Captain Squeegee: "Music Is Just Gonna Be Free! I'm Okay with That!"

Captain Squeegee Masons
Captain Squeegee sounds like a character at Phoenix Comicon, which is convenient but not quite accurate. It's actually a band at Comicon, with a performance coming up Saturday night at Comikaze.

We talked Friday afternoon with lead squeegee Danny Torgersen -- just before his appearance on a panel at Comicon re: "Acting & Directing Sci-Fi/Fantasy" -- about the difference between geekdom and nerd-dom, the importance of passion, and how to make money as a musician when nobody wants to buy music. (One of their solutions: A crowd-funded album with a Masonic-apron tier.)

What makes Captain Squeegee and Comicon a good fit? Where's the connection?

You know, I think I was genetically born with the nerd gene, like most of my friends. I've always had kind of a, you know, a mythological love of Comicon and everything that it stands for. But it's funny, it was kind of just this last year that I really pursued a connection with Squeegee and Comicon.

And a lot of that has to do with the fact that our music has literally been described as "Sci-Fi," like "Fantasy Rock." Over and over again we get that there's kind of this futuristic, interesting complexity that comes from that whole world of media . . . you know, it's sort of just in the vein of being a little bit technologically a geek, and also just a geek for content.

You used both "geek" and "nerd" there, and I know there's a lot of controversy about what a geek is and what a nerd is. Do you differentiate or are you an equal opportunity geek and nerd?

Yes, all are welcome. I absolutely don't mind getting called any name that has something to do with being smart. I mean, I think everyone can agree that that's what the two words originated from -- but I absolutely consider myself both. Or even a mutant.

Like a hybrid geek-and-nerd.

A hybrid. I love that.

All right. So what do you think makes a geek a geek?

Hmm. Man, I didn't know you were gonna ask me about the secrets of the universe.

It's all about deep geek philosophy, here.

Well, I would say that I think being a geek really just means that you really care about some specific stuff. Like if someone is geeky about something, they're just really into it. And I think that that's a really meaningful trait of humanity.

Even geek and nerd are associated with the idea of just being passionate. And just because those things aren't guns and sex doesn't mean that they're not passions. I think that's kind of why it's been separated from the idea of being passionate, but if you go to Comicon and you talk to those people, everyone cares. They are so into it. And usually there's something very artistic about what they're into, whether it has to do with technology or with entertainment.

I think eventually if you care enough about something you kind of have to express yourself about it. Lord knows I wrote a lot of Harry Potter fanfiction growing up based on exactly that rationale.

I have only more respect for you now.

It gets even geekier from there.

Well, I've been called a music geek also. Like you don't have to just be geeky about things that are comic books and epic stories.

After the jump: "What I love about Comicon is just that it seems like everything is pretty freakin' epic."

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