Miles smiles

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Some have seen Miles Curtiss perform as Marvin the Robot. Some have come to him for computer help at Free Geek Columbus, a grassroots co-op on Campus. Others just know his loud, infectious laugh. Now the giddy, kindhearted wild man speaks out.

Name: Miles Curtiss

Age: 29

Job: Free Geek Columbus

Neighborhood: Campus

Hometown: Columbus

Alma mater: Grand Valley State University


When I was 12, I just started writing songs because I was bored. I used to walk a lot, so that gave me opportunity to hum things and make up s---.

I finally bought a guitar off my aunt for $15, but it took me a year before I realized there were specific kinds of strings you had to get for guitars. I used to use those weed-whacker things - the little plastic strand thing that's in a spindle - because they fit.

I work at Free Geek through Volunteers in Service to America, or VISTA. It's basically a grant that's given to non-profits so they can have a person like me come in and take on full-time hours when they can't normally afford to hire one.

Most of the people who come in are families that need a computer - having a kid or trying to get a job or trying to take advantage of the fact that things are cheaper on the internet usually.

This job has gotten me into lots of different slow-tech things like making fires for the winter. Cat-training has been hot on my list. I'm totally turning into an old dude.

As far as traveling, I try to hit both of the coasts every year. But if you're gonna pay rent somewhere, Columbus is a pretty smart place, because it's cheap. All you need are five anarchists, and you can live for 100 bucks a month.

The first thing you need to know when living with anarchists is get your own refrigerator. It's not really because of the Dumpster diving. You really don't want to share a refrigerator with people who don't clean up after themselves. Plus, they're anarchists. They're just gonna eat all your food and be like, "What? Anarchy."

The comic book figure I most identify with is Deadpool or Cable. Cable is the son of Cyclops, who was infected with the techno-virus as a child and sent into the future as its only hope.

The appeal of playing house shows is that they bring in a lot of kids that just can't afford to go to shows. I know I can afford to go to fewer shows every year, so I can totally relate with people who just want to go to a rock show but don't have an outlet.

My favorite thing about Columbus is all the layers of crazy stories that I associate with physical spaces. Even working in this building. Right out front is where the Anti-Racist Action fests used to be, and those were really massive to me when I was younger.

Captain Learn-a-Lot is my educational metal band, and it's basically a cross between Mr. Rogers and Spawn. There's songs about how literacy will get you into a room with large-breasted women better than anything else can.

My laugh is scandalous. In high school, I had girlfriends who couldn't stand it. It switches around. I don't know what's going on with it. I actually bought the domain name because I got to be a joke around Cafe Bourbon Street.