Published on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 by The Norseman Staff
They’re crazy, they’re talented and best of all, they run on steam! They are Steam Powered Giraffe – The singing musical automatons!
The concept and fictional backstory of Steam Powered Giraffe was created by Christopher “Bunny” Bennett and his brother David, along with their friend, Jon Sprague when the members met in a college theatre arts class. The three tested a few of their acting skills in Balboa park, located in their hometown of San Diego, California and the “Peoplebots” (As they were first known as) took off.
They certainly have a weird look, but past the metallic paint and black and red outfits, are the most amazing of songs I have ever heard. To this day, I’m happy my friend, Abel and I clicked onto their video. We were squealing and jumping like fangirls do as we watched each video.
We couldn’t figure out why they were dressed like they were or why they were moving so robotically, so we typed their name in the Google search and quickly learned their fictional backstory.
Built in 1896 by Peter Walter, the three robots, Rabbit, The Spine and The Jon were originally created to serenade Walter’s love interest, but his colleague, Thadeus Becile, also wanted her. A terrible turn of events had the three automatons reprogrammed to fight alongside a steam powered giraffe to ward off copper African elephants built by Becile. After they were defeated, they changed their band name to Steam Powered Giraffe and were programmed back to singing catchy tunes in San Diego, California in Balboa park. At least, that’s the incredible story Chris wrote.
Their act consists of steampunk subculture, robot pantomime, original musical performances and just a dash of random. The skits the “robots” perform are amazing, but since the story tells that they were built several years ago, they experience the occasional malfunction, making them shut down while performing. Other times, they’ll argue over who should be introduced first or whether they should tell a story or sing a song. The one thing anyone should know about Steam Powered Giraffe is that they are unpredictable. You’ll never know what they’re going to do or say next, and that’s just the act. Their characters fall nothing short of hilarious.
Rabbit (The Clockwork Man), played by Christopher, was the first of the three robots built by Walter. His creation got its name when Walter pointed at a caged animal in his lab. “Raa-bit,” was all it said throughout the night. He’s the most malfunctioning of his friends due to his lack of upgrades, meaning he still possesses most of his original Victorian parts, making him really clumsy, which adds to his character. His instruments include the melodic, accordion, and some of the band’s vocals. People love Rabbit from his Brass Goggles to his Red gloves and all the way to his short top hat.
The Spine (The Titanium Alloy Spinal Column), played by David Bennett, was built with a Titanium spine, thus the name. Unfortunately, that’s they only interesting thing about him. He’s the calmer of the trio, though, he can be just as silly as the other two. He keeps everyone in check. Out of the three, he was built to resemble a human the most so he could fight in war. He was the number one “guy” without endangering human life. His instruments include the acoustic guitar, bass, keys, and mandolin. He’s also the best of the three in the vocal department. Being a bass, his deep voice soothes bad feelings and can go from a low octave to a high one in a matter of seconds. With his fedora and serious, mysterious face, ladies can’t help but fall for his charm.
Last, but certainly not least is, “The one and only, one of many,” The Jon (The Fizz Pop-Fueled Eat-A-Matron), played by Jon Sprague. Unlike his fellow automatons, he runs on Crystal Pepsi due to a promotional deal with Pepsi, and his system refuses to run on anything else. Since the soda is discontinued, the gang must keep a case around with them. The Jon got his name after hearing a man say he needed to use, “the john” at one of their concerts. His instruments include guitar, bass, mandolin, piano, cello, kalimba, and mouth harp. He is the most unpredictable of the robots. One minute, he’ll be standing, the next, he’s doing a cartwheel! Nothing he does is thought out or planned. He’s a robot full of nonsense and lovableness!
The group is taking off in their journey of becoming famous. They’re an amazing talent that is trying to reach the masses. These three have taken music and pushed it to its best with their sound and quirky ways and they are much better than the music normally heard on the radio. What’s best about them though, is that they care about their fans. They try to make connections with them via YouTube, Facebook, their official website and other social media. Steam Powered Giraffe is a band with real sound, and most importantly, heart – something that many artists fake or just don’t have. With Steam Powered Giraffe’s fanbase growing, it’s safe to say that if you didn’t know them before, you better learn their name now!