GRETA VAN FLEET guitarist Jake Kiszka and bassist Sam Kiszka spoke to Premier Guitar about the band's musical progression from the "From The Fires" EP to the debut album, "Anthem Of The Peaceful Army".
"I think a lot more happened within that objective than I thought," Jake said. "A lot came from inventing new little voicings and shapes within the solos, so that I started going somewhere else than the blues licks I've always played. In doing that, a lot of obscure things happened as far as the guitar goes, you know — licks that don't really have an identity. That sort of belongs to me now and a lot of that was happening. Mixing different genres together, a lot of experimentation, and a lot of creative freedom. More than I expected to happen throughout creating the album."
Added Sam: "The goal for this album was really to capture what had happened. We've grown monstrously. I think that we've come to be proper musicians rather than just a couple of kids playing rock 'n' roll.
"I think every piece of an artist's work should be a time piece. You can write something and look back on it a year later and you're like, 'Whoa, that's where I was.' A lot can happen in a year.
"After hitting the road hard in the past year and a half, a lot of maturity has come out of that, not only in the songwriting, but also in the musicianship. I think there is a lot more mindfulness about where melodies interweave with each other. And the dynamics, like Jake said. Not only the dynamics themselves in the music but the dynamics of an album.
"Albums are kind of overlooked. We need to get back to that. Creating a great album is a lot harder than writing a great song."
Sam confirmed that "Anthem Of The Peaceful Army" is a concept album. "It kind of dives into roots and beliefs," he said. "I think it asks fairly large questions. What are we doing to ourselves? What are we doing to our environment? What are we doing to each other? Why must there be hate? And why must there be greed and evil? I think it simply asks the question of why can't we all be one? We're all people. We all look up at the same sky, breathing the same air. We all come from the same place."
Added Jake: "I think it does a good job musically of creating visuals that are rooted in nature. And lyrically we talk about mankind and our fascination with that. There's also subject matter of evolution on there and summarizing the message we can all get around of love, peace, and unity. And good fun! [Laughs]"
"Anthem Of The Peaceful Army" will be released on October 19 via Lava/Republic.
Music fans were first introduced to GRETA VAN FLEET — Josh Kiszka (vocals), Jake Kiszka (guitar), Sam Kiszka (bass, keyboards) and Danny Wagner (drums) — in March 2017 with the release of the band's debut single, "Highway Tune", which held the No. 1 position on U.S. rock radio chart for five consecutive weeks and on Canada's active rock radio chart for nine straight weeks. 2017 went on to be a wild ride of sold-out concerts in North America and Europe, glowing press, accolades from a slew of fellow artists from Elton John to Nikki Sixx to Justin Bieber, millions of YouTube video plays and Spotify streams, two No. 1 EPs, a gold record in Canada, and most importantly, the genesis of an extraordinary connection with their fans.