It’s a bit different for Greta Van Fleet, as the Grammy-winning quartet is releasing their new album “The Battle at Garden’s Gate”.
That includes a change of scene.
“We’re Nashville Cats Now!” Bassist / keyboardist Sam Kiszka explains about Zoom with a smile as he and older brother, Greta frontman Josh Kiszka, sit on a couch in their management’s Music City offices. It’s certainly a shift from the Grammy-winning quartet’s roots in Frankenmuth, Michigan, but it’s a shift that they have fully embraced.
“We haven’t really lost our identity in Michigan,” promises 22-year-old Sam, as 24-year-old Josh adds. “It’s still a part of us. This is where we come.” And after three and a half years of intensive touring around the world, the singer remarks: “I really haven’t lived anywhere.” But the band – which also includes guitarist Jake Kiszka, Joshs Zwilling and drummer Danny Wagner – have found a comfortable and inspiring fit that goes beyond belonging to a center of the music industry.
“So many different types of art scenes are implemented here,” says Josh. “There are a lot of people who move here to create art and get involved. So it’s easy to be here.” Sam adds, “East Nashville is one of the coolest places in the world right now. There are a lot of artists who go way beyond music. We met filmmakers, visual artists and of course a lot of musicians.
“So something is really happening here right now that we’d like to be part of.”
Creativity has never been an issue since the Kiszkas were very young. Greta Van Fleet loved the classic rock her parents played at home and around the campfire with extended families and friends, and stepped on the pedals with “Highway Tune”, his 2017 platinum debut single. She didn’t look back. The group has scored five No. 1 Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart hits, while “From the Fires” won a 2019 Grammy for Best Rock Album.
“The Battle at Garden’s Gate” is the latest album by Greta Van Fleet, which will be released on April 16th. Lava / Republic
With Josh’s tsunami laments and Jake’s guitar exploits, the band has been hailed for helping bring rock back to mainstream popular music. However, Greta’s own goal is to advance his artisanal and creative vision, which became a focus that led to “The Battle of the Garden Gate,” which comes out on Friday April 16.
“Honesty is really important to us,” Josh explains, “and trying to be our own good, personified selves and being a little hedonistic about this artistic process. I think good things generally come out of that, and you find these new pieces by. ” Yourself as you explore the world through art and find those extra things inspired by awe. “
The band switched creative teams for “The Battle,” hiring new producer Greg Kurstin, an eight-time Grammy winner (including Producer of the Year, twice) whose credits range from Foo Fighters to Paul McCartney, Adele, Sia, Kelly Clarkson and many rich more. Greta Van Fleet settled with him in Los Angeles and enjoyed “a lot of musicality,” which Kurstin brought to the party, according to Sam.
Greta Van Fleet – Heat Up
New album “The Battle at Garden’s Gate”, available on 4.16.21
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Music video by Greta Van Fleet with Heat Above. © 2021 Republic Records is a division of UMG Recordings Inc & Lava Music LLC
“He understands the band’s chemistry,” says Sam. “He really got what each of us was doing, from the vocals to the drums, the whole mix. He’s kind of a lurker. He’ll sit in the corner of the studio and watch us work and only stick his head out when he finds it appropriate or when it is needed.
“So if you’re trying to find that thing and you can’t quite hit it on the head, somehow he’s there to help you find it.”
Greta Van Fleet came in with songs for the project. “Heat Above” has been around for nearly five years, according to Kiszkas, while they played “The Weight of Dreams” in concerts before revising it during the recording sessions. But others were created in Los Angeles, including the first single “My Way, Soon” – “Just another song written at the Sunset Marquee!” Says Sam with a laugh – and late arrivals like “Caravel” and “The Barbarians”.
“There are a lot of songs we’ve been working on, but we haven’t even tried to record because we didn’t think they would fit into the world of this album,” Josh tells Sam. maybe on other albums. “
Fans will also hear an expanded palette of sounds in “The Battle”. The group hasn’t lost any of the frenetic flame and serious bombast of their previous releases, but they added orchestrations for “Heat Above”, “Stardust” and “Trip the Light Fantastic”. The finished version of “The Weight of Dreams” has The Epic Power of Pink Floyd. Josh considers it “almost an extension of” Anthem of the Peaceful Army “(2018),” and the overall feel is “cinematic” and sensurround, a dynamic sonic attack that goes beyond mere music.
“I’ve been asked by someone if this is escape,” Sam says, “but from our interpretation it’s metaphorical. It builds a world where we can tell stories and … create a smarter line of passage for people to enter are able to identify themselves. ” that to what happens in the real world. “Josh, whose texts come from both philosophy and fantasy, describes the approach as a” way of building the world “.
“It’s analogies to living in an organized society,” he says, “with characters and places that are imagery and symbolic throughout the album. We’re dealing with pretty tough, complex times that some people may shy away from. ” . “
The group, which hasn’t been on the road for over a year, wants nothing better than to play the dozen songs from “The Battle” on stage. Right now, however, it is focusing on videos, including the provocatively featured “Age of Machine” and the elaborately costumed “Heat Above,” and finding other avenues – including a recent appearance on CBS ‘”A Late Show with Stephen Colbert” – to share the music until that can happen again in front of an audience.
“A big part of Greta Van Fleet is that we’re a live band,” says Josh. “That’s what we do, so it’s weird when we can’t. But we want to expand the world of ‘Garden’s Gate’ further and add some cinematic effect to the album and create a visual equivalent to (the) sound of the album Universe and communicate with people as best we can.
“It’s always been part of this band, I think more predominantly now.”