FB: Did you play in any bands as a kid over there, or was that too soon? DF: Well I actually played in a fusion band. But that's what I'm kind of getting to. I guess "The Fuse", is kind of pre-ordained. I eventually started studying in the third steam department at the conservatory. Third strem was something that was coined by Gunther Schueler, mixing classical and jazz, and eventually also world music elements and I kind of started doing that without even thinking. I noticed right away I had different listening habbits. I would be records from different sections that I liked. And then I would wonder well if we took this melody from this groove music, and this harmony from this jazz thing, and this rhythm over here, what would happen? I mean, I immediately started thinking like that, without ever thinking about fuse or fusion or fusing, or third stream or mixing. When I was 19 I did an arrangment, something I would like to do here at Berklee eventually, um of the first-part of the first movement of Beethoven. I mean it was the third. It's one of the movements of Beethoven's first symphony for like an opera singer and a jazz band. And I was also sitting there and thinking why am I doing this? But I was just thinking, this is what I like, I'm doing this because I don't hear anyone else doing it and this is what I want to do. FB: So right on, early on, you were thinking of, you were just doing your thing but it came out unique, it came out different because you didn't want to hear the same old stuff. DF: I was born in New Jersey, and grew up in Germany. And was forced, and lived in a you know, household of U.S. Americans. I don't love that term American. You know, you go to Canada or Mexico or other American. FB: We're all American. DF: Yeah, we've kind of co-opted that term. But for lack of a better term....Growing up in an American household, but after 6 months in Germany the household spoke German because we just switched to thinking in German. So this mixing started from the get go. FB: Did you gravitate to plucked instruments immediately or did you mess around with horns and drums? DF: No, you know, you're nine years old and have piano lessons, and I just really wasn't feeling it. And when I was thirteen my mother said you should play an instrument. So I made I deal. I said I'll pick the instrument and I'll pick the teacher. And so I decided on guitar, because everyone was playing guitar. And a guy in my class had an older brother who was like THE guitar player in town. And he said, "Oh I see you have problems with you guitar. Why don't you come over to my place and my brother can help you out?" And there wasn't any mention of guitar lessons or anything. So he looked at my guitar and he pulled the nut off and he trimmed it down a little bit and he put it back on. And he picked it up and it played much better, then he started playing these bee bop lines and I was hooked. I mean that was it. So I started taking lessons, and I can tell you there's nothing like a good teacher. My teacher was Markus Winstreurer in the Dusseldorf area in Germany. Really good player, as far as I know, he's one of only two guitar players in Germany who made his income exclusively from studio work. It's very difficult to do. He also played violin and he could play alot of different styles. But I just remember I would leave every lesson with bee bop lines. My head was filled with music. FB: So what was it Grant Green, Kenny Burel, John, Pat Martino? DF: It was just kind of a mix of all different kinds of things and just little, you know, like easy something like Lonnie's Lament, and you know play over one chord and solo. I was a terrible reader, and he gave me these examples of how to play over two-five-one. And I was also lazy - I didn't want to learn them. So eventually he said, "You know, you're a really really good student. I give you these things to learn, and because you know, other players don't know what to do over these two-five-ones, but you don't want to learn them. You just make other things up." I guess there we go. FB: He liked the idea that you were making things up. DF: He did. FB: He encouraged you're improvisation. DF: Well he said of instead of learning something to then make something up, I just leap frogged that and went into...I thought I was kind of, you know, fudging and fooling and cheating, but we wasn't fooled. He said, "Well I always wanted you to just improvise and make things up, and you're already doing that on your own so that's great." FB: Very cool. I mean think of how many other teachers would have made you follow whatever. So this was um, the bee bop came on top of your Boostie stuff? DF: Well, I should say I got into P-Funk and Boostie when I was returned to the States. In Germany, it was first kind of rock stuff.