Greta Van Fleet Reflects on Early Shows and Handling Biker Gang Brawls: “We’d Just Play Through It…”

US Rock Band Greta Van Fleet Pushed Through Punch-Ups at Early Gigs

(Image credit: Neil Krug)

Greta Van Fleet finds inspiration in what they call “The Infisonicosm,” a GVF multi-verse that embodies all the influences they have absorbed throughout their lives. However, their early days as a band in Frankenmuth, Michigan, were far more down-to-earth. In an interview with writer Bill DeMain for Classic Rock magazine, they recount their experiences performing at local dive bars frequented by biker gangs, where things could get a bit rough.

One of their regular spots was White’s Bar in Saginaw, where rival biker gangs would often be present. Despite the potential for tension and altercations, the band played on fearlessly. “We played through it,” shares bassist Sam Kiszka, describing the determination to continue performing even amidst biker gang brawls.

Interestingly, the biker gangs eventually developed an appreciation for the band’s music, with one group inviting them to play at their location in the woods. As they grew fond of Greta Van Fleet’s music, the biker gangs even offered the band a form of protection. Drummer Daniel Wagner recalls how they requested more Hendrix tunes, further solidifying the unique bond between the band and their unlikely audience.

Indeed, Greta Van Fleet’s journey has evolved significantly over the past decade. While their early days involved performing at local dive bars amidst biker gang brawls, they have now transitioned to more refined venues. Currently, the band is gearing up for an upcoming tour, which includes a date at the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York.

In the latest issue of Classic Rock magazine, Greta Van Fleet looks back on their remarkable 10-year journey that has propelled them into arenas and stadiums. They also provide exclusive insights into the making of their ambitious new album, Starcatcher.

For those eager to delve deeper into their story and learn more about their latest endeavors, the full feature is available in the Classic Rock magazine, and you can order a copy to read the complete coverage.