Finally, for your reading enjoyment....THE GOOD CLEAN FUN INTERVIEW! Read it now!
K = Kip
I = Mr. Issa
K: Ok, first how about an introduction?
I: My name is Issa and I sing for the band Good Clean Fun.
K: Could you give a little information on how Good Clean Fun came to be?
I: Im actually the only original member. It all started about 3 years ago. I decided that its about time to update the sense of humor of hardcore. I thought that people were taking things a little too seriously. Things were very militant, the tough guy stuff. So I wanted to start a band that said some of the same things and cared about a lot of the same issues that other hardcore bands do but present it in a more humorous way. I was on vacation in Europe and I wrote some songs. These friends from Europe helped me demo them and I came back to America with some friends of mine and we started the band. It became more time involved type of thing. Our original bass player was a school teacher so he could not tour and play shows except for on a Saturday night, so he quit. My friend Mike from Phyte Records started playing bass. Our original drummer was in high school and he could not play shows so he quit too. Eventually we got a lineup that could actually tour all the time. That is basically the history of the band.
K: I have a question about the new live EP. The cover is in 3D!
I: But only if you put the glasses on.
I: It doesn’t work without the glasses.
K: (laughter) Anyways, what process do you have to go through to get a 3D album cover? Who do you have to talk to that can do that for you?
I: You know what, I have no idea. Mike’s friend Brian did it for us. That was one of the only times we have not done our own lay out which is kind of weird because we try to be the “ultimate” DIY band. We usually do everything ourselves. It was kind of weird to have it shopped out to someone else.
K: Its so cool because you just don’t see that very often.
I: You never see that I don’t think! I think we are the first band to have a 3D record.
K: Maybe you should get that checked out with Guiness Book…
I: I think KISS did it once.
K: But KISS has done everything.
K: I really think you should get that checked out and try to get yourselves in some crazy fact books.
I: Well, we are also the only band to ever do four different record covers!
K: Yes, that is hilarious!
I: Packaging is just this thing that has to be there and you can either have to most simple design in the world or you can really try to get creative and do something cool. We always try to be as creative as possible and I think it usually works.
K: Well if you look at the album covers from most hardcore bands it gets pretty stagnant. There are a few different clichés that are often used.
I: A live shot is a live shot. And I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. I am usually a fan of cliché record covers but we try to do something a little different.
K: Well GCF is all about cliché, too.
I: Right, we really work with the whole cliché thing. The hardcore version of our record cover is a total cliché.
K: (laughs) Yeah, its awesome! Now to another topic….How far do you think the lyrics of GCF should be looked into? I mean, do you think it might be hard for some kids who are deep into hardcore to tell the difference between whats a joke and what you are serious about?
I: I don’t think so. You would think that it would be pretty straight forward and I would think that you could read all the lyrics and know exactly what I mean but you would be amazed at what people of misunderstood. We play all over the world, we have toured almost everywhere and the funny thing is that people don’t seem to understand as well in other countries as they do in America. One example occurred somewhere in mainland Europe someone thought that, “Shopping For A Crew” ment that you were stealing something for a gang. They did not quite understand that one! They did not get the whole grocery store reference, it just did not make sense to them. So, we had to explain that one. There are a ton of Americans also that have trouble understanding what is serious and what is not serious. It is hard to say, but I think for the most part you should be able to read it and see how I really feel about these things.
K: I have never had a problem with the lyrics, they seem fairly obvious to me
I: Well that’s good! We had a gay rights song that some people took as anti-gay, which was really strange. I can’t understand how they missed that one.
K: (sarcastic) Well, there are some people out there that really like candy a lot.
I: I mean sure!
K: I love candy and the first time I read “Sweet Tooth” I was like, “WHAT”?!?!
K: Well here is a common question but people love to hear it so I have to ask who you first started listening to and what influences the band.
I: Pretty much 7Seconds I would have to say. 7Seconds and Minor Threat were probably the two most influential bands….
K: (points to 7Seconds shirt)
I: Yeah I saw the shirt (laughs).. But, if I had to break down all the bands that we steal stuff from I would say 7Seconds, Minor Threat, Phil Oaks who is this folk singer, Public Enemy and Youth Of Today. Those 5 bands are basically the influence. There are others, but I would have to say 7Seconds and Minor Threat as the most important. We even do a song where I mention Ian and Kevin.
K: What has influenced GCF that is not music related? I mean, when you go through your song writing process what makes you want to write?
I: I have found that I write the most lyrics while I am traveling. I write a lot of stuff on planes. For some reason I get inspired to write on planes, I don’t know why I am sure that sounds very strange. It might be because we(GCF) have been somewhere experiencing a lot if things and on the plane I can sit back and really think about it and reflect on it and write some stuff. With song writing it is hard to explain. I will see something that I think is funny and then try to write a song about it.
K: As a song writing stand point, have you ever wrote anything that was more introspective that we have not seen with Good Clean Fun?
I: Yeah. I have been in a lot of different bands playing a lot of different kinds of music and I have written a lot of different kinds of songs. I am actually doing a different band right now that is called The Good Clean Funs.
I: It is totally serious! A totally serious band! Its kind of a more punk rock sound and the songs are more serious so it has actually worked out really well. It has worked out really well because I have been writing for a few different bands at once now and if I have an idea that is funny, I will save it for Good Clean Fun and if I have an idea that is a little different I will save it for another project. It is all very simple, I don’t have a process I just kind of see what happens.
K: (sarcasm) Where did you come up with the name for The Good Clean Funs?
I: I don’t know! It just kind of popped into my head, we were actually to get on Dischord, that was our goal and I wrote Ian an email before I ever met him with top 10 things that would get us on Dischord and one of them was to change our name to The Good Clean Funs and become an indie rock emoey type band. Then it just became its own project. We are not on Dischord, however.
K: I only have a few more questions and they are about Christmas.
K: What do you usually do for Christmas?
I: Nothing really. My family will usually just eat dinner together because there is nothing else to do and everything is closed. We are not a religious family. I hate Christmas, it is one of the most annoying holidays ever so I usually just go see a movie like most Jewish people.
K: So you don’t have a tree?
K: Oh wait, you said you were Jewish! Im sorry! I really wanted to ask if you had a fake tree or a real tree.
I: I see. We neither have a real tree or a fake tree.
K: No candles either?
I: No, no candles, we are not religious at all.
K: Yeah, but you need something to gather around! (laughs)
I: Well, everyday is a holiday for my family. Always a good time.
K: Now what about New Years?
I: I love New Years! New Years is my favorite holiday because it is the only real legitimate holiday we have because, for instance, you have George Washington’s birthday. So you celebrate some dudes birthday. Maybe he was not even that cool of a dude? But with New Years you are celebrating everything that was good about the past year and everything that is going to be good in the next year.
K: And that applies to everyone.
I: And that applies to everyone, yes! Universal. Its one of those things especially for people with positive attitudes, New Years is just the best holiday. I like New Years a lot. We are actually off from the 24th until January 2nd.
K: That is quite a break for you guys.
I: Oh yeah! Well, we just took two months off which is a really long time for us.
K: Did you kind of forget what touring was like?
I: No (laughs). We played over 250 shows this year which is a lot. You think 365 days a year, 250 is a lot.
K: Do you plan on beating that next year?
I: No way! Well, maybe but probably not. It is not really beatable. I can’t imagine another band doing more shows then that. One might say, “that is 100 days you did not play shows” but it does not work like that because there are travel days, and crossing international datelines, so it is really a lot. That is 9 months straight playing shows and that is just so many. I don’t think we could have physically played more.
K: It seems impossible. It would seem impossible to bear the trips in this big van. Being around the same people for that long in a small space is kind of like Survivor.
K: It is worse than Survivor!
I: I missed the whole Survivor phenomenon because we were out of the country, luckily. But yes, it is a lot like Survivor except everyone is working together and no one is competing.
K: That’s true actually. My last question is if you have any New Year’s Resolutions you would like to share.
I: I do not, I will come up with some. It might be kind of personal. I do not usually make them, but I do make goals. I think it is important to have short term and long term goals otherwise you tend to flounder.