From “Hot On the Trail Acoustic Version” video
Steam Powered Giraffe: two former members have been culled from the herd
A surprise new song and video from costumed rockers Steam Powered Giraffe appeared online this month. “Fart Patrol” is their first new release since last year’s ambitious 1896 album, which came with a separate acoustic incarnation. The lighthearted track finds the three steampunk robots harmonizing happily about how “If you’re tootin, ya better be scootin, ’cause all that butt flutin’s gonna clear the space, the fart patrol is just doing their duty before your doodie tooties get all over the place.”
The video streaming on YouTube includes a spoken word interlude during which the trio wonders among themselves if a song about farts will be good for their careers.
Steam Powered Giraffe "Fart Patrol"
That career has so far included long stints as a house band at the San Diego Zoo (as well as playing the Wild Animal Park and Legoland California,) producing music for and appearing in the SteamWorld Heist videogame, and being mentioned on the cartoon TV series Animaniacs. They’ve spent the pandemic releasing acoustic and rehearsal videos, as well as a 13th anniversary livestream featuring five acoustic songs and guest starring former robot members Erin Burke (Upgrade) and Sam Luke (Hatchworth).
Singer David Bennett, whose robot character is known as The Spine, has been releasing solo music sans makeup and under his own name, including a cover of “Snake Eater” from the video game Metal Gear Solid 3, as well as a single and music video for a song called “Bring On To Me.”
Several music videos are online with tracks from the 1896 album, but those featuring two individuals formerly associated with the group have been re-edited to remove their presence. The revised uploads include an explanation from the band that the two men had been accused of behaving inappropriately with fans. We won’t identify them by name in this column, but both had been appearing onstage with the band as well as in videos. The group explained with the re-uploads why the two were edited out of the group’s newest music videos. “This is in response to issues brought to the band about [a former member] from victims. [This member] hasn’t been in the band since the end of February 2020.”
“The band only found out about [his] behavior on Tuesday June 30th after some people contacted band members privately directly through social media and the band’s email. The evidence is far from unfounded. It’s all damning and there is no ifs, ands, or buts about it. The evidence is overwhelming and there was no way we could turn a blind eye to what these people came forward with, nor would we ever had we known sooner...the band was led to believe by [the former member] that he was just ‘a nice guy with no ill intent’ anytime we called him out on being overly friendly with fans, and how that could be taken by people. Little did we know that was just surface level behavior, and it ran deeper than that.
“The evidence presented to us... shows him having inappropriate interactions with fans. We do not have a statement from [him], he has denied everything when we contacted him…the evidence presented to us in private is not something the band can turn a blind eye to and it’s clear as day to us. The band does not condone his actions.”
When their concert technical director left the band, they reported, “Someone came forward with an incident about our sound technician.... and we followed up with the sources. The band does not condone these actions and we are no longer working with [him] because of them.”
The technician released his own statement that said in part “The fact of the matter is that I have hooked up with fans during past Steam Powered Giraffe shows. As a result of my actions, I have left emotional scars in my wake. To anyone who has suffered in any way due to my actions, I acknowledge that your feelings and emotions towards me are valid, and I apologize for the hurt that I have caused you.... I am making the decision to resign from my position of employment with the band. I will not be working with Steam Powered Giraffe again.”