Greta Van Fleet on avoiding sibling feuds that have plagued other rock bands

"There’s a lot of very special things that happen with brothers in the band"

Greta Van Fleet
Greta Van Fleet, photo by Travis Shinn

    Greta Van Fleet are already making history in their brief career, with their debut album, Anthem of the Peaceful Army, recently landing at No. 3 on the overall Billboard 200 chart and No. 1 on the Top Rock Albums tally. But, with three brothers in the band, there’s some rock history they may want to avoid.

    Over the years, we’ve seen sibling feuds break up bands like The Kinks, The Black Crowes, and Oasis, to name a few. But when we mentioned those bands to bassist Sam Kiszka, he told us he doesn’t see that happening with Greta Van Fleet.

    “I think that the fact we all beat each other up on a regular basis…,” Kiszka quipped to Heavy Consequence, before continuing, “I’m just kidding, but really, that used to happen back when we used to write in the garage. The thing is, it’s kind of like one of those silly stereotypes that boys really get over things quickly, and we do, especially being brothers. It’s actually quite funny, the kind of arguments that we go through, and it’s never personal. When we’re writing or in the mode of an artist, all can be forgiven once that’s all over.”


    The Michigan rock act is made up of brothers Sam, Josh and Jake Kiszka, along with childhood friend, Danny Wagner. Sam admits that the brothers’ relationship is a bit different when creating music than it is in everyday life.

    “There certain ways that we act that we don’t act like when we’re not being creative,” Sam explains. “We tend to be very aggressive, sometimes stubborn when it comes to creativity. And everybody plays a role in the creative process. Sometimes Josh and Jake are flying in the stars and doing something far too abstract, and then I kind of bring them down. And sometimes I’m flying too high, and sometimes it’s great for your bandmates to bring you back to Earth.”

    If anything, Sam says being brothers in a band is a really positive thing, and has helped them during this whirlwind rise to fame.

    “There’s a lot of very special things that happen with brothers in the band,” remarks Sam. “I don’t think there’s anything that we’re afraid to say to each other, and that goes for Daniel, too. I mean I’ve known Daniel since first grade. When he joined, it turned into Greta Van Fleet. So, yeah, I think that it’s a very healthy writing and recording process. And especially having to tour, I think it really is the next level of having a rolling family on the road, knowing each other so well, and being able to live with each other. I think it’s a very overlooked, but very important thing.”


    For more from Sam Kiszka, including his thoughts on the band’s quick rise to fame, the backlash from certain rock fans, and more, check out our interview feature here.

    Greta Van Fleet are closing out 2018 with a European tour, followed by a brief run of U.S. dates. The band will embark on a world tour in 2019, as well. See a full list of dates here.