Issue 133, INTERVIEW with Dave Fuglewicz

Dave & I go way back in the “hometaper underground”…. all the way to the late 1980’s; after meeting each other through that esteemed network of creative folks, we produced a CD together…. this INTERVIEW is a reprint of one I did a few years back, but Dave’s still totally INVOLVED & taping, so contact him through his Audio Explorations site & be sure to tell him you read about him here!

Zzaj:  Tell us, how do ya’ “do thee improv” down there in Georgia?  Folks’ve been SHOT for less’n that down there, haven’t they?

Dave: Usually with one eye looking over my shoulder, well no not really.  Atlanta has it’s own share of freakiness, dating “way” back to the distant past of the 60’s. I’m really not up on what’s going on, I don’t go out much. Between work, family, music and
other interests I just don’t have the time. As to how I do it, well, I’ve tried different ideas to stimulate my creativity. But now I mostly play around until something inspires me.

Zzaj:  What are your key instruments?

Dave: My KEY instrument would have to be my trusty ol’ Arp 2600. I’ve had it for about twenty years now and still love playing it and playing with it. I’d roughly estimate that about three quarters of all the tracks I’ve laid down utilize it.  I also own a Arp Odyssey, an ARP Sequencer, a cheap Casio that I heavily modified so it could be triggered by the sequencer, a Roland TR-707 rhythm machine, some effects like echo, a hand full of home built analog synth modules and my computer. I still mostly use a old Vesta Fire 4 Track cassette deck for recording but will be moving to recording on my computer. I upgraded it this past winter and it has the power to do that now.

Zzaj:  Give us a few words (or a few thousand, if you’d like) on your projects over the last 15 years… who have you collaborated with, what’s your website, etc?

Dave:   Well, let me see if I can push the fog away and step in to the Way Back Machine. I released my first tapes around 1990, though I’d been recording for about six years before that. There was a lot of experimentation in those days and my sound was a lot rougher and primitive. However, as in a lot of things, the energy of that period was unique and I think compensated for my lack of ability. I believe many of my compositions have stood the test of time and still sound good to me.  A good example would be Now One I Stand Electric or The Rosewith Inn from Industrial Strength #2 (1990), but some don’t sound all that good now, interesting, but not good enough for release. Around 1995 and 1996 I reached a new level in my abilities to convey what’s in my head and the albums A Gentle Sounding Of Chaotic Extensions and Orange Mist Sunrise/Sunset. The Orange Mist set in particular I still consider the best overall album I’ve done, everything clicked on it. It was a hell of a lot of fun to do.  I’m still “extending” the creative level that started about then. There’s really not a lot to talk about with regards to my solo work over the years, just me sitting down and working the keyboards or whatever and the tape deck.

The bulk of my work has been solo, however, I have had the pleasure of working with a handful of artists in a “by mail” collaboration.  In no particular order here they are:

Of course, there was  “Journey To Reality”, which I did with you. I had a lot of fun laying the basic tracks down for that. What really got me excited was what you did with those basic tracks, turned them into gold you did!

There was a nice tape I did with Vraxoin called “Collaboration”, it’s an excellent blend of Vraxoin’s digital synths and my analog synths, I really liked the way it turned out.

I’ve also done a couple of tracks with K.D. Schmitz for his release “The Purple Dot Experience” and his daughter Kayla’s “Half A Quarter To Dark”. I’ve contributed “source” material for several of his tapes. I love working with K.D., the guy is
just so intelligent and versatile and am very excited when I receive an invitation from him to do something.

There was also a track I did for Chris Phinney “Mile After Mile” release, which was a computer remix of some of his samples, that was a lot of fun.

The most involved projects have to be the ones I’ve done with Pete Painful (a.k.a Pete Comley), “The Sentient Insect Variations” and “Lost City Music Volume 1”. We’d
work for years on each tape and I think that they show it, they’re beautiful. Hopefully, “Lost City Music Volume Two” will be completed this year, but I’m not sure. Pete is moving in a different musical direction these days, focusing more on live performances and may not have the time to finish Volume Two.  I hope he does, but am happy that he’s having lots of fun doing what he’s doing now.

Then there was my work with my local friends Marty Ashmore, Chuck Dimling and Eugene McBrayer, otherwise known as Ambient Meat. The first release was “Sonic Debris” and the second being “Disturbation”.  I was the recording engineer while they jammed and then added my own humble synth work.

My web page is though it will probably change some time this year, I want to get a DSL connection and Earthlink (Mindspring) doesn’t offer it in my area.  The web site is for my “label” “Unnatural Reality Audio” which I started late last year. I came up with U.R.A. as kind of a private joke regarding someone’s comments about my interests being “Unnatural”.  I’m not sure if it’s standing the “test o’ time” and may trash that concept and rewrite it. I stay away from the bells and whistles of “Flash”, etc. sticking to basic HTML. I’ve optimized it for fast loading time  While still being graphically pleasing since well over half of the U.S. internet users still use a dial up connection.

Zzaj:  Who are you most influenced by, musically?

Dave: My biggest direct influences would have to be Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze’s work of the 70’s and early 80’s. Jimi Hendrix is another huge direct influence but more in attitude than in musical composition.   Yes, those guys made a very big
impression on me!

Zzaj:  Like most of us, I ‘magine you have a “day job”… does it get in the way of your music?

Dave: Yeah I do computer desktop support for a electronics manufacturing company. Besides the obvious of taking  up time that could be spent on music, it’s the mental energy that it uses, sometimes I just get home from the job and want to veg out with the tube or a computer game, but we got to eat until that big recording contract comes along (grins).

Zzaj:  If you had the chance, who would you most like to play with live?

Dave: Mostly all my independent music contacts: you, Hal McGee, Brian Noring, K.D. Schmitz, Ken Miller, John Sosnowski (where are you?), Keith Nicolay, Chris Phinney, Zan Hoffman, Pete Painful, Crystal Awareness and Little Fyodor.

Zzaj:  Did you take formal training in music?

Dave: None what so ever. I started off with absolutely no talent, just a desire inside to be creative with sounds. I think I’ve improved and that makes me happy and keeps me going.

Zzaj:  Has airplay been an important part of your D.I.Y. work(s) thus far? If so, tell us why… if NOT, tell us why.

Dave: Not really, when I first started out I really researched independent and college radio stations and sent out hundreds of tapes with all most no response. For example, Don Campau always plays my releases and I have yet to hear from somebody that said they heard my work on the radio and want to hear more. So I kind of gave up on that route. I like to mention that I’ve got far more response from ‘zine review, especially yours, thanks for doing that Zzaj and all you other ‘zine publishers! However, I don’t want to sound like I’m bitching about it. I was sending tapes when people wanted CD’s. Also, I really have
been very, very lax about promoting my work, so it’s my own fault.   However, that initial burst of sending out tapes did put me in contact with Pete Comley (Pete Painful) so it was worth it.

Zzaj:  Your “words of wisdom” for “aspiring musicians”?

Dave: You got to believe in yourself and your vision. Especially, if
you’re taking a musical direction that is “experimental”. Put your heart into it and that’s where you’ll get your satisfaction. Keep on persevering through the “dry” spells if you have them (like I do) music’s a life time journey.

Zzaj:  What other areas of the arts do you delve in to?

Dave: Well, I mess around with a few things, but I see them as
more on a craft level than art. I like to mess around with computer graphics or build an occasional “model” out of electronic scrap parts. On the technical side I mess around with old computers, computer operating systems and pick up a soldering iron and build some electronic gizmo.

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