Greta Van Fleet are sick of you asking if they’re inspired by Led Zeppelin: “We weren’t listening to much rock music growing up”
Guitarist Jake Kiszka says the “complexity of musical influence and the depth of that is extreme within the group”.
Josh (left) and Jake Kiszka (right) in December 2022. Image: Jeff Kravitz for P+ and MTV via Getty Images
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In an interview with Guitar Player, the guitarist emphasises that many of the bands’ musical inspirations came from the folk, roots and blues music they listened to growing up, instead of the ’70s rock they’ve become known for.
“It’s pretty broad. The complexity of musical influence and the depth of that is extreme within the group,” he says. “But it’s really everything – there’s not a lot of music that we dislike. We grew up with roots music.”
Kiszka then goes on to explain that despite many listeners likening Greta Van Fleet’s sound to that of Led Zeppelin, it’s not actually something they grew up listening to, at least not in the early days.
“As for Led Zeppelin – we weren’t listening to rock music growing up; that happened in high school. So we’re talking about the originations of the genres that we now consider to be folk music, like Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan. We had Alan Lomax records laying around. It was roots of the Great American South and the Blue Hills – bluegrass music and banjo playing.”
He then explains that they even found inspiration in genres you might not expect.
“We saw our way into all kinds of stuff, even classical music like Frédéric Chopin and Mussorgsky, Bach and Beethoven. We listened to Peruvian music growing up.”
In other news, Jake Kiszka has confirmed that Gibson is making him an Epiphone signature model.
In an exclusive interview with Guitar.com, Kiszka says the guitar will be an affordable version of his number one axe, his ’61 Les Paul SG, which he affectionally calls his “Beloved”.