Justin Hawkins, the lead singer of pop rock band The Darkness, has waded into the Greta Van Fleet and Led Zeppelin debate.
The repeated comparisons to Led Zeppelin have dominated interviews, perfections and album reviews. In a particularly harsh take on their album, a review in Pitchfork said: “The poor kids from Frankenmuth, Michigan, don’t even realise they’re more of an algorithmic fever dream than an actual rock band,” in reference to their similarities to Zeppelin. The growing debate led to Robert Plant himself joking that Josh Kiszka’s voice reminds him of “someone I know very well,” before adding: “They are Led Zeppelin I.”
Greta Van Fleet lead singer Josh Kiszka tried to accept Plant’s comments as praise, responding by simply saying: “That’s lovely,” in regards to the compliment. “You can’t put that more Robert Plant than that,” he added. While the comparisons are there, the band themselves have admitted to Zeppelin being a huge influence them while growing up, guitarist Jake Kiszka once saying he “went through a year of really intensely studying what [Jimmy] Page.”
Now, as the band insist that their new album will take a different direction, Justin Hawkins has been drawn into the conversation: “The timbre of Kiszka’s voice is so similar to Robert Plant’s that you can’t help but be excited when you hear him sing,” Hawkins said in an interview Classic Rock.
“There’s lots of potential for them to be as amazing as Led Zeppelin, but they’re going to need some better songs. When something like this comes along and everyone gets excited, it shows you how little we have to offer as a genre. That’s not to slag them off, because I think they have the potential to be amazing.”
“They could be the next phase of what Led Zeppelin should have been doing,” Hawkins added. “There’s nothing wrong with adopting classic rock choreography and clothes, but you have to kick on from there.”