Like many fans of the band Greta Van Fleet, I was extremely anxious and excited for them to release new music. Following the release of their amazing performance at Red Rocks, (you can read my review here) on October 8, 2020, Greta Van Fleet released new music into the world for the first time in over a year.
Not only was it a debut single, but a music video was included as well. “My Way Soon” is a song about tour life, “seeing many different places and faces”, throwin’ the plans and just overall loving the life Greta Van Fleet chose to live. According to Kerrang’s recent interview with Josh Kiszka, lead vocalist, said “It’s a salute to our love of being on the road. It invites people along on the journey and dares them to take their own trip.” Personally, I was able to relate to this song right away since I have traveled to many different places to see concerts, but reminded me especially of when I have traveled to see this band specifically. But the music video is what really caught my attention for My Way, Soon. It was the most simple thing in the entire world. What I captured from it was Josh, twin brother Jake (guitarist), younger brother Sam (bassist), and best friend who’s also like a brother Danny Wagner (drummer) all escaped the city and went to a cabin to write and have fun by themselves at the beginning of the pandemic. The video features the amazing work of the creative director for the video, Matthew Daniel Siskin, and has stated that it was just him and the four filming and editing the entire video. My absolute favorite thing about this music video, it might quite possibly be my favorite music video I have ever seen, is the guys are… Just being humans? There’s no production. No lights. No costumes. No people telling them to pose like this, or dance like that. Just them. Having fun. Drinking. Dancing.
On December 3rd, another single from Greta Van Fleet was released into the world. The single was not the only thing announced from the band that day. “The Battle At Garden’s Gate”. The new album dropping April 16, 2021. “Age Of Machine” released on December 3rd. Age Of Machine, being a far stretch from the happy, uplifting and positivity of My Way, Soon, it speaks of being born into the world a perfect human, what the world does to you, realizing you had been cheated, and needing some healing. What’s even more interesting than the song is the music video. Still under the creative direction of Siskin, he mentioned that himself and the band directed the video, styled, shot, edited, smashed, drone crashed, and onyx driven all themselves. “By nobody but the 5 of us.”, he mentioned on Twitter. The lyrics are where it really gets intense and real. “Perfect child, plugged in since the womb.” In a recent interview with Loudwire, Sammy explained, “There’s this beauty that a child has and everyday you grow up if you’re not aware. There’s this raw innocence and pure beauty and you see the world in all these different ways. And you get put into this society and you get kind of molded. Hence the lyrics: “Perfect child, plugged in since the womb”. “God machine malfunctioned as it grew. And the circuits blew. Falling down on you. Now you’re free. Unplug from the source. No more underscores. Open up the doors.”
The Battle At Garden’s Gate debuts on April 16th, 2021 and Rolling Stone dropped some of the song titles including Trip The Light Fantastic, Tears Of Rain, The Weight Of Dreams, Light My Love, Broken Bells and The Heat Above. According to Radio.com’s Check-In with Greta Van Fleet, Sam explained what’s coming next. “What’s coming next is something that’s much more in the realm of hope. I think it’s something we can all relate to and it’s something that we all need right now.” Speaking about re-introducing themselves to the world and how they’ve grown. Josh adds, “And ironically, that would probably be the oldest song on the album.” The song he’s talking about? The Heat Above. I’m not sure when this song was written, but Sam even mentions that there’s bootleg versions of the song that you can find on YouTube from 2016-2017. Although the song is not the same as it was back in the day, I believe it will most likely be one of the strongest tracks on the album.
I spoke with Matthew, the band’s creative director, on how he fell into working with the band. “The stars just sort of aligned and we came to be in touch - I heard the new music and that was half the decision. The final, was when I met them and spent time with them all. They’re the real deal in the bones artists, and making things together is extremely rewarding.” When asked about why the five of them decided to work on the music videos completely by themselves, Matthew stated that “big productions rarely allow for true creative risks.” Along with working alongside the band for the music videos, he also designed not just one, but multiple websites for the band. One for My Way, Soon; one for Age Of Machine, and one for The Battle At Garden’s Gate. Watching all of the creative things the five of them were producing the last couple of months, I had to ask Matthew how he came to be a creative director. “I started designedmemory when I was very young, mostly out of the desire to never have a real job, but over time it’s become something more. But I never had a master plan. I just want to feel free.” Hearing that last statement from Matthew, saying he just wants to feel free, made me think and ask him if his message to the world, or something he would want to be remembered by, would be that he never did what others wanted him to. He never did what others expected him to. He was real. And he wanted to work with real people, rather than the machine. “Make your way, way, as they say.” Having listened to a certain episode of Matthew’s podcast, Vicious Circle, he mentions small things of social media to the artists that he was working with at the time (Greta, obviously, but it was a secret at that point in time) and they just looked at him as if he was crazy. But he thought it was such a beautiful thing that they aren’t as invested in social media. They are of course required to have social media for their jobs as artists living in the modern-day world. “They don’t need for the outside. They exist in their own world.”, was probably the most real statement I’ve heard in a while from the podcast. Personally, as I’m getting older, I’m noticing that I’m getting on social media only to promote my blog, and keep up with this band. If you go through my twitter, most of it is me retweeting things that Greta Van Fleet posts, or things about them.
Moving on to the incredible performance the band did on Stephen Colbert: I was awake semi-late, about 11:30 pm my time, while I was exhausted from working in retail at holiday time, but still staying up to watch my favorite band “do their thing”, I believe it was a very special performance. I hadn’t seen any videos of the band performing in about a year since the last time the band performed at a show. It was amazing to see them perform again. I suppose it gave me hope for concerts again someday. Being able to see them again someday. Performing “My Way, Soon” in the all white outfits they wore, reminded me of the times I have traveled to see them in concert. The first time, being Atlanta, at The Fox Theater, in the fifth row with my sister drinking expensive wine, recording a video of Jake throwing a pick to me and I still couldn’t catch it. The second time travelling to Nashville, with my sister, meeting my best friend there, staying in the Air BnB, lining up at six in the morning in October with one-hundred people in front of us, making it through a rough seven hours in line, finding out the show was post-poned and we couldn’t make it back for the rescheduled date. Seeing them the first time in our hometown, at my favorite venue, my first front-row show ever, Jake bending down to hand me a guitar pick but it dropped and went to someone else.
It’s the memories I have with this band already. Coming up on three years of listening to them. My favorite songs being You’re The One, Age Of Man, Safari Song, My Way, Soon, etc. I wasn’t able to pump out the posts every time they released a song, or a video, or an interview was done. So I thought I’d just put it all into one entire post. Of course there will be more to talk about when the album comes out, as well as more singles being released. And you know I’m extremely excited and can’t wait to review The Battle At Garden’s Gate. If you’re still reading this, thank you. Also, huge thank you to Matthew Daniel Siskin for letting me interview him via Instagram.
Greta Van Fleet
Matthew Daniel Siskin