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"I associated so much of it with gangsta rap, therefore I wasn't into that," explains Kelly. "Most of what I heard was degrading women or was very violent."
"There's so much negativity out there with rappers," adds Mikeo. "They all rap about 'hos and drugs and all kinds of negative shit, or they pick on gay people. Our lyrics are very positive and uplifting."
"But a lot of what we say is silly!" Kelly continues. "We're all smarmy in one song, and then on the next we're just being goofs!"
The album's title track illustrates the truth of that statement clearly enough with "My car is a honey-bun./My car has three machine guns./My car is an alligator./My car is a space invader./My car looks a lot like Darth Vader./My car has a gold tooth./My car is asshole proof." When Slag and Kelly take a more serious tack, it may be to bait the uninitiated or unimpressed, as in this salvo from "The Girl You Wanna Fuck": "If you can't say something nice then don't say a word./Sissy soft suckers talking shit it's absurd./Your vision is blurred your ego injured haven't you heard./I never cared if we ever made a buck./Don't care if suckers say we suck./Guess you're shit out of luck./ We're the favorite band of the girl you want to fuck."
The band's name is a steady source of confusion and chuckles. Original guitarist Jack Cook came up with the name, "but he was trying to say Pink Shovel," Slag recalls. "But with his Georgia accent, it sounded like Pank."
"People think they should know what it means," says Mikeo, "but it's nothing. When you search for pank on the Internet, all these pornographic spanking sites come up."
Not that a bit of over-the-knee fun on a computer screen would likely offend the Pank Shovel crew, who don't generally bristle about sexual politics despite being a mostly female group in a boy's-club world. "The women in this band are not passive little novelty parts of the show," Slag insists. "But we don't have a political agenda.... I say what I believe. I'm more preoccupied with writing songs than fighting wars."
And feminism isn't the term the women would choose, either. "I'm a humanist," explains Kelly. "I have my own beliefs, but I'm not concerned with pushing them on people. I just want to play."
"It's never going to work empowering one group, anyway," finishes Slag. "We're saying everybody deserves to be treated fairly."