Meredith Graves

At first glance, Meredith Graves looks adorable: gamine and quick with a smile. Then, she opens her mouth. Onstage, she packs a sonic punch, blowing listeners away as the lead singer of the hardcore-punk band Perfect Pussy. Offstage, she knocks the wind out of you with the thoughtful intelligence with which she approaches serious topics, like being a queer woman in the music world.
If her band’s name wasn't attention-grabbing enough, Graves brings the noise on Perfect Pussy’s buzzy debut album, Say Yes to Love, which came out in March and has already been lauded by Interview, Spin, and Vice magazines. Meredith’s ready for her close-up, and she’s not giving up the mic until she gets it.

What sets me apart from my peers
"I’m not afraid to suck, wildly. In an age and an era where media is so easily consumed and everyone can Instagram and Twitter and opinion-ize, shrinking everything down to their sh*tty opinion in four words or less; and where everyone is constantly trying to be a brand, to be perfect, to be liked, and fabulous. I yell in my natural voice. I wear my regular clothes onstage. Just being myself is good enough. When I was young, people told me it was okay to be yourself and be a weirdo f*ck-up. So, now I’m doing it for a living."

The most daring thing I’ve ever done
"A couple of years ago, I was working at a clothing store in Syracuse, and these two really handsome guys came in looking for a vintage suit. They said they were making a movie, and I told them that I’d done costumes for theater before. The director said they were going to film a movie here in Syracuse in three months, and that they didn't have anyone to do wardrobe. So, I said ‘I’ll do it. Call me.’ I never thought he would, but he did. And, I ran the entire wardrobe department for a feature-length independent film: six weeks with a budget of $500, and it was set in the 1970s. I jumped headfirst into something I had never done before in my life."


Why speaking up is important
"I try to use the space I’m given in interviews to talk about global issues of injustice or sociocultural concerns and things that people don’t see represented in the media very often. I think a lot of people in bands are afraid to talk about things that are really important in the world. My whole life is like that moment from the Grammys years ago, when Bob Dylan was playing and that crazy naked guy ran across the stage with 'Soy Bomb' written on his stomach. I am the Soy Bomb guy all the time. That is my purpose in life, to run across the stage screaming until the cops take me away. I wake up and think, 'How can I soy-bomb today?'"

Why bold beauty goes beyond the surface

"To me, being daring with your physical appearance means doing what makes you feel confident and safe and good about yourself, even if society tells you not to. I think a lot about people who want to express themselves and can’t. You should be able to paint yourself purple and run naked in the street if that’s what you want to do. So, I try to be bold for the people who can't."

Leila Shams Scuba Sweatshirt Puff Print in Pink Lips; Tibi Red Taffeta Skirt, $475, available at Tibi; Dr. Martens Polka Dot Boots, $130, available at Dr. Martens; Hat, Meredith's own.
Makeup by Ashleigh Ciucci; Hair by Bethany Brill; Styled by Laura Pritchard

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