|How did you guys come up with the Steam Powered Giraffe name and how did you get your start?
David and Bunny Bennett came up with the name before they even had their robot group or knew the name would be used for it. The name “Steam Powered Giraffe” was just a silly name for a few recordings that the Bennett brothers did. Bunny was partial to steampunk, and David sort of liked giraffes.
After taking a mime class at Grossmont Community College with Jerry Hager, they met Jon Sprague and Erin Burke and proceeded to dabble in robot pantomime busking on the streets of Balboa Park. They then added musician Michael Reed and sound engineer Steve Negrete into the fold. Sam Luke started out as the band drummer, but today he portrays one of the robots! The result is what you see today!
How did you guys name each robot?
The Spine and Rabbit were the Bennett brothers' online aliases for many years, while the name Hatchworth was constructed more recently to tie in with the character's supposed chest-door and old-timey appearance.
What brand of makeup do you use, who is the robot makeup artist, and how long does it take to put on?
Each robot performer actually does their own makeup!
We use a combination of Mehron metallic powder and an alcohol based mixing solution, Snazaroo's various water based makeups, liquid eyeliner, and Ben Nye creams.
Makeup application time varies between artists. Typically Hatchworth and The Spine's makeup takes 60 minutes, and Rabbit's makeup takes an hour and a half.
Where did you get your costumes?
The Steam Powered Giraffe costumes are custom made by our costume designer HannaH Lawton.
Who does all the Steam Powered Giraffe art?
Bunny Bennett does the majority of the art you see on the website, including the graphical elements, the comic, many of the illustrations, and the overall art direction of the band.
Jonathan Sprague and Sam Luke have also contributed their own artwork to the collectible art booklets that come with our CDs!
You can see Bunny's artwork by visiting his gallery here.
What are your musical influences?
Collectively, the members of Steam Powered Giraffe enjoy a wide variety of music. Here are just a few names that we have been influenced by: The Band, ELO, The Beatles, Queen, David Bowie, Michael Jackson, The Mills Brothers, The Bee Gees, Amanda Palmer, Danny Elfman, Frank Sinatra, Radiohead, Muse...
And the list goes on!
Where is SPG located, and where do you usually perform?
The robots live in San Diego, California and perform all over America! Typically you can find us on the west coast entertaining at various conventions and events, but as our group expands- we may be in your area soon!
When will you perform in [Insert City, State, and or Country]?
We're making it our goal to travel planet Earth as much as possible in our career. For the latest shows, you can consult our calendar here. Typically we only post upcoming events for the next couple of months, but if you don't see your location- know that we'd be more than happy to make it out there with enough interest and a booking from your local venue! Our Contact page has all the information that you can pass on to anyone interested in hiring us for a show in your area.
Do you still busk acoustically in Balboa Park?
While we had our start busking in the park as street entertainers, we only get a chance to come back to our roots bi-annually for special fan days that you can attend through The Cavalcadium, our official fan site. Dates and times vary, but hook up with the community and you'll know well in advance when they happen!
What happened to the robot Upgrade (Erin Burke)?
You can learn more about the actress Erin Burke, here.
Erin Burke was one of the founding members of Steam Powered Giraffe and played the female robot, Upgrade. She left the band in January 2011 due to artistic differences and wanting to pursue a career in acting.
What happened to the robot The Jon (Jon Sprague)?
You can learn more about the actor Jon Sprague, here.
Jon Sprague was one of the founding members of the band, but was let go in September 2012 due to conflicts.
Who sings what songs?
Typically the main writer of a song sings the melody, but sometimes that's not always the case or we have multiple people singing parts of the melody. A good way to learn the robot voices and their names is to listen to "One Way Ticket" and consult the lyrical information on our website or the art books that come with our CDs.
Our backing musician Michael Reed sings "Steam Man Band" and "Prelude to a Dream / Make Believe."