On Dec. 7, Greta Van Fleet received four Grammys nominations, including a coveted best new artist nod. The next night, they were onstage at KROQ’s Absolut Almost Acoustic Xmas at Los Angeles’ Forum with Smashing Pumpkins, Thirty Seconds To Mars, Bad Religion, AFI and more.
This weekend was the culmination of a breakout year for the Michigan quartet. Billboard spoke to the group backstage at the KROQ show and the very gleeful foursome promise next year will be just as active, including new music.
“A lot more writing, getting some stuff recorded and start working on the next thing,” Sam Kiszka said of the group’s 2019 plans.
Asked if they’ll release new music, drummer Danny Wagner quipped, “Oh yeah, absolutely. I’ll quit if we don’t.”
Frontman Josh Kiszka quickly added, “We’ll all quit; we’re parting ways if we don’t release new music.”
While there is no timeline to release new material, the band said they have been writing songs since the day they finished their full-length debut album, Anthem Of The Peaceful Army, and have completed several new tracks. Anthem debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 in July.
In the meantime, to keep the sets fresh on their current tour, which will hit South America and Japan in 2019, the band is bringing archival songs into the mix on occasion.
Also coming in 2019 will be the Feb. 10 Grammy Awards. No word yet on whether the band will be asked to perform, but if they do, they have a few ideas for collaborations.
Tops on Josh Kiszka’s list would be performing the Beatles’ “Helter Skelter” with Paul McCartney.
Their next two choices show off some hometown pride, picking Michigan music icons Stevie Wonder and Bob Seger.
“We grew up listening to so much Bob Seger. Always on the radio, you cannot believe how much Bob Seger they play in Michigan,” Josh Kiszka said.
So what Seger song would they do? Between the four of them they shout out “Turn The Page” and “Against The Wind.”
Seger, a Rock And Roll Hall Of Famer, is on his farewell tour, so bringing him onto the Grammys to perform with Greta Van Fleet would be a way for the Grammys to show some on-air love to both rock and Seger.
Unlike Seger’s ‘70s heyday when rock bands like Kiss, the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac ruled both pop radio and filled arenas, Greta Van Fleet is among only a handful of rock bands enjoying mainstream radio success. And those being nominated for a Grammy alongside Dua Lipa and sharing a stage with Bad Religion might be a category of one in 2018.
“We’re so humbled by the fact we have those opportunities that not many other people have,” Josh Kiszka said.
So who do the members of Greta Van Fleet look to as examples for how to navigate both scenes comfortably? “Those are the pinnacle bands that can do that, especially the Eagles. There are other rock bands that have the appeal, like the Foo Fighters,” Josh Kiszka said.
“Speaking of Cal Jam, that’s what I was thinking too. They’re always themselves,” Sam Kiszka said admiringly of the Foo Fighters.