Greta Van Fleet Isn't Just For Your Led Zeppelin-Loving Dad Classic rock fans are cheering the rise of a hard-hitting young Michigan band with a Led Zeppelin-like swagger. Greta Van Fleet makes '70s rock sound (almost) new again.

Greta Van Fleet Isn't Just For Your Led Zeppelin-Loving Dad

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A popular young Michigan band makes many of their fans think of a much older group - Led Zeppelin. NPR's Vince Pearson reports on the group that makes this sound.


GRETA VAN FLEET: (Singing) Oh, yeah.

VINCE PEARSON, BYLINE: Meet the guys behind Greta Van Fleet.

JOSH KIZKA: I'm Josh Kizka, and I play the vocals.

JAKE KIZKA: I'm Jake Kizka, and I'm the guitarist.

PEARSON: They're twins, 22 years old. Their younger brother plays bass. So what makes this family so talented?

JAKE KIZKA: Must be something about the water up there in Frankenmuth, Mich.


GRETA VAN FLEET: (Singing) Oh, lady, won't you come on down? Won't you come on down to my town? Oh, mama, won't you come on down?

PEARSON: Can we just pause to think about how noisy that house must have been.

JOSH KIZKA: Oh, yeah, it was quite loud. We started in the basement and then moved out to the garage, you know. And then from there, it was just sort of like bars and even a few biker gigs.


GRETA VAN FLEET: (Singing) Oh, mama, what you gonna do with all that love in your heart?

JOSH KIZKA: We got ourselves in a van, and we went across the country. And that started the momentum. That was actually at the top of last year. Things have grown so fast and so quickly. It's almost indescribable because it's unfathomable to us, you know.

PEARSON: Like, literally you started - you got your van and started touring like a year ago?



GRETA VAN FLEET: (Singing) Oh, mama.

PEARSON: Before even releasing a full-length album, the four-member band sent two straight songs to number one on one of Billboard's rock charts, and they started getting all kinds of buzz.

MARK PENNINGTON: It's kind of a throwback sound but very fresh sounding.

PEARSON: Mark Pennington is the program director of Rock station WRIF in Detroit and an early supporter.

PENNINGTON: Of course, the obvious Robert Plant comparisons were there. But there's layers and depth to it. And his voice is so unique and strong. I was just blown away.


GRETA VAN FLEET: (Singing) All mine - mine, mine, mine, mine, oh.

PEARSON: Robert Plant is of course the voice of Led Zeppelin. People often compare Greta Van Fleet to Zeppelin and not always favorably. In fact, many consider the Michigan band a total rip-off.

JOSH KIZKA: I think people make the mistake assuming that we are offended by it or that we dislike in any way Led Zeppelin. And that's far from the truth, you know.

PEARSON: Still, Josh says he never set out to sound like the Led Zeppelin singer.

JOSH KIZKA: What I was initially trying to do is the kind of thing Wilson Pickett was doing, you know, or Joe Cocker and that kind of thing. But I found it was a lot easier to sing in a tight space over top of everything else if I were to sort of make it louder because it would cut through the music.


GRETA VAN FLEET: (Singing) Well, you're so pretty, and I love you so. You know, I'm your biggest fan.

PEARSON: Whatever the case, the band seems to have found a good formula. They're reeling in older listeners who still thrill to '70s nostalgia as well as younger ones who weren't there the first time around - creating rock 'n' roll converts, says Jake.

JAKE KIZKA: Our environment, the current times - a lot of that influences our music. And I think our generation sees that. And they say, oh, this is rock 'n' roll for us.

PEARSON: Greta Van Fleet's new album is called "Anthem Of The Peaceful Army."

Vince Pearson, NPR News.


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