Greta Van Fleet is likely the hottest band in the USA right now. Their mix of classic rock majesty and surprising maturity and skill for such young musicians is making fans from all over take notice. Ghost Cult caught up with GVF guitarist Jake Kiszka right after their amazing performance at RockAllegiance Festival in Camden, New Jersey. Jake talked about the formation of the band, cutting their teeth on the road, his personal musical heroes and their forthcoming double-EP, From The Fires, releasing on November 10th via Lava/Republic Records. Videography and photography by Omar Cordy/OJC Photography for Ghost Cult Magazine. Continue reading
Within its short period of existence, Coldcock Whiskey has become a well recognized liquor item within the music world. Its brand has been recognized for sponsoring various music events such as the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival and NAMM, as well as its logo plastered across the chests of countless musicians as well as fans alike at concerts across North America.
The Coldcock Whiskey story began after grooming another well recognized liquor brand for years. Brand marketing representative Adam Grayer explains how it all began.
“We are about to finish up our second year,” he said. “We ran the music marketing for Jagermeister – sponsorships, tours, festivals. When Rick and Sarah Zeiler brought the idea to create the brand, the first thing that they did was to reach out to all of our friends – band members, managers, booking agents, and festival owners – showing them what we’re doing, told them about our idea to market the brand.”
“They all loved the idea and came in and invested. John Reese [Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival co-founder] is an investor in our brand. Kerry King’s [Slayer] an investor in our brand. David Draiman from Disturbed, Miles Doughty from Slighty Stoopid, Avenged Sevenfold’s booking agent, and Linkin Park’s booking agent. So it’s really humbling that all of these people have come in and invested their money, and on top of that, they’ve helped us promote and build the brand. John Reese has us out of the tour and Kerry King’s at our booth every day doing meet and greets. Everyone does a little something more than just putting in a bit of money. They actually believe in what we’re trying to do, which is help us build a brand.”
Coldcock Whiskey’s flavor has a different taste than most liquors on the market, which has immediately sparked the interest of those who have tried the product. Grayer explains how the texture differs from some of the other products available.
“The flavor is a three year aged Kentucky bourbon, so it’s true bourbon whiskey, and we infused it with natural herbs like green tea, hibiscus, ginseng, gingko, eucalyptus, and those herbs give it a natural sweetness that kills the burn. It has the whiskey taste but not the whiskey burn. It’s more of a lighter, sweeter after taste. It’s not harsh going down but it still is a whiskey.”
After building up a well established liquor brand like Jagermeister, starting over from the beginning can be quite daunting towards anyone who has to build up a name from scratch. This group behind this brand was up for the challenge and Grayer explains how building up the name is a long term project and without huge expectations immediately.
“The beauty behind a brand like Jagermeister, and I don’t want to talk too much about them – that is what they call a 30 year over night success. It really did take a very long time to build. Their music program didn’t actually start until the brand was established.”
“What we realized is that at that brand, the bands gave that brand its soul. What we wanted to do on the outside was to get those bands that love us and have tried our brand and love this brand Coldcock to talk about the brand. We know it’s not going to take five weeks. We know it might take five years, but we want to do this in a cool, unique way. We want to build it out there with a cool core following, and as this following grows everyone that starts drinking this brand becomes a loyal fan,” he said.
He goes in deeper about the difference between their product and the competition’s, and how their ingredient base has a slightly different taste and reaction from those who have tested it out.
“What we’ve seen over the years is that a lot of brands have popped up that are these flavored whiskeys and flavored vodkas that are easier to drink and expensive, but they’re loaded with sugar and some of them are loaded with chemicals. So we wanted to create a brand that was very easy for people to drink, inexpensive and flavored naturally so there’s very little sugar in it. It’s whiskey with no burn but also not a lot of sugar in it. It’s not as harsh, and as a result word will spread because people will go ‘humm…you haven’t tried Coldcock? You don’t know what you’re missing…’ If you’ve been drinking other brands that are loaded with sugars, after shots of those brands and you’re not feeling so good, you’ll want to try something different. We’re that different.”
“When you have all of these bands that we’re working with talking about on social media or on stage, you’re hearing about it in a unique way that’s never been done before to this level. We feel that the consumers will react to that and I think they will become more loyal as a result. They see Kerry King and David Draiman supporting this drink, and their favorite local band supporting this drink, they’re going to wonder…what is this drink? I’ve gotta try it. Then they come out to an event like the Rockstar Mayhem Festival, see our booth set up, go to the first bar they see, order a shot of Coldcock, get to meet Kerry King and then it all falls into place of they haven’t just created a brand – they created an experience. That is what we wanted. We didn’t want to create another brand on the market. The world is filled with liquor brands. We wanted something new – a true experience for a fan.”
“We sponsor a lot of events, tours, and bands so that our goal is whenever you go out to something music related, you should be able to see something Coldcock related. Know that when you’re done working a long hard day and you go out to see a concert at night, you’ll get to share a shot of Coldcock with your favorite band.”
While the public may have seen the Coldcock Whiskey logo on various rock and metal music events so far, Grayer said the brand has been working with a variety of musical acts and will continue to expand.
“We actually work with cover bands, DJs, country artists…we just did a four month sponsored tour with another one of our brand owners Datsik, and we’re going to be sponsoring a lot of John Reese’s music fests…The Safe N Sound Festival. We work with a lot of country artists. We’ve expanded but what we’ve noticed in rock and metal is that the bands and the fans are core and very loyal. So it’s been a very great honor for us to be able to come in here and not feel artificial to the fans. They see us and they see their favorite bands supporting it and they immediately became loyal to the brand.”
As for venturing overseas, Grayer said it is in the works and would not say when exactly Coldcock Whiskey will seek out distribution in more territories. He said, “Eventually we will. We want to build our brand in America, tackle all 50 States and then as we do that we will expand into other countries without a doubt.”