Grace McKagan is the 22-year-old daughter of Duff McKagan, the bassist for Guns N' Roses. McKagan leads her own band, The Pink Slips, who describe themselves as a "synth-punk band" based in Los Angeles. In February, the trio released their new single, "Miles Away," and released their second EP, Trigger, back in 2018.
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While McKagan blazes her own trail in the music industry, she also has a big following on Instagram. She has more than 68,000 followers, and her individual posts can rack up thousands of likes and comments. She also shares photos with her boyfriend, Pink Slips bassist Blues Williams. The group's third member is keyboardist Trent Peltz.
McKagan is the daughter of Duff, 56, and model Susan Elizabeth Holmes-McKagan, 47. She also hasa younger sister, Mae Marie McKagan, 19.
The Pink Slips began releasing music in 2013, and put out their first EP, Say L'Or Venus, in 2014. In an interview with Glide Magazine that year, McKagan described how their sound developed.
"I would say it definitely evolved over the years," McKagan explained at the time. "Like, I always had a thing for music and a thing for up [and] coming artists. When I was eight and nine, I'd make playlists on my iPod Nano and my dad would be like, 'Who is this?' and I'd be like, 'Oh, it's this band.' So I've always had this thing for finding new people but I think really identifying myself with a genre of music has really happened in the past year or two."
The Pink Slips' live shows are exciting, something McKagan picked up from her idols. She told Hero Magazine in 2018 she wants to connect to her audience, in ways similar to Lady Gaga.She said being on stage is when she is "most confident."
"It's sort of therapeutic to let go of demons and pain, and even happiness, so I try to get my audience to do the same, I want them to feel completely free and just let go of any negativity and enjoy the music and the show," she said. "I really like Lady Gaga, she tells her audience that she wants them all to let go of their demons and just be free and go along with the music, I really respect her for that because I feel the same way."
McKagan said seeing Charli XCX in Seattle, where her father lives, changed how she understood what a live performance could be.
"When I saw her perform she came out and was just like, 'Everybody put your middle fingers up in the air, let's go!'" McKagan recalled. "And I thought it was so punk rock and cool, I think she does a really good job of balancing authentic old school with cool modern pop music. A lot of pop music is s—, for sure, but a lot is also cool – it's called 'pop' for a reason, it's what people like. I think Charli XCX does a good job of making catchy songs, but she's also a bada— performer."
The trademark McKagan came up with for her shows is using blood. She had no idea how she originally came up with the idea, but it became part of her "Grave" persona.
"I didn't always use the blood, I started doing it about two years ago," McKagan told Hero. "I don't know how I came up with the idea, I just thought it'd be fun for one show and then I just really enjoyed doing it and carried on using it. But I think people have started to expect it now, whereas before it was more of a shock. It's all based on my character Grave. The story goes that she's sacrificing herself to the rock 'n' roll gods on stage at the end of each show, that's the concept behind it. Now, as I've got more comfortable with it, I've started to throw the blood on people, so that's always fun… most people are fine with that."0comments
The Pink Slips are set to start a three-show residency at Harvard & Stone on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles on March 16.
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