Greta Van Fleet Reveal Who Led Zeppelin Took From, Who’d They Rip Off?


Greta Van Fleet guitarist Jake Kiszka revealed the type of music Led Zeppelin took their sound from in a new Guitar World interview. Kiszka said that they’re ‘OK’ with using Zeppelin and others as their ‘foundation,’ since Led Zeppelin did it themselves with other music.

“We’ve talked about it amongst ourselves, and we’re OK with using Led Zeppelin and other groups as a foundation for what we do.”

“To me, it’s no different from Zeppelin being influenced by blues artists, and blues artists who were influenced by French jazz artists.”

“So we want to use what we know and move forward, and we will.”

Later during the interview, he said that he’d leave it to ‘others to consider’ if Greta Van Fleet are really the saviors of rock and roll.

“Boy, I don’t know. [Laughs] It’s a heavy crown to wear, isn’t it? You hear that and you think, ‘Can one band have it all to themselves?’

“The thing is, rock ‘n’ roll has been around for decades and a lot of artists contributed to it along the way. Some of what once was doesn’t exist anymore, but that’s the thing: It always changes, and so I think it’ll always exist in some way.

“We’re honored and humbled by people’s reactions, and we’re happy to continue a tradition. Whether that’s ‘saving rock and roll,’ I’ll leave that to others to consider.”

He later said, “We really want to build on where we’ve been and go somewhere new. We went into this album [‘Anthem of the Peaceful Army’] heartened by the success of our EPs, but at the same time, we didn’t take our task lightly.

“There was no sense of entitlement, like, ‘Those’ll be easy to beat’ because we knew this was a full statement, a complete thought.

“In that way, it was a very premeditated endeavor, and we went about it with that singular goal in mind: Beat what we had done and put out something that was fully structured and had its own identity.”

Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant discussed Greta Van Fleet and their strong similarities between his style and Josh Kiszka’s singing, jokingly telling Channel Ten (via Loudwire):

“There’s a band in Detroit called Greta Van Fleet, they are Led Zeppelin I. Beautiful little singer, I hate him!”

“He borrowed [his voice] from somebody I know very well, but what are you going to do? At least he’s got a bit of style, because he’s said he based his whole style of Aerosmith *rolls eyes*.”

Led Zeppelin themselves stole from many blues artists, with Rolling Stone even doing a full article listing their top 10 rip offs.

“While the famous lemon-squeezing lyric dates back to Robert Johnson’s ‘Traveling Riverside Blues’ (also covered by Zeppelin), [Led Zeppelin’s ‘The Lemon Song’] owes more to Howlin’ Wolf’s ‘Killing Floor,’ which the band had been playing live. A lawsuit soon ensued; as a result, on some pressings of Led Zeppelin II, the track is actually listed as ‘Killing Floor.’ Ultimately, it reverted to the citrus title, and the band now credits Chester Burnett (Howlin’ Wolf’s real name) as co-author.”

Led Zeppelin were also sued over “Whole Lotta Love.”

“When it came time for Plant to lay down vocals over Page’s guitar riff – one of the first times he ever contributed lyrics to a Zeppelin track–he quoted from ‘You Need Love,’ a song written by Willie Dixon and sung by Muddy Waters in 1962. (Dixon sued in 1985, settled out of court, and is now listed as co-writer.) As Plant later described it, “I just thought, ‘Well, what am I going to sing?’ That was it, a nick. Now happily paid for. At the time, there was a lot of conversation about what to do. It was decided that it was so far away in time and influence that … Well, you only get caught when you’re successful. That’s the game.” It’s worth noting, however, that only seven years separate ‘You Need Love’ and ‘Whole Lotta Love.'”