Monday, July 15, 2019

Jack White has advice for Greta Van Fleet on that whole Led Zeppelin thing

Posted By on Mon, Jul 15, 2019 at 5:27 PM

click to enlarge MPH PHOTOS, BEN HOUDIJK / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
  • MPH Photos, Ben Houdijk / Shutterstock.com

It was only a matter of time until Jack White weighed in on rising rock band Greta Van Fleet.

Both acts are from Michigan — White from Detroit, Greta Van Fleet from Frankenmuth. Both made a name for themselves by reviving blues-based rock 'n' roll for younger audiences. And, most crucially, both have been accused of sounding a little too much like Led Zeppelin — specifically, lead singer Robert Plant.

That criticism against White seems almost quaint now, given that White's band the White Stripes deviated pretty far from those influences — like an art rock take on classic rock. That band was just a two-piece; they wore only red, white, or black; and, well, Meg White was no John Bonham. (That's why we love her.)
Greta Van Fleet, meanwhile, play the 1970s references more closely — like, really closely — even dressing the part. As Stereogum opined, "If they sounded any more like Led Zeppelin, Phil Collins would be asking to drum for them." Pitchfork was more harsh: "No one in this band offers anything in the way of personality that doesn’t sound like your average YouTube tutorial for a Jimmy Page-type pentatonic solo or a John Bonham-type shuffle."

Anyway, in a new Rolling Stone interview, White was asked about what he thinks about Greta Van Fleet. He had some advice for the young band — to keep pushing forward:

They’re three Polish brothers from Frankenmuth, Michigan — I thought that was a joke! But it’s exciting to see young people play rock & roll, no doubt about it. That guy has a very cool voice. The more he makes it his own, the better. People used to say, when I first came out, “He sounds like Robert Plant.” If you keep pushing forward, that shit goes away.

White also went on to praise Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road" — the surprise country-hip-hop crossover hit that is now the longest-running No. 1 hip-hop song of all time. He said the short song reminded him of his crossover hit with the White Stripes, "Fell in Love With a Girl":

It’s beautiful. The song is only a minute and 47 seconds long or something — that’s how long “Fell in Love With a Girl” was. People said, “They’re not going to play that on radio.” But it worked, and it’s great that it’s happening again.

We're just going to leave it right here: Lil Nas X, get this guy on the next "Old Town Road" remix.

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