Greta Van Fleet’s Sam Kiszka says much “popular” music “almost insults people’s intelligence”

Greta Van Fleet bassist Sam Kiszka has shared his thoughts on “popular music”, revealing that he thinks it “almost insults people’s intelligence”.

Speaking on an episode of Consequence Of Sound’s Kyle Meredith With …podcast, the musician explained the idea behind the Michigan-based band’s latest album, ‘The Battle at Garden’s Gate’.

“It’s kind of the story of mankind … we frame it in a different way, just so you can see it in a different way,” he said. “The best thing we can hope for is [being] thought-provoking.”


He went on to say that he believed this was in contrast to more mainstream music. “We listen to a lot of stuff, not by choice, on certain radio stations, that is ‘popular music,’ and there’s no substance,” he added. “They’re telling you exactly what to think, and why.

“And they don’t leave anything to mystery. And it almost insults people’s intelligence. And it doesn’t give you the ability to have your brain go off, and start firing creatively.”

Kiszka also went on to share that Greta Van Fleet were “pretty far into” their next album, adding: “It’s like the whole concept of going back almost to the roots of what we did, kind of bringing our heads back to that garage time. And not spending all this time making it perfect. But just capturing what’s going on and… making it exciting and raw and energetic.”

In a two star review of the band’s latest album, which came out in April 2021, NME wrote that their second record “covers almost no interesting ground throughout its bloated run time”.

Greta Van Fleet performing live onstage in 2022
Greta Van Fleet perform live, 2022. CREDIT: Getty


It continued: “It seems the main purpose of ‘The Battle at Garden’s Gate’ is for Greta Van Fleet to show off how good they’ve got at wielding their instruments. Most of the tracks take the form of free-flowing jam sessions or psychedelic trips. It’s all very relaxed, with that early-career urgency replaced with indulgent guitar solos.”

Earlier this year, lead singer Josh Kiszka apologised for wearing Indigenous costumes on stage and appropriating the culture.

“To our Indigenous fans, I see you,” Kiszka’s wrote on Instagram. “I’ve taken time to listen and gather my thoughts. My appreciation for Indigenous culture is bigger than myself. I recognize the harm that ignorance can have on marginalised communities, something I’d never want to perpetuate. Hate, disrespect, and prejudice of any kind are not welcome in this community. As I’ve come into adulthood, I’ve been able to grow and learn. This growth has not stopped and will not stop here.”

Greta Van Fleet are currently on their North American tour, continuing with US shows this month through to December.