Steam Powered Giraffe are a theatrical steampunk ensemble from San Diego, California. Formed by identical twins David and Isabella "Bunny" Bennett, they incorporate a variety of elements into their act including songs, sketches, pantomime, and improvised dialogue, all based around an elaborate and ever-evolving fictional backstory.
Their story began in the theater arts program at Grossmont College where the Bennetts met Erin Burke and Jon Sprague. The quartet began developing their stage personas as quirky, robotic street performers called Peoplebots in early 2008. Eventually adopting the name Steam Powered Giraffe, they introduced the Victorian-era robot characters that would populate their music and stage show, beginning with 2009's Album One. Playing a sort of story-driven vaudevillian folk-pop, the album introduced The Spine (David Bennett) on vocals, guitar, and bass, Rabbit (Bunny Bennett) on vocals, accordion, and keys, The Jon (Sprague) on vocals, guitar, bass, and drums, and Upgrade (Burke) on vocals and tambourine. They toured both theatrical and musical venues and became popular in the steampunk community, playing Sci Fi, Fantasy, and steampunk conventions, and in late 2011 they released their first live album, Live at the Globe of Yesterday's Tomorrow. Prior to the album's release, Burke had left the band citing personal reasons. The second studio album, The 2¢ Show, was released in 2012 and Sprague left the group shortly after. His character was replaced by the group's touring drummer, Samuel Luke, who assumed the robot persona of Hatchworth. A cover of Rihanna
's "Diamonds" was released as a single in 2013, followed by their third album, MK III, at the end of the year. In early 2014, Bunny Bennett began began to transition her Rabbit persona from male to female to reflect her personal transformation to a trans woman. The character's shift was explained in their backstory which involves her robot's invention in 1896 by a noted San Diego inventor character named Colonel Peter A. Walter. 2014 also saw the release of DVD & concert album from 2013 called Live at the Robotics Expo. Their fourth studio album, a proposed sci-fi/space concept album to be titled Vice Quadrant, was expected in 2015. ~ Timothy Monger, Rovi