FB: Welcome everyone back to the Fall Series 2008-2009 to the Berklee Oral History Project. Um today we have with was Dave Fiuczynski, guitarist extraordinaire, uh who's been um, had an interesting background in the Boston area doing the conservatory and Berklee for many years. And has been playing in all kinds of intriuging bands over the years, coming to the plate with some amazing guitar chops and instruments. Dave, welcome. DF: Fred, thank you for having me. FB: Nice to be here on Halloween day. Maybe we can raise a few spokes and get people thinking in new ways musically. DF: Sounds good to me. FB: Um, you told me that your parents met on a boat going from Europe to... DF: New York to Germany. My father just finished his graduate studies at Colombia, and my father's from Berlin - so he was returning. My mother is from Darlington, South Carolina, and she was going to Europe on a exchange program. So they met on a boat, and got acquainted, and spent some time in Berlin. And then I think after that summer she also traveled around. And then she returned, and I think they thought that was basically the end of it cause I believe it was 1959, and people still get squimish about inter-racial issues now, can you imagine 1959? So my father told me he wrote a letter and he went to the train station and he held on the letter and put it in the mail box, and held onto the letter for five minutes, and let it go. And my mother recieved the letter, and she and her mother, they had a really good laugh. And then she thought about it, and she realized that he was serious. In 1960 they got married. And they weren't even allowed to be married in her home state, South Carolina. They had to get married in her aunt's house in Queens, in New York. They didn't even tell his parents, they just got married and then he brought his love back home and it was a jaw dropping shock to them. FB: Wow, so they, the Germans, weren't any much readier for it than, less behind the times of the Americans. DF: Um, but uh, as soon as the grandchildren showed up everything changed. FB: Yeah, that's definetely an equalizer. Everybody comes around when the kids show up. DF: But, my mother did contact the NAACP to get advice on what to do. When my father bought the first house in Summerset, New Jersey, she didn't even show up until he, until it was signed - until he owned it. It was a white neighborhood and there she was and they were shocked. But people eventually accepted us. You know, just a normal family. Traditional family, you know my father worked, she stayed at home, and they had kids running around the yard. FB: So he made the move to the states for.... DF: After yes, when they got married. FB: Cool, that's a strong bone of confidence, when you can uproot the man and have him come to the wife's place. Beautiful. Um, so you were raised in New Jersey for a little while? DF: Until I was eight years old. My sister was ten and my brother just turned, he was two and a half. And then we moved to Germany. And for me, and I think for my family, that was really the best thing they could have done. I mean growing up in two different cultures, I can't imagine a richer experience. And I returned to the States to study music in Boston. FB: How was the Germany education system prepare you intellectually for your career? Or just for life in general? DF:Hard work. FB: Unknown to many Americans. DF: Well I have to tell you, first of all, the German high school system has three different tracks. Which has its advantages and disadvantages. There's the gymnasium, the old name from the Roman gymnasium - the highest high school form. That's the one that allows you to go to university. And you have to have that. And only about one third of Germans make it through it. Oushuler and Holeshuler end at the tenth and the ninth grade. The advantage is you have classes which are much more even. I mean brighter students go to the harder school, and students who are not as quick go to the other schools. Unfortunatly, what you create right away is a class system. Right in high school, that's unfortunate. On the other hand, you can be in high school here, where the teacher has to cater to the next rocket scientist and the next, you know I don't know, plumber let's say. I don't want to get down on plumbers, or Joe the plumber. Everyone does their job, and I guess does it the best they can. But you know as a teacher here, I have problems if I, when I first started teaching here I've got somebody who's really high level, and someone who can barely hang, and everyone in the middle. And you know what? In the end I have to kind of dumb it down, or kind of average it out, and I'm not really helping anybody. FB: I know what you mean. Yeah, I've been there myself. DF: Um, so that's what the German system has an advantage. Um, we had thirteen grades. There's some discussion if the thirteenth grade is really neccesary. FB: Is that like a prep school year? DF: You have your first semester in the thirteenth grade is really um, alot of , it's preparation for the final exams. And then you get about six weeks off to study. It's almost like college. And then you have these, you know, six hour tests for a week. But then there's about alot of down time. And people are saying if it's really neccesary. But when I returned to the states to go to college. There's one college that accepted me as a sophmore right away. FB: You had all those high level courses. DF: Yeah. Eventually I ended up at NEC, and I found out I could get all my liberal arts credits out of the way if I just showed them my high school certificate. FB: Um when you were a kid in Germany, where you the three B's: Bach, Braums, and Beethoven? Or Black Flag, Beetles, and some Berlin band? DF: It was mroe like Beethoven, Beetles, and Bootsie. Um, my father had a lot of classical music and some jazz. My mother listened to jazz and R&B, so I eventually listened to all of that. The interesting thing is my nickname is Fuse, because Fiuczynsky, Fuse-In-Ski, especially if your read it F-I-U-C-Z. People are like fiuiz, fiiiuczz, fuse! Okay fuse! I never called myself "The Fuse", it was a nickname that was given to me because it was easier. I only started using that when I saw other, you know rappers and so forth using it. And I started using it on other people's records so I had a legal precedent if I ever wanted to , I don't know. FB: Your publishing company is Fusealicious.... DF: Is the record company is Fusealicious.