Updated: Apr 7
The voice, the clothes, the hair. Coincidence or copycat?
Since Greta Van Fleet released their debut album “From The Fires” in 2017, they’ve been recognized as ‘the band that sounds like Zeppelin.’ Despite looking like their lost love children, according to Van Fleet, Led Zeppelin has always been a great influence- but while flattered by the comparisons, the accusations of Greta ripping off the 70s rock group are incorrect and downplay the young band’s uniqueness.
Should we believe them? When the eldest group member is only 22, you can bet their sound will change in future releases. Beat Media’s Shandi Pace defended Greta, explaining that all bands mimic their influencers in their youth, that those who criticize need to give the band time to grow into their sound.
As a music fan but not a musician, I can’t imagine creating my own unique sound in my first album, let alone at 21 years old. So I understand the sympathetic look at Greta’s music- but is there a line? There must be a point where influence turns into copyright, and if so, have Greta Van Fleet crossed it?
The Fine Bros, a YouTube channel that showcases the public’s reactions to pop culture events and icons, asked a group of seniors to guess what songs were Greta originals, or Zeppelin originals. The group were visibly confused, and had a difficult time distinguishing. Another YouTube commentator/music reviewer, Anthony Fantano, explained in a video that he dislikes Greta Van Fleet, believing them to be the cheap version of Zeppelin.
This feels like a distinct line. When the general public can’t tell the difference between two bands that created music almost 50 years apart, there’s got to be a problem. Influence is inspiration, and should not infringe on copyright.
When it comes to my opinion? I agree with everyone. Ultimately- if Greta Van Fleet don’t set themselves apart from Zeppelin within their next couple of releases, they’ll be the cheap knock-offs that Anthony Fantano believes them to be. For now, they should be allowed room to grow and experiment with what they want to create as musicians. Kids are kids, they get inspired by their heroes and mimic what they see. They still have time, and I’m excited to see where their future takes them.