Greta Van Fleet’s Jake Kiszka Reveals the Advice Elton John Gave the Band
It's only taken two EPs and a wildly anticipated debut album (due tomorrow, Oct. 19) to thrust Greta Van Fleet into the pop culture mainstream. They've received overwhelming critical acclaim and their status as the torchbearers of rock and roll was elevated when Sir Elton John invited the band to perform at his annual Academy Awards viewing party. So what advice did he have for the young group? That's what we asked guitarist Jake Kiszka in our exclusive interview.
On top of the performance invite, Elton John even joined Greta Van Fleet onstage that night as they played his classic "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting" together. After seeing the band in London, the legend took stock of Greta's set. "He came back after the show and he was analyzing it," said Kiszka. Praising their set, Elton John said, "There's not much I can say on the performance itself," before offering a snippet of advice on how to adjust one of their biggest songs. "The beginning of 'Highway Tune' ... maybe extend the beginning of it and make it more dramatic or something like that," he said.
"You don't need anyone other than yourself to give permission in order to do something but when Elton John says, 'Flaunt what you've got. Show 'em what you've got,' then it kind of makes an impression," stated Kiszka, who added, "I think at that point that was one of the things that he imparted on us." Upon hearing this, the guitarist had the confidence to make an adjustment to his onstage persona. "After that I just lost the shirt underneath. He's like, 'Just flaunt what you've got,' and I'm like, 'All right. Rock 'n' roll then!"
Often times young bands are reluctant to heed advice, preferring to stick to their own vision. This stubborn mentality isn't all too pervasive within Greta Van Fleet as the guitarist told us, "I suppose we're adamant on certain things, but [we have] always been open-minded and [are] always learning something new, taking a new bit of knowledge and that's when the true growth happens. It's certainly helped on this journey so far."
To read the rest of our interview with Jake Kiszka, head here.
Greta Van Fleet Talk New Album, Robert Plant + More
The Best Hard Rock Album of Each Year Since 1970