Led Zeppelin: Greta Van Fleet Told People to ‘Move on’ From Comparisons

All artists have influences. Fans rarely take issue when one artist takes some degree of influence from another. However, some classic rock fans feel Greta Van Fleet is simply too close to the music of Led Zeppelin.

Fans and critics have made comparisons between the two bands throughout Greta Van Fleet’s career. The members of Greta Van Fleet didn’t initially take issue with the comparison. As time went on, they seemed to find the criticism too passe for their taste. Members of the band have given us insight into which acts influence them besides Led Zeppelin and why they believe people see them as a throwback.

The members of Led Zeppelin sitting |
Chris Walter / Contributor

Greta Van Fleet on why people compare them to Led Zeppelin

Some artists don’t really like to discuss their influences. Greta Van Fleet have no issue with doing so and have said Led Zeppelin inspired their work. However, Greta Van Fleet member Josh Kiszka wishes people would move on to a different topic. In Rolling Stone, Kiszka reacted to a negative review of his band’s debut album from Pitchfork and the ever-present Zeppelin comparisons.

Kiszka said “It’s unfortunate [Pitchfork would] be putting that energy out into the world, but it’s their prerogative, I guess. Ultimately, I’d like to think that there’s substance to what we’re doing. Obviously we hear the similarity. That’s one of the influences of ours. But at this point it’s like, ‘Okay, we’ve acknowledged that. Let’s move on.’”

“Lover, Leaver” by Greta Van Fleet

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However, Kiszka understands that it’s natural for people to want to make such comparisons. He told Rolling Stone “It’s a primitive, instinctual thing for people to take one thing and create parallels to better identify with something they don’t initially understand. I find myself being guilty of that as well. Throughout listening to an entire song, I’ll hyper-analyze it and say, ‘It kinda sounds like that and kinda sounds like that,’ and by the end of the song I’ve beaten it to death.”

The other influences on Greta Van Fleet and why people compare them to older music

Led Zeppelin aren’t the only act that influenced Greta Van Fleet. One member of the band, Sam Kiszka, told Consequence of Sound that the primary influence on the group came from his parent’s record collection, particularly older blues artists like Lead Belly, Son House, Robert Johnson, and Lightnin’ Hopkins. In addition, they are inspired by classic rock artists like Bob Dylan, The Doors, The Kinks, Santana, Neil Young, and The Animals. Soul music had an impact on the band as well, especially the music of Aretha Franklin and Motown Records.

“Age of Man” by Greta Van Fleet

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It seems like members of Greta Van Fleet are influenced by many artists from the 1960s and 1970s. They’ve listened to a lot of classic blues, rock, and soul artists beyond a certain band of long-haired Englishmen. Considering the inspirations behind their music, it’s no wonder they are often pegged as a nostalgic band.

However, Josh thinks there’s another reason why they often get compared to older music. He told Rolling Stone “When you are doing something truthful, it’s easy for someone to say, ‘That sounds like this band from the Sixties and Seventies. 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.”

Also see: Does ‘Stairway to Heaven’ by Led Zeppelin Include a Satanic Message?