Download Festival 2018: The Pink Slips

The Pink Slips

Download Festival

Main Stage

Sunday, June 10, 2018


By Eric Mackinnon


A few hours before the mighty Guns N' Roses bring the curtain down on Download 2018, one of the corner stones of the baddest bands on the planet will likely be side of stage with a lump in his throat as he watches The Pink Slips make their main stage debut at Donington Park.

Fronted by Grave McKagan (real name Grace), the apple of Guns bassist Duff McKagan's eye, The Pink Slips are a band who pack a might sonic punch and fuse a number of genres and sounds for a fresh spin on the music we love.

The Pink Slips pull together the very best of synth punk, pop-=punk, reggae and hard ass rock n' roll and mesh the whole lot together for a musical Sundae for your ears.

And it's not just a feast for your lugs – The Pink Slips are the kind of live act you can't take your eyes off with Grave a hypnotic presence at the front of the band with her energetic displays which often see her bounce around at 100 miles per hour and writhe around on the stage at other times.

This won't be their first time in the bosom of Mama Donington after they played an ass booting set at Download 2015.

A debut EP 'Say L'or Venus' gives Download dudes and dudettes a taste of what to expect this summer with a selection of angsty songs with punk hints, peppered with synths and that fearless 'fuck you' riot grrl attitude.

“I feel likes it’s inevitable not to when you put so much passion into something, whether it be performing, sports, love, writing, or anything else,” says Grave about her blistering on stage performances.

“When I’m on stage I forget what I did most of the time because it’s all a blur but in the best way possible. I feel completely free, I like to let go of everything that holds me back in my daily life and tear it up into pieces. Performing is almost like a therapy session for me.”

She continued: “GRAVE was inspired by Ziggy Stardust and Alice Cooper to name a few. I started performing in high school and when I was writing my senior research paper my class was assigned to compare two characters to Dr.Jekyll & Mr.Hyde so I chose Ziggy & Elton John/Bernie Taupin.

“Throughout my writing process, I learned that “Bennie” from ‘Bennie & the Jets” was based on a futuristic rock goddess-that really stuck out to me. I wanted to create a character I could be on stage that would represent the underdogs, as well as all of the darker and more vulnerable aspects of myself-kind of like ‘Bennie’- & that, is how GRAVE was born.”

Grave started The Pink Slips when she was just 15 years old which shows the remarkable drive and determination of the Seattle singer who will stop at nothing to make her dreams become a reality.

She added: “I have always wanted to be a singer – since I was maybe 3 & that has never changed. At 15 I kind of had the same vision as I do now for what I wanted the Pink Slips to represent; which is raw, empowering, and real rock n’ roll.

“I will never stop loving Iggy Pop for teaching me how to rock and understanding what rock it really is-rock n roll/ punk isn’t specifically about a sound but more about not giving a fuck about what others say about you and living authentically, performing wholeheartedly.

“At 15 I had just gotten into Iggy pop & his rock n roll Moto is one that really influenced me.”