Greta Van Fleet Icon Reveals Why Last Album ‘Bombed’


Former Greta Van Fleet manager Michael Barbee discussed ‘Anthem of the Peaceful Army’ bombing critically in a new exclusive Alternative Nation interview series, which we began earlier this year.

“I think people wanted more of Black Smoke Rising, and when they didn’t get more of that and the boys evolved into this different sound, I think it threw people off. In my opinion, I love the music that they’re putting it out, I just think it comes out to the timing was wrong. I think with the bad reviews, I don’t think the music was bad, with Black Smoke Rising the timing was prime, people were ready for that sound again. But I don’t think people understood where they were coming from on the full length debut album. After talking to fans and still keeping up with what’s going on, and I just think people wanted more Safari Song, Highway Tune, and Black Smoke Rising, and they didn’t get it. I just don’t think it’s what they expected.”

Dave Grohl broke his silence on Greta Van Fleet backlash a few days ago. Barbee added, “I don’t know if it’s that people want the same thing over and over again, I think they wanted more of what they were originally given before they moved to this new sound, and to these more complex songs and ballads. I think that’s what they initially wanted with Anthem of the Peaceful Army, they were expecting more Highway Tune and Safari Song, and they didn’t get it. Naturally people are going to give bad reviews, and they’re going to get that kind of thing. They did really good on presales, but once people bought it, they were like, ‘Eh, not what I expected.’

I think it was personally the wrong material for the debut album. I think it was the wrong timing for that particular material. I think if it was the third or fourth album, it would have been met with open arms. You have to gradually take people there, you can’t just have every album be a completely new band, I think you have to work people to that point.”