Today, more and more rockers are singing about their faith without labeling themselves, their band, or their music, Christian. Steve Mahoney, singer in the St. Louis-based Pinkeye D'Gekko, is one such example. Raised a Catholic, Steve became born again about three years ago, right about the same time P'DG formed. The band's latest album, "Dry Clothes for the Drowning," which Mahoney also produced, was just released and singles "Riverboat Queen" and "Girls of Arkansas" are getting major airplay in the south and Midwest. Steve talks to Beliefnet about being a born again singer and his love of God-and women.

Your music is very inspirational and you mention God a lot, but you've said P'DG is not a Christian rock band. Why?
Both albums have several songs with Christian themes. The first album actually has a version of the Lord's Prayer on it.

I've met [New York Giants quarterback] Kurt Warner a few times. He's a born again Christian. He plays in the NFL, he doesn't play in the Christian Football League. It's possible to do your job and be a Christian, no matter what it is you do. Your music doesn't necessarily have to be singing about the Bible. If you're a born-again Christian your whole life reflects what that is. I am in the middle of a big, major house renovation right now but I'm not painting it Christian colors. Like with the football reference or any of that, it's very possible that everything is not someway related to the Bible, but that you're living to the best of your ability a Christian life.

It seems you write songs mainly about two subjects--God and women. Why those two?

Well, God is everything to me. And I just love women. I'm sometimes just awed by the character of women, and so it comes into my mind. "Girls of Arkansas" is such a true story about the wonderful women we met, particularly in that state and the southern hospitality that we've been treated to.

Do you consider yourself a good Christian?
I am a sinner like everybody else. But I have a path so that if I stray from it, I know where I'm trying to get back to.

Is it difficult to be on tour, with women approaching you, etcetera?
Not any more so than if I was a Christian salesman, or a school teacher or doctor or lawyer. People have preconceived notions of what they think--we don't see things as they are, we see things as we are. Any of the women who are approaching me, or any of the other fellas, after the shows, they have their own conception of who we are. They don't know us.

You've got 10 single guys on the road. I don't smoke, do drugs or drink, so my resistance isn't lowered any. I really consider what the consequences of certain actions might be. I hope that I could always stay true to my Christian values, not just that that would honor God, but it would keep me out of a lot of trouble.

Do your band members share your beliefs?
[We're all] Christian and spiritual. We pray together before our shows and for our road trips, particularly for safety and harmony on the trips.

Your song "Have You Seen the Genie" seems to have a lot of spiritual overtones.
Well "Genie" is definitely about that whole New Age salad bar spirituality-the "pick and choose a little Eastern and a little Western" kind of thing. It doesn't serve people well. "Tell me Genie, tell me magic Genie, magic crystals, what is this all about?" You know, anything to avoid looking at God-looking at Jesus. And anything that sugar coats and says, I can pick and choose what these things are.

Which other songs have Christian themes?
I will let you in on one here that nobody has picked up on, and I don't know what kind of controversy it's going to cause me down the line, but "The Velvet Fizz" is about the rights that this country's founded on--rights to life.

So it's about abortion?
Well I'll just lay that out to you and you can read the lyrics and see what that means to you now from that perspective.

Your music has been described many different ways. How do you describe it?
We've been on the Southern Invasion Tour, and it's mainly a combination of Southern Rock and British Invasion. It's a good combination that allows for harmonies and inventive melodies with really good, basic, three or four chord loud rock n' roll.

Who influenced you musically?
Well I think the bands and the artists that are more important to me as the writer and front person are the Beatles and Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and the Monkees.

Aside from musical influences, who or what inspires you?
My belief in God. The spiritual books I read--I read a lot by Charles Stanley--and just a lot of relationships that I've been in. Male-female relationships as well as just relating to people in general. Some of the subject matter comes from that.

Can you tell me about your song "Call Me Adolf"? It obviously has a controversial title.
It's about opportunism in wartime. It could be anything from "It's good to be in the tank making business", to "Hey soldier, do you want a Coca Cola?" It's war and we're doing what we have to do and we're just doing it because that's what everybody is doing. It's "I don't like war but I'm just supplying the wood for the handles of the guns--just trying to feed my family."

Is that a response to what's going on now in the world?
It's been going on forever. There's a way to profit off of it. And somebody might be at the spectrum of really wanting to profit off of it in a major way and somebody might be the little Vietnamese girl who's selling the Coca Cola to the soldier.

Who are you going to vote for?
I'm voting for George Bush. I think we're in a time period where the judiciary branch seems to have an unprecedented amount of power in this country to change lives. I think that's where George Bush's reelection is going to play the strongest role--who we're electing to the Supreme Court for life.

Do you have any advice for these younger bands that are out there, getting themselves into trouble?
Well they've got to limit themselves. There are causes and effects and consequences to their own actions and you could get to the point where what you're doing might make you very well known, but so is John Hinckley, the guy who tried to assassinate Reagan. How famous do you need to be? Do you need to ruin your life and other people's lives to do it?

more from beliefnet and our partners
Close Ad