Is it me or is everyone still being extremely polite when it comes to the subject of Greta Van Fleet’s complete and utter rip off of Led Zeppelin?
I mean come on, it’s not just that they sound exactly like them, but the fact that they’ve chosen to use the exact same mannerisms while they play live, and dress like 70’s hippies makes the whole experiment, yes, you read correctly, experiment, hard to swallow.
From the obvious Plant-style vocals and melodies to the stealing of Jimmy Page’s licks, yes, we know, there’s no copyright on licks, but Zeppelin fans like me find the Michigan-based throwback rockers tough to watch and listen to… I say all this knowing that the band has been nominated for four Grammy awards, Best Rock Album, Best Rock Song, Best Rock Performance – and Best New Artist.
It doesn’t stop there, the rub gets even harder when Greta Van Fleet’s singer Josh Kiszka doesn’t readily name Robert Plant as an influence. Instead, he has the audacity to claim Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler has more to do with his vocal style than Plant, really? Give me a break.
Robert Plant though seems to be taking it all in his stride. Let’s face it, Zeppelin is easily one of the most influential bands of all time, and over the years, and especially in the 80’s/90’s, there was a slew of bands that were modeling themselves on the Zeppelin sound. You’ve only got to listen to Kingdom Come’s 1987 release: “Get it On” to understand what I’m talking about. I mean, it was so close to Zeppelin it was almost embarrassing.
Back to Robert Plant, he has certainly mellowed over the years, it’s true to say he didn’t appreciate Kingdom Come and as for David Coverdale, well the less said the better, but Plant’s take on Greta Van Fleet is different. He joked in an interview with The Project Exclusive that Kiszka is a: “beautiful little singer.” Plant then chuckled: “I hate him.”
Plant is clearly a fan but continued to poke some fun at Kiszka for sounding exactly like him. “He borrowed [his voice] from somebody I know very well, but what are you going to do?” said Plant.
“He said he based his whole style on Aerosmith,” Plant added while dramatically rolling his eyes.
Maybe I’m getting old and crusty, or maybe I’m just missing the point, GVF’s similarities to Zeppelin are part of their appeal I guess, but I’m just not buying it. As Plant put it, “They are Led Zeppelin I.” All I ask is that the band ADMIT IT…
Let’s face it, right now we’re living in artistically “effortless” times, even the biggest grossing movies are remakes or rebooted, then repackaged and made into a franchise’s again! Add to the fact that you have kids making money playing Guitar Hero on Twitch – that pretty much explains it all.
I’ll end with this, Facebook set out to find just how much of a Zeppelin sound-alike Greta Van Fleet truly is, and had a group of elders react to both of the band’s music side by side to guess whether it was GVF of Led Zeppelin. You can see the results below, and they are priceless.
So tell me, am I wrong?
Mack the Knife.