Meet GRAVE: Resident frontwoman of The Pink Slips, theatric extraordinaire, and the epitome of cool. With strawberry colored hair and cheekbones that would make anyone swoon, she’s not your average eighteen-year-old. Her band, The Pink Slips, has a genre bending sound that lies somewhere between synth-pop and angsty rock that will be in your head for days. Although the band is currently scattered across the West Coast due to higher education, I was able to catch Grave in Seattle between shows here and in California. After doing some good old-fashioned Internet stalking, I was bursting with questions for our meetup.
So you might ask, who is Grave? She’s an immortal synth-pop goddess, who was killed hundred years ago but has risen from the dead to reclaim her throne in the pop world and set the pop world right again. Grave is the ultimate ode to the “greats” in her book- Madonna, Ziggy Stardust, Alice Cooper, and Iggy Pop. All of these people have out of this world stage presence and a definitive sound, and that’s what she aspires to be. She says there’s always thought put into everything both on stage and off- “Well yeah, obviously I love theatrics and visual stuff. It’s not just looking cool or cute on stage, there’s always something more behind it.” At one point this summer, while opening for Alice in Chains, she added another costume to her repertoire, as she dressed up as nun in an ode to Alice Cooper, and as her live show staple is to scream “Hail Mary full of Grave” during every set. After just graduating from her Catholic high school, she used her platform as a “punch in the face” to those who were haughty and didn’t believe in her.
The idea of underestimation of The Pink Slips was one I saw over and over again. Whether Grave was citing girls her age in her hometown of LA, or even mixing board operators during sound checks saying, ‘Sweetie… don’t do that,’ there seemed to be this overwhelming notion of people from the get-go, being condescending or just generally not giving her a chance. “People assumed stuff like, ‘She’s not even good.’ But, you haven’t heard my music.” she described. After questioning her on it she explains, “They really inspired me to prove them wrong. I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing- it gives you motivation,” and in the end she laughed it off as she sung, “Haters are my motivators.” Whenever someone gives her attitude, she throws it right back and promises to give ‘em a better show.
I immediately thought of the last song on the record called “Bratty Attitude” where Grave shrieks, “You can’t tell me what to do, ‘cause I got a bratty attitude!” and I reminded myself that anyone doubting her has obviously never heard her songs. Grave’s effortlessly badass style makes you want to blast the music loud and scream the lyrics too, and the synth-rock backbone makes you feel like you can do whatever you want, whenever you want.
I was told that the debut EP Say L’or Venus was recorded while she was fifteen and sixteen, which, if you’ve listened to it, you’d be pretty d**n impressed that it was done by a fifteen year old. The inspiration for the EP was simple- “Being fifteen/sixteen and just being excited about music and excited to perform and get something out.” While explaining the EP she revealed that “Cruella” is her favorite track, as it’s an emotional one for her that she wishes she could play live. Looking back on the record at eighteen, she admits that the sound of The Pink Slips is still evolving. She’s currently working on new songs with the drummer of AWOLNATION, Issac Carpenter, and Grave said hopefully the new music will be out by next summer, however she quickly added with a cheeky grin, “but I’m a Virgo and we don’t go with schedules.”
My final question was this or that: Netflix or chill? She giggled and said, “Chill, even though they’re kind of intertwined…” With a sound that has a gravitating pull, and a leading woman who is determined to prove herself, The Pink Slips are the definition of intertwined. Defying the norm while still remaining true to their sound, The Pink Slips are a band you need to get familiar with now.
All together now… “Hail Mary full of Grave!”
ANNA KAPLAN | Foxy Feline | KXSU Reporter