The sweet old grandma that Greta Van Fleet are named after has opened up about inspiring the Grammy-nominated band, and her new-found fame.
Greta Van Fleet released their debut album ‘Anthem Of The Peaceful Army‘ in October. In a three-star review, NME said: “Ultimately, this is just a rock album that does exactly what it says on the tin.”
The band stumbled upon their name back in 2012 as young teens just hours before performing at a festival in their small hometown of Frankenmuth, Michigan.
The original Gretna Van Fleet – the band dropped the ‘n’ to make it easier to pronounce – is an 88-year old retired office manager and drummer from Michigan.
Speaking to Detroit Free Press, Van Fleet admitted she had no idea the band would become world-famous, saying: “I didn’t think it would last long — they wouldn’t hang on to this crazy name.”
Six years later and Mrs Van Fleet has become a famous figure in Frankenmuth. She is regularly stopped in the street by fans. Bassist-keyboardist Sam Kiszka described Mrs Van Fleet as “living the rock-star life too”.
However, Mrs Van Fleet is not the band’s biggest fan, confessing: “It’s not my favorite music, and the boys know that.
“But I think they’re very talented, and I support them.”
You can listen to the original Gretna Van Fleet’s favourite track below.
The band also spoke about their growing attachment to the name, especially after discovering the name means ‘of the water’.
“It’s Dutch, but it sounds Nordic,” said Sam Kiszka. “It sounds very classically seafaring and pleasing. And something that has always attracted us, ever since we could understand literature, is the seafaring men.
“In a way, that’s what we always wanted to do, and it’s kind of what we’re doing now. We’re essentially nomads. We’re not water warriors, but we are most of the time land warriors.”
“So there’s a lot of meaning behind the name, a lot we didn’t intend, but it’s something I’m thankful for.”