seen the movie, “School of Rock,” starring Jack Black, then you’ll remember Black’s character teaching his students the fundamentals and history of classic rock ‘n’ roll. He spoke about The Who, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and so many others. Black’s character also taught his students how these legendary bands influence today’s rock bands, like The Strokes and The White Stripes.
But in 2018, one new, young band must have been paying attention to “School of Rock,” because they sound like no other rock band today.
By channeling the greats like Led Zeppelin and Cream, Greta Van Fleet has become rock’s newest students. The band, made up of three young brothers and a friend, has been selling out shows in large theaters for almost all of 2018 without even having a proper debut studio album on the shelves.
Thankfully, all of that will change when the band’s debut record, “Anthem of the Peaceful Army,” drops on Friday. The songs are full of lead singer Josh Kiszka’s howling wails that echo Robert Plant himself, filled with rocking riffs, funky bass and enough drums fills to make your head spin. It’s a trip down memory lane.
Here are five things you need to know about this buzzy band.
1. The band is made up of three brothers and a friend: Josh Kiszka, Jake Kiszka (guitar) and Sam Kiszka (bass) formed the group after their parents raised them on old-school rock ‘n’ roll. The brothers recruited their friend Danny Wagner for drums and the rest is history.
2. They are from postcard town Frankenmuth, Michigan: It’s pretty bizarre to think that a band that has so many influences and has done its homework in rockology (that’s the made-up study of rock ‘n’ roll for you nerds) hails from a small town in Michigan that is home to the “World’s largest Christmas store” and Bavarian-style fried chicken. It seems that the band does enjoy its hometown roots. They even named the band after a resident of Frankenmuth. Gretna Van Fleet gave the band her blessing and the guys dropped the “n,” however, because it sounded a little smoother.
3. They have the stamp of approval from rock royalty: It’s one thing to sound like Led Zeppelin, but it’s another for Robert Plant himself to say in an interview that Greta Van Fleet is “Led Zeppelin 1.” Other fans include Elton John, who they played with recently, Guns N Roses, who they opened for in Europe this summer, and Bob Seger, for whom they opened for at a Metro Detroit show. If Plant, John and Seger all dig your sound, you gotta be doing something right.
4. They believe they’re bringing back rock and roll that young people don’t listen to: While the debate of rock being dead will probably go on forever, Greta Van Fleet believes that they are making music that isn’t celebrated in 2018. “For a lot of our generation, people our age, this is a new sound. It’s absolutely brand new. I think it’s a new wave. I think this is what the future is. I think this is the future of music,” bassist Sam said earlier this year to Kerrang.
5. Expect to see them everywhere in 2019: This past year has already been huge for Greta Van Fleet, but we have a feeling that 2019 will be a whole different kind of beast. We’re predicting some late night TV performances (it will be a travesty if they don’t show up on SNL this season) and some music festival performances. The band already played at Coachella and Lollapalooza this past year, so expect to see them at Bonnaroo and other big fests.