Greta Van Fleet: Rock'n'roll is an endangered species

Greta Van Fleet may just have released their debut album, but the hype surrounding Anthem Of The Peaceful Army (opens in new tab) has been off the charts.

The Michigan outfit have also been bombarded with criticism due to Josh Kiszka’s vocal similarities to Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant – but that hasn’t stopped them forging ahead with their career, which is on a decidedly upwards trajectory.

Last week they said they had a chance to “bring authentic blues-rock back into the popular scene” (opens in new tab) and in a new interview, the band say that rock has found itself an “endangered species” simply because the genre refuses to chase trends.

Guitarist Jake Kiszka tells Rolling Stone (opens in new tab): “That’s the thing that destroys a lot of good art now – chasing trends. There’s comfort in knowing that you’ll make that money.

“The record company will hire writers to make sure they see a return on their investment because – structurally, scientifically – the song will work. It’s catchy. It’s a mathematical fact that people will perceive it one way or another. That’s why it’s difficult in our world to cut through. 

“When you are doing something truthful, it’s easy for someone to say, ‘That sounds like this band from the 60s and 70s. It’s the throwback sound.’ 

“In that response is the answer: That is because music meant something during that period – a lot more than it does now. It was done by the artist for the artist. It was music for the people.”

He adds: “But rock’n’roll has become a novelty. It doesn’t have the essence of what it was – its greatness. People say it’s dead now, but it’s a minority. It’s an endangered species. It’s gonna take young guys like us in our generation to see that.”

Greta Van Fleet also tell Rolling Stone that they’re already working on what will be their second album, which could see the light of day as soon as 2019.

Greta Van Fleet will travel to Europe for live shows later this month and into November and have a tour planned for 2019, when they’ll visit Australia, New Zealand, Europe, the UK and North America.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. After initially joining our news desk in the summer of 2014, he moved to the e-commerce team full-time in 2020. He maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott grew up listening to rock and prog, cutting his teeth on bands such as Marillion and Magnum before his focus shifted to alternative and post-punk in the late 80s. His favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Drab Majesty, but he also still has a deep love of Rush.