Jon Sprague Departing Steam Powered Giraffe
It’s Bunny here. The band and myself humbly thank you for your support and love following our most recent show in Dallas, Texas. We had a blast and it seems you guys did too!
I know you’re all curious about our next project, and we’ve teased a little here and there- but we’d like to step away from all of that for a moment and focus on something else. And it is on that note we peel back the veneer of entertainment to speak with you more intimately.
Today we somberly announce that Jonathan Sprague has been let go of Steam Powered Giraffe. The decision has not been taken lightly, and we feel it is the best course of action not only for the survival of the group, but to help us all grow and be happy.
It’s a sober moment for us because Jon not only brought infectious energy to our performances over the years, but he helped forge the group from its inception. He is also our good friend. The parting of ways, though for the best, is nevertheless deeply saddening for David, Sam, Steve, Michael, and myself.
Internal conflicts can often go unnoticed for the audience, especially when we’re all actors on stage. But like any band, we are not immune to being human. This show is a tough one, and one that requires all of our members to give ridiculous amounts of attention to the act. It has never been and will never be “just a band.” And due to that nature the demands of the group were high and we especially needed our three robots in the game with all their guns.
Jon’s attention and time behind the scenes was spread too thin for what we wanted to do though, and over the last two years the group’s frustrations from that subtly grew until it became a problem we had to deal with. Two years were spent attempting to re-balance the chemistry and all of us trying so hard to make it work. But there came a point when we all agreed we needed something to happen. Even Jon. That is why we are moving on.
Suddenly the illustration that I did a few months ago with the three robots at the grave-site has new context. That was drawn back at the peak of conflict when the outcome was uncertain, but somehow I knew in my heart what had to happen. I didn’t even have to explain the piece to the rest of the members of the group, because they got it. It felt like we quietly sat on those troubling thoughts all through the rest of the zoo.
In our six years with Jon, David and I found a like-minded individual with a passion for art, music, and mime. We worked together in our performing infancy developing the skills necessary to do something as wild and wondrous as Steam Powered Giraffe.
We started in 2006 in San Diego, California with Miss Erin Burke, the Bennett siblings, and Jon Sprague. As eager college students, we were mesmerized by Jerry Hager’s mime class at Grossmont Community College. From there we put our passion into play with pantomime at charity events, amusement park characters, pirates and cowboys at childrens’ camps, and finally- into the beginnings of the act you see today.
Over the years as we grew, we added Michael Reed, Sam Luke and Steve Negrete, and parted ways with Erin. Steam Powered Giraffe has become much more than its busking roots at Balboa Park. It is now a six piece band with up to five part harmonies, and David and I together run all the business aspects of the group, including the website and graphic design, bookkeeping, and touring details.
We’re assisted by Steve Negrete, our personal sound operator and technician who also handles transportation via his touring bus, and Brianna Clawson, who handles merchandise sales and fulfills your purchases.
Michael Reed has served as our musical arranger for many years, and is a key part not only on stage, but also off stage in the development of our complex harmonies and playful instrumentation. Today, the company is on the road to releasing our third studio album and more music videos with help from even more talented individuals brought into the family.
This homegrown business is our pride and joy and unfortunately the amount of time and work often goes under the radar with our colorful image. We are a well-oiled machine, so I hope by showing you our gears you can appreciate all the individuals who help make this happen, and can come to understand why decisions like this must be made.
We love Jon, but the time has come for our professional relationship to move on. It was a mutual feeling for Jon and from every member of Steam Powered Giraffe. The time has come for change. This resolution comes with great relief and no hard feelings, and a sympathetic understanding that is ingrained in Jon and every person in the company.
The future of the group is right around the bend, and we understand you may have concern over who is going to fill Jon’s shoes. Well, we’ve been hard at work developing the next incarnation of Steam Powered Giraffe, and while we’re excited to reveal our plans, today is not that day.
Today is for The Jon, the golden child of Walter’s Steam Man Band. We ask that you please respect what we have forged together as the twilight of this robotic build comes to a close. Revel in the character’s legacy as we have, and take comfort in knowing his origin DNA still swirls in the bubbling creative soup.
We once again thank you for all the love you have given us, and we hope we convey our deep appreciation for your support. The next thing for the band is shimmering at the end of the tunnel right now, but keep your smile and prepare for the light.
And as The Jon would undoubtedly say, “Stay fluffy, biscuiteers!”