Greta Van Fleet Wrote Debut Album in Haunted Cabin
Greta Van Fleet guitarist Jake Kiszka recalled the experience of writing the band's debut album, Anthem of the Peaceful Army, in a remote cabin in the mountains of Tennessee, noting that ghostly footsteps and laughter probably influenced the material.
“We didn’t know how isolated it was,” Kiszka told Premier Guitar in a recent interview. “It was an hour to the closest town. … We were making jokes like, ‘It’s definitely 100 percent haunted.’ We went into the basement once and that was the last time any of us stepped foot into the basement. It was a really creepy house.”
He said the band fell into a routine of working from noon until 3AM the next morning, though he’d often continue to work on his own afterward. “There was this fireplace that was right behind the drum kit, and I would take breaks to sit by the fire," he recalled.
"Everyone else was in bed, but I could hear, very clearly, footsteps walking behind me, and my whole body went cold and I just got goosebumps. … I turned around and nothing was there. ... I would be up until sunrise editing stuff, and I’d have to sit with that and it would continue to happen. At one point, I turned around and said, ‘Stop. Leave me alone. I’m trying to work.’ It stopped and didn’t happen again that night.”
Kiszka added that, one time, drummer Danny Wagner was "inside sleeping in a room far away from the rest of us, while we were outside. He said he could hear a little girl laugh whenever we would tell jokes. It was a very creepy experience, but I think that had some influence on some of the tracks.”
Bassist Sam Kiszka described the cabin experience as “one of the most magical in our lives.” “It was just the four of us for a full week, which is remarkable," he explained. "We didn’t get into any fights outside of playing, which is incredible also. … I have very specific memories of ‘Age of Man’ being written and coming to life there. That’s always the place that comes to mind when I hear that song. The cabin was also very, very haunted.”
Anthem of the Peaceful Army is out today.