Greta Van Fleet
Photo: Daniel Mendoza/Recording Academy
Greta Van Fleet Join GRAMMY Elite: "It's A Massive Compliment"
Coming off their win for Best Rock Album for their sophomore effort, From The Fires, Greta Van Fleet have much to celebrate. Through a whirlwind two years of unimaginable success, unforgiving critique and unstoppable popularity, brothers Josh, Jake and Sam Kiszka—lead singer, guitarist and bassist, respectively—and drummer Daniel Wagner must feel like they're on a roller coaster. But all the attention and pressure to save a genre hasn't shaken their vision.
— Greta Van Fleet (@GretaVanFleet) February 13, 2019
"We believe in what we are doing, hopefully, the fans do as well. It seems they understand it more every day along with us," Josh told Forbes. "People put you in the position to, what they've been saying, bring back rock ‘n’ roll or whatever that is."
Saving a genre is no small task, but recognition in the form of two GRAMMY nominations—the group was also up for the coveted Best New Artist award, which went to British pop songstress Dua Lipa—certainly provided Greta Van Fleet with fuel in the form of encouragement.
"It has been a dream of mine, obviously, but for it to happen before 2019 was just a feeling like having water dumped on you to wake up. It is kind of refreshing...it's a massive compliment," Wagner said about being nominated.
And how does the band feel about the notion rock might be dead?
"We know that’s not true. There’s plenty of it out there, Sam recently told Variety. "That the GRAMMYs nominated a rock band for best new artist is the biggest statement that can be made. Our mission is to make powerful and relevant music. Timeless songs … aren’t necessarily genre-specific."
Taking home the trophy for Best Rock Album was a true triumph, as they beat out grunge legends Alice In Chains, pop/punk heroes Fall Out Boy, theatre rockers Ghost, and a little band from Los Angeles called Weezer for the honor, and on their first try—all of their stiff competition had either been nominated or won before this year. But perhaps that's Greta Van Fleet's greatest challenge, to tap into the rock spirit and yet separate themselves and their style.
"When you see that many people out there singing your songs and feeling something, and you can see all the faces and feel the energy exuding from the audience, it goes back and fourth. That's something that sustains us," Jake said about touring when we sat down with him at last summer's Lollapalooza in Chicago, right as the band was hitting full throttle upswing.
Their impressive run stands as compelling proof anything is (still) possible in rock 'n roll.
"Life is weird, I would've never seen this coming, even like a year and a half ago when Daniel and I were still in high school," Sam said. "It's a really strange thing to kind of pounce on you and it's one thing that I definitely was not expecting."