You’d Be Surprised How Punk Singer Grace McKagan Is Spreading A Positive Message
Wacoal Slip, Brian Lichtenberg Stole & Vintage Sweater
“Last week, I threw fake blood on myself and died on stage. I feel like I can say, ‘Fuck You’ on stage to everyone who gives me shit, metaphorically,” Grace McKagan, aka GRAVE, tells me bluntly. Daughter of Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan and model Susan Holmes-McKagan, this 17-year-old badass is not only the frontwoman for punk band The Pink Slips, but just signed with IMG Models and is about to attend Seattle University.
Between Grace’s roles as lead singer, student, and model, she has one passion that exceeds the rest. “Performing is my favorite thing to do in the world. I feel like I can really let go of everything and be myself on stage,” she confesses. “My mom says I’ve been singing since I came out of the womb. I’ve always sang, even subconsciously without realizing I was doing it! In elementary school, I would sing down the hallways and not notice,” she explains.
“I want to make my listeners and my audience feel comfortable with being who they are. I just want everyone to feel free.”
The punk rock persona comes naturally to Grace, but it’s about more than just stage presence for her. “I feel really connected to David Bowie because he’s all about glorifying the underdog. When I’m up on stage, I tell the audience, ‘I want everybody to let go of their insecurities and reject everything that rejects them.’ I want to make my listeners and my audience feel comfortable with being who they are. I just want everyone to feel free.”
“When do you feel free?” I ask her. I needed to know. “I like to channel negative energy and get it all out on stage.” She continues, “It’s hard to do that in a society that only accepts happiness and shuns sadness. I feel free when I make people feel something real.”
“I just tell myself, ‘Fuck them,’ and do something to prove them wrong.”
At such a young age, Grace’s ability to be herself is what’s most impressive about her. “I’m aware that people can be really ignorant. I go to a football-oriented school and some people, whether they are jealous or not, don’t want to accept people’s differences. They make people feel rejected because they can’t grasp the differences in others. I just tell myself, ‘Fuck them,’ and do something to prove them wrong.”
After a summer playing Download Festival with Muse, Billy Idol, and Kiss, Grace is most looking forward to attending school. “I’m just excited to be independent and not rely on my parents for everything.”
“What about music? Can we look forward to any new music?” I probe. Grace’s eyes light up, “My EP Say L’or Venus is out!”
Brian Lichtenberg Jacket, Mara Lucien Hohan Bodysuit, Pylo Pants, Selin Kent Rings, Jacque Aiche Choker & Rings
Photography by Jacob Dekat
Creative Direction by Prince Chenoa
Artwork by Lisa Yoo
Styling by Alexandra Mandelkorn