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Greta Van Fleet on the Cosmic Journey to Their Upcoming Album, ‘The Battle at Garden’s Gate’

Their first few releases made the Michigan band classic rock’s new hope. Now, they’re thinking even bigger

Josh Kiszka, Jake Kiszka, Sam Kiszka, Danny Wagner


Josh Kiszka was watching an ice cube rise and fall in his drink at 2 a.m. at Hollywood’s Sunset Marquis hotel last year when he came up with the lyrics for a new Greta Van Fleet song. The movements of the ice made him think of a favorite philosopher, the late British theologist Alan Watts, who described human existence as a kind of ebb and flow. “That’s what I saw in the ice cube,” says Kiszka, 24.

“That’s what ‘Ah Sri Rama Jayam Ram’ is about,” he continues, quoting the mantra in “Trip the Light Fantastic,” from the band’s second album, The Battle at Garden’s Gate, due out April 16th. The next single, “Age of the Machine,” is out Friday. “Self-liberation, or this idea of letting go, or transcending. Is there an afterlife? I think I would rather cease to exist. Taking a big sleep or something. Your body goes back to Earth, and there grows a tree, and the tree gives off oxygen. That’s just it: We’re tripping the light fantastic. We’re cosmic.”