Local Wire

Captain Squeegee's New Music Video Is an Extraterrestrial Romeo and Juliet

For days now, Captain Squeegee has been promising concrete evidence of extraterrestrial life. Here it is, a direct communication from interplanetary beings in the form of a music video. It turns out it may be the members of Captain Squeegee who are, indeed, the aliens. You might be thinking, "Another new video from Captain Squeegee?" Well, it turns out that this merry band of madman and mysterians have put out some of the most compelling videos, to match their equally visionary music. Not to be undone by previous efforts, the band ups the game a bit, and the video for "S33K" plays more like an engaging short film, immersing you in a story, unlike a standard video.

"S33K" is the fifth video drawn from Captain Squeegee's landmark 2013 album, To the Bardos!, released on local label 80/20 Records, and it's almost certainly not the last. It also is the band's third collaboration with Matty Steinkamp of Sundawg Media. We sat down with lead sorcerer Danny Torgersen to talk about the video after Saturday night's mysterious "missile launch/alien sighting" in Arizona. After an hour of discussing extraterrestrials, metaphysics, mystical arts, and secret societies, we finally got down to business. We both agreed that, in Torgersen's words, "there was a giant fucking sky-sighting [Saturday] night!"

It wasn't out of line to consider the inspiration behind the newest video. "It's a combination of elements, specifically because on To the Bardos! I tried to hit on every major esoteric subject on every front," Torgersen said. "I feel like we hit the propaganda, Illuminati stuff pretty well on our first videos. [So] I wanted to hit the extraterrestrial element. At the same exact time I was thinking about making an off-world alien video, Matty was, like, 'I think we need to make an alien/human love story. I was sold."

Torgersen has a great collaborative relationship with Steinkamp, as evidenced in their previous videos. "I like how Matty set it in the not-so-distant future," Torgersen says. "Because I would like to see a not-so-distant future where we are interacting with extraterrestrials in a meaningful way. Because I think they are interacting with us right now, but that the message and relationship is not that clear."

"When I heard this song for the first time, I instantly began writing a concept for the music video," Steinkamp says. "I felt that the dreamy beginning of the song demanded a cinematic story with a futuristic time period. With many different influences, from Star Wars to Star Trek. I came up with an alien-human love story placed on Earth with the idea that the human would help the alien escape so she can go back home to her planet of Bardonia."

The name of her planet was one of many aspects during the making of the video that referred back to the album, almost unintentionally.

"There were some connections to the album that started to unfold," Torgersen says. "When we were painting [actress Shela Yu] blue, I thought, 'This is the girl from our album cover! We also coined that her planet was Bardonia pretty quickly."

"S33K" is the first Captain Squeegee video that doesn't feature the band onscreen. You've seen the group performing live in "Shift Happens," as claymation characters in "Inevitable," as mad circus performers and more in "The Factory," and most recently as cartoons in "Farce 500-Million." "S33K" stars Yu and Samuel Pena, but the band members are nowhere to be found.

"I think we wanted to make a new world for people," Torgersen says, grinning. "The band still ties you to this reality. It was cool, too, since at the end, it all makes sense. We have remade Romeo and Juliet, but Juliet is an alien."

Indeed, its themes — including persecution, death, and, of course, love — are not far off from the Shakespearean classic.

"Love is not a logical thing," Torgersen says. "It is not a reasonable, rational thing. It's why Kirk will never be like Spock."

The video also perfectly achieves the aims of its creators. "The biggest thing I want people to take from the video is that love is not exclusive to this planet," Torgersen says, smiling. "But that humans may not be ready to be off of it, which may be the reason that we're not in direct communication — yet."

Steinkamp had his own goals. "I really wanted to make a music video as close to a short film as possible with real-life-looking makeup and effects," he says.

That's exactly what he and Captain Squeegee have done, but you don't have to take his word for it or mine. Just sit back, relax, and check out the glorious new video for "S33K." 

Captain Squeegee is scheduled to perform Saturday, November 14, at Crescent Ballroom. Also on the bill are Luna Aura, Gabe Kubanda, and The Maya Spectra.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Mitchell Hillman