Meaning of “Meeting The Master” by Greta Van Fleet

Greta Van Fleet, the rock band from Michigan, released a slew of live albums in 2022 but hasn’t come out with a single since 2021’s Built By Nations, a song associated with their sophomore studio album, “The Battle at Garden’s Gate”. 

Actually, that was until 7 April 2023, when Republic Records dropped “Meeting the Master”, the lead single from the band’s third studio LP, a project titled “Starcatcher”.

Greta Van Fleet is a band consisting of singer Josh Kiszka, guitarists Jake Kiszka and Sam Kiszka and drummer Danny Wagner. Those four individuals, three of whom are in fact siblings, are credited with writing this song, with its producer being Dave Cobb.

Lyrics of “Meeting the Master”

The simplest way to describe these lyrics are as speaking to the concept of religious fanaticism or single-mindedness. The piece, which the band has described as “a dark comedy” is meant to sorta mock those of us who adopt a certain view of spirituality, as presented by an appealing guru and proceed to become obsessed with it.

All in all, it centers heavily on religious obsession. Indeed religious fanaticism, if you want to term said phenomenon so, can be a dangerous thing. For instance, in the chorus when the vocalist refers to “the madness and the tripping”, that may be an allusion to the Hajj, i.e. the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, where invariably there tends to be stampedes that leave a number of pilgrims dead. Yet, an unhealthy amount of people still flock to the event, putting their lives at risk in the process, nonetheless.

But more to the point as relayed by these lyrics is Greta Van Fleet referring to a cult-like mentality, in which believers put their full faith in “the master”, as questionable an individual he may be to those of us who have not been overtaken by what he preaches.

“What a day to meet the master
I’ve been waiting for so long
Final day to meet the master
It’s my time to go home”

The Band talks about the Song

According to Greta Van Fleet, the song is sung from the point of view of someone who is a “devout believer”. The lyrics go on to detail the unshakable love and belief that the devout believer and his comrades have in their “teacher”.

There are a number of real dangers associated with such modus operandi. One such danger lies in the stifling of free thought and individual autonomy. The essence of human consciousness resides in our ability to question, explore, and understand the world around us.

However, religious dogma often discourages such inquiry. It posits a set of absolute truths and discourages adherents from questioning these principles. Consequently, it creates an environment where blind obedience is rewarded while skepticism is chastised. This suppresses intellectual growth and the development of personal beliefs, creating individuals who follow doctrines without truly understanding or challenging them.

Another real danger with this is the fact it has the potential to create social divisions and conflict. When individuals view their religious beliefs as absolute and infallible, it becomes easy to regard those who hold different beliefs as misguided, immoral, or even dangerous. This “us versus them” mentality has been at the root of many religious conflicts and persecutions throughout history. It greatly fosters intolerance and hampers the development of a diverse and inclusive society.

Some More Problems with Religious Obsession

In addition to the above, religious obsession can actually also lead to emotional distress. This can manifest as guilt, anxiety, or fear about violating religious rules or not living up to perceived religious standards. Such constant emotional turmoil can have a profound negative impact on mental health.

The you also have the issue of social isolation birthed by religious dogma. How can this happen? You might ask. For example, if an individual’s religious practices are so consuming that they neglect other aspects of life, they may drift away from friends, family, or activities that they once enjoyed. They might also feel misunderstood or isolated from those who do not share the same level of religious intensity.

The Long and Short of “Meeting the Master”

It is the dangers of this kind of religious fanaticism that the band Greta Van Fleet is trying to draw our attention to via “Meeting the Master”. The narrator is cleverly warning us to be mindful of having blind faith in certain people that parade themselves as spiritual leaders.

That being said, preventing yourself from falling into the trap of blind faith can be achieved via fostering critical thinking, open-mindedness and a willingness to question and learn.

Meeting The Master

Share Your Thoughts on Greta Van Fleet’s “Meeting The Master”

“To me, Greta Van Fleet’s ‘Meeting The Master’ is a reflection on the dangers of blind devotion and its negative consequences. The part that says ‘blow it up’ alludes to the horrific acts that individuals may commit in the name of their beliefs, and serve as a warning against the potential destruction that can result from extreme fanaticism.

Overall, the song offers a critical commentary on the phenomenon of blind worship, and encourages listeners to remain vigilant and reflective about the beliefs and values they choose to embrace.”

– Maria

“The first time I heard this song play, I was overwhelmed with a rush of emotions. Its powerful lyrics gave me a sense of mysticism and spirituality that connected me to my innermost self. The line, ‘I have known no other master’ was particularly moving to me, as it served as a direct link between myself and God. It has the power to evoke a deep spiritual experience long after the music ends.”

– Katherine

40 Responses

  1. Me says:

    So is this song for or against God?

    • Kojo says:

      To be perfectly honest, the answer of your question would largely depend on your point of view. That being said, there is very strong evidence that the lyrics aren’t against God. They more or less address the issue of religious extremism, specifically referring to individuals who are unable to see beyond their unwavering devotion to a specific spiritual leader.

      • Anonymous says:

        “Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.” ― Thomas Jefferson

      • Daniel Ray says:

        I’d agree, especially after watching the video, that it’s more about being anti-cult (think Jonestown) than it is anti God or anti religion.

        Of course every listener will have different views on what a cult is, but the lyrics seem to point to a suicide cult, not a general reaching God at the end of life.

    • Malcolm says:

      This is absolutely not a song that is against God. According to the band, the song is about a devout believer who is uncompromisingly and irrationally devoted to his leader. Simply put, this person is what can best be described as a religious fanatic. Such individuals often have a tendency to engage in extreme measures in the name of their religion.

    • Anonymous says:

      “According to Greta Van Fleet, the song is sung from the point of view of someone who is a “devout believer”. The lyrics go on to detail the unshakable love and belief that the devout believer and his comrades have in their ‘teacher'”.
      I would say that they didn’t necessarily mean harm against God or His followers, but the article is written such that it would seem to be mocking religious people / Religion (author’s opinion)? Taken at face value, I like the song and feel inspired to love and follow God for its lyrics.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah, the article is written very misleading IMO. Feel like they want it to be a mocking of God and I person don’t think it is.

        • TPR469 says:

          I didn’t get the impression that the article even remotely hinted at mocking God. If anything, it points out the dangers of be a fanatical follower of “a master”, or one leader. This can be applied not only in a religion but also a government, group, etc.

      • GStegg says:

        With all due respect to SMF, could she find the truth within the gospel of John, and see if she’s inspired to read more?
        In this culture, most blind faith is in anything…as long as it’s not in the Bible.

    • Occam’s Razor says:

      Does’ t matter… describes a condition….

  2. Anonymous says:

    Mentioning muslims as an example in the song seems a bit islamophobic. Idk wouldn’t say use them as an example of madness unless you want to feed into that sensational media garbage.

    • Anonymous says:

      Would you have said that if he said the Christian God?

    • Anonymous says:

      The mention of Muslims in the article was in reference to tripping. Because when they make the pilgrimage to Mecca there are people who fall and are trampled to death. That was the reference, not the madness.

      • SMF says:

        Thank you so much for taking your time to shed light on the issue in question. Your efforts and positive contributions are greatly appreciated. Thanks.

      • Derek Chalmers says:

        There are people who are trampled at all sorts of large gatherings of human beings, including rock concerts. Do we describe them as unhealthy or madness because of that?

        Besides which, this song is obviously about NEW AGE GURUS – just look at the aesthetics in the music video.

        There’s also fact that the Josh Kiszka sings “Ram, Ram, Ram” in this very song – which is a mantra referring to the HINDU deity Ram/Rama, not Islam. Hinduism often gets syncretised into New Age spirituality, and has done so ever since The Beatles went to India.

        The author of this article is not only completely wide of the mark, they’re overly literal. The “tripping” is a reference to drug use – psychedelics like LSD and ayahuasca feature heavily New Age spirituality.

  3. Greta VanVleet #1 Fan says:

    I love the song, after the loss of my 24 year old son, his faith was steadfast & unwavering. When I listen to this song I’m brought to tears. My son seen Greta VanVleet at a local Detroit night club as he was a fan from the bands beginning. Thank you Greta VanVleet for this Masterpiece!

  4. Father Josh GVF says:

    The lyrics do not match the video. The video, IMO, is depicting Revelation 19:11-21. Jesus on the white horse and the armies of heaven (which are made up of angels led by Archangel Michael, and the saints — dressed in white linen that symbolize holiness) will fight against the Antichrist, a deceptive and evil figure who the Bible says will appear on the Earth before Jesus returns and will be influenced by Satan and his fallen angels. Jesus and his holy angels will emerge victorious from the battle.

    • Shoe says:

      The antichrist is very deceptive. You answered your own opinion. The video does match the lyrics. The antichrist is deceptive and that’s what they’re talking about. The song is singing about deceptive spiritual leaders.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The explanation of this song’s meaning was not my takwaway of Meeting the Master at all. When I listen to the lyrics and the uplifting music, it stirs my soul, and I feel very close to God. And I think that’s the way the band would want their listeners to feel… Uplifted.

  6. LoK says:

    Fanaticism? Projection much? Your assessment is yours & yours only, as mine is mine.

    To me, “Meeting The Master” is about God.
    “The madness, the tripping, the touching”, leads me wonder if they had a profound DMT experience which enlightened them further to God…DMT is reportedly known to have that effect.

    Plus, it has also not gone unnoticed that Josh is now wearing a Crucifix (not just a Cross) earring & Jake is wearing Patron Saint medals around his neck.

    To commenter “Father Josh GVF”, I understand your point re: Revelation…WHITE HORSE is God & I thought the same thing. Plus makes sense where the white horse appears lyrically in the video.

    FYI…”Lover, Leaver, Taker, Believer”…is the Biblical story of Saul.

    The guys have insinuated that they wish the “meaning’ of the song to be a POSITIVE one & APPLICABLE to all. (Josh does say Ram Ram Ram, which is Hindu)

    In the end…BE GOOD, DO GOOD.

  7. Alan Hill says:

    The song version of Dune…

  8. AndyRay says:

    The singer is awesome-what a voice . I also got that spiritual vibe from it being a Christian. Reading these comments I am inclined to agree with the positive ones about Christianity . Islam,Judaism and Christianity have done amazing works in the world and walking with Jesus has been the best time of my life. I was in darkness before. There are plenty of Christians in the music world-Bono is Catholic as is the lead singer/guitarist for Slayer and the Led Zeppelin album “Houses of the Holy” refers to our body as a temple to the Holy Spirt . Marvin Gaye’s “What’s going on?” refers strongly to Jesus and it was one of the greatest albums in history . I agree be good and do good -like the Bible says “wherever there is love there is God”-even if you don’t believe you still exist within a spiritual paradigm , you are just not aware of the spirit world.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Salvation is a gift. There’s only one savior. Christ is the only way to eternal life. Every other belief requires us to sacrifice, but Christ gave His life for us, as the Lamb of God. All He asks is for your heart, your faith in Him. He doesn’t ask for a pilgrimage, He doesn’t ask for violence, He doesn’t ask us to eat a certain diet, He doesn’t ask us for anything other than our trust in Him, through His Life, Death and Resurrection. What a Savior we have in Christ Jesus.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I couldn’t quite hear the lyrics when i first listened to the song and had a whole different feeling of what it was about. For example when he sang “and the tripping”, i thought he sang “and i dream big” and i thought he sang “waiting , to show him all of my love”….not Blow it up to show him all of our love. So at first i interpetted it to be someone at the end of their life making peace, , but now I think they are singing about the thoughts of a suicide bomber. Also the live version wailing at the beginning has a definite middle eastern beautiful ring to it. Makes you think, either way!

  11. Anonymous says:

    It’s interesting to ponder what the band intended, but the song does make me think of God. With respect to the article’s statement about religious dogma that discourages adherents from questioning, let me just say I feel free to question my faith. Jesus didn’t chastise Thomas for doubting. He loved him. An honest search for truth is what God wants. And might I add, I will never meet the standard. That’s exactly why Jesus came to sacrifice for me!

  12. Stephen Redmoe Douglas says:

    First of all, these young men are MASTER MUSICIANS and songwriters. I’ve been a songwriter now for over 50 years, and have several songs published and played by rock bands over the decades (it helps to have discovered a top ten rock drummer and supported him to his worldstar career, The Cult, GnR, Velvet Revolver, Hollywood Vampires, now currently playing with Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top after Dusty passed in ’22.) I am probably considered the best lyricist in the business, but most bands I sell my lyrics to I understand their desire to have the “image” that the band wrote the lyrics themselves, so I don’t ask for liner credits nor royalties, but the front end $$$ is WHOA!

    Anyway, GVF is in my opinion THE most talented, in touch,”sticky” band in the world. It starts with Josh’s ever-evolving command of his voice. I’ve heard Axl, Perry, Lou, and so many other lead singers unselfishly state, with a simple shake of their heads, a general comment of “this kid is going to take it where no other rock lead singer could roll, but his test is where his blowout point is.” In other words, Josh and this band can become bigger than any rock band before them, guided right, old bad habits kept at arms length, and their self-awareness stays focused on staying rooted.

    This song is about God or a main Spiritual Being that most people search for and find or don’t. But the song is brilliantly AMBIGUOUS because the JOY and SPARK of LOVE FOR LIFE is unquestionable initiated by the EXCELLENT Songwriting along the MELODY (simple beauty), the perfect instrumentals to KEEP that heart embrace of SPIRITUAL ONENESS growing and pulling you in, while at the SAME TIME, daring you to read into the lyrics and DECIDE whether the KEY verse “Blow it up, to give him
    All of our love, all of our love..” which continues to the Outro. Now THAT verse is the CONUNDRUM of the song. Do love God enough to kill others that don’t believe like you. And here you are, listening to this beautiful gospel song that on its face is sucking you into a comfort drug of the safety of your Soul. Now is your belief a DRUG which you will kill others in which to “achieve” the full LOVE OF GOD? So what is the Rapture of your Spiritual search? Will you go into a Gay bar and shoot 20 innocent souls, unarmed and harming no one? The Bible says they are an Abomination. BUT DID YOU KNOW THE BIBLE, EVERY VERSION, HAS BEEN TRANSLATED, REDACTED, CHANGED, CENSORED AND UNCENSORED, AND WAS WRITTEN BY MEN. LOTS OF MEN. TENS OF THOUSANDS OVER THOUSANDS OF YEARS. So think about what’s right. And follow your heart, because GOD is US, and you don’t want to HURT GOD, do you?

  13. Eyes Wide Open says:

    Haha, you all are great! This song is definately an ode to Satan, the Master. And this band definately worships him. Even Bob Dylan calls him the Master. No Christian has EVER called God or Jesus the Master. No Muslim has ever called Allah the Master. Buddha, not a Master. No Master in Daoism. Only the Luciferians have a Master. Wake up.

  14. Derek Chalmers says:

    The song is obviously about New Age Spirituality, not Islam or religion in general.

    Josh Kiszka sings “Ram, Ram, Ram” in the song, which is a mantra that comes from Hinduism. Ram is literally the name of a Hindu god.

    New Age Spirituality has often syncretised things from Hinduism, and has done ever since the Beatles visited India. Just look at songs like “My Sweet Lord” by George Harrison for songs in a similar vein, or “Trip the Light Fantastic” by Greta Van Fleet which has even more explicit Hindu/New Age content.

    As for the part about the madness and the tripping, that’s not literal tripping. It’s about psychedelic drug use that many people in the New Age spiritual scene engage in.

    The author of this article is completely off in their interpretation, projecting their own biases into it, rather than trying to decipher what the song is trying to say.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, the heartfelt ranting for destruction makes it pretty obvious who the Master is. Good music, though.

  16. TruthSeeker says:

    I agree with Eyes Wide Open. As soon as i saw the title i knew this might be some sort of ritual pledging service to “The Master”.
    However i feel compelled to add that, I dont believe they are Satanists, even though the patterns in the success of great artists keep reoccurring, its important to note that not all artists do this knowingly.

    If we look at the style of GVF when they first came out, they seemed pretty genuine. With time though you can see the influence of the music industry “pushing” for certain looks and sounds, probably even lyrics. This song to me is clear that they have reached a certain point of fame, and now if they wish to continue, its time to sign “the contract”.

    We tend to WANT TO believe its about God because we want to give them the benefit of the doubt, but if we are honest with ourselves, we can see that there is no need to dig real deep into the words. They are simple and direct, i mean “what a day to meet the master, i’ve been waiting for so long”, i mean that sounds ceremonial. You’ve trained, you’ve fatigued, you’ve worked hard and now its time for the test. “And i’m taken by the madness”, doesn’t seem like a choice, more as though you have fallen into it.

    With this being said, i believe they started genuine but have been/are being transformed slowly. I’ve worked for concerts for over 6 years and i’ve seen the environment day in and day out. I believe the whole ambient and exposure to the whole stage scene contributes to the ritual of transformation which leads a “point of no return”. The fame, the money, the glory….Just read the lyrics of “The Weight of Dreams”, it talks about gold.
    They started as free, spiritual beings, taking things as they come, and most likely their young age led them to being naive with regards to the industry.

    This however DOES NOT stop the listener from interpreting the song in their own way. I am inclined to Christianity although i have had my doubts in the bible in the past years, nevertheless i see the teachings of morality to be correct. One has the right to question his faith. In the end, its your heart and your actions that matter.

  17. Independent Thinker says:

    I thought the song was about suicide or drug use…. Or drug use leading to death… anyways- I’ll take the bands meaning! Lol

  18. Anonymous says:

    The song speaks to Satan. The imagery in the video – sources of light (Lucifier), men dressed in an effiminate manner, red gloves and boots (blood on the hands from sacrifice, and boots from spilled blood). Far away looks of lost self and trance on the faces. The clothes (purity) tainted by excess adornment. Yep, them boys just proclaimed their true allegiance.

  19. Bleeta Shell says:

    He said the religious community discourages creativity. What a lie. Don’t talk about things you don’t know about. God‘s very name is creator. He’s the only spark of creativity, and he breeds it through mankind. I’m sorry you’ve lived in a small, religious world. But those that truly know God breathed creativity. Everywhere they go and inspire it.

  20. six-blade knife says:

    the first time I got to hear it, I immediately thought of the first meeting between the band and Robert “the Master” Plant, which actually happened, thinking of how much Plants&co. music would have haunted Kiszka’s rooms. It is written in a diary-page fashion and I thought the lines saying “all of our love” was a sort of a quote of All of my love, by Led. Thanks for this new perspective.


    I, too, thought it had to do with death of some sort and most of the comments had no mention of it. I guess, at age 76, I have a different focus. In any case there is no need to decipher—just feel it—that’s what I will do on September 19, in Philadelphia.

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