Months of obsessive stalking pay off for Music Editor Emily Barker, as she finally gets to interview Superorganism and compile all her research into a spotlight featureWritten by Emily Barker on 16th March 2018
Spotlight On: Greta Van Fleet
Music critic Elizabeth Bushell warns of the pitfalls of over-comparison for emerging bands, and says that Greta Van Fleet's rock credentials cement them as rockstars in their own right
It only takes a few seconds of listening to Greta Van Fleet before you’d be understandably mistaken in thinking you’d completely missed Led Zeppelin releasing new material. The similarity in vocals between Robert Plant and Greta Van Fleet’s singer Josh Kiszka is uncanny, but his voice is not the only resemblance. A quick browse on YouTube will show you Kiszka’s body language, gestures and very stage presence are eerily similar to those of the classic rock legend, leading me to wonder if a small part of Robert Plant died just over 20 years ago, and reincarnated itself in a Michigan new-born. Understandable then that Josh, along with his twin brother Jake, younger brother Sam and friend Danny, list Led Zeppelin as one of their many influences.
“It only takes a few seconds of listening to Greta Van Fleet before you’d be understandably mistaken in thinking you’d completely missed Led Zeppelin releasing new material
Indeed, after years of complaining that rock was dying, followers of the genre can finally breathe a sigh of relief, and trust in the fact that the music is truly alive and kicking. The original material on the band’s 8-track release, From the Fires, displays audible influences from The Who and Bob Dylan, in addition to Zeppelin, and they also put their stamp on Sam Cooke’s ‘A Change is Gonna Come’ and Fairport Convention’s ‘Meet on the Ledge’.
However, after filling half an article by comparing Greta Van Fleet and Led Zeppelin, these comparisons should come with a warning. As we saw with The Gaslight Anthem, countless comparisons drawn between the New Jersey rockers and the OG New Jersey rocker, Bruce Springsteen, caused the band to go through somewhat of an identity crisis. ‘Fans’ would show up not only demanding them to play the boss’s songs, but also those of others they’d been compared to, such as Bob Dylan and Tom Petty. This caused the band to release an official statement, frankly telling concert goers that if those were the songs they wanted to hear, they needed to go and watch the people who wrote them.
“Devout classic rock fans should be wary, and allow the band to be a new, fresh interpretation of the music that came before
So yes, the title of ‘Led Zeppelin for Generation Z’, which has rightly been bestowed upon Greta Van Fleet, should remain an honour, and not something the band should shy away from at all. However, devout classic rock fans should be wary, and allow the band to be a new, fresh interpretation of the music that came before. To expect them to develop as a carbon copy truly would see the death of rock as we know it.