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2004 Holiday Season Interview

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For those of you who don't know, the Minibosses are the original (and best) Nintendo-cover-band out there. Based in Phoenix, they play all over America while staying faithful to the classic early-generation Nintendo songs. But they take it out of the classic format with drums, bass, and a couple guitars. No effects, just straight forward rock on the tunes we grew up with. The interview was conducted with guitarist, Aaron Burke.

NHQ: How did you all meet?

Burke: Ben, Matt, and I all met at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, which is where we formed the band. Matt and I were astronomy majors, and Ben was all about computer science. I mean, ALL ABOUT IT.

NHQ: Who came up with the idea of playing Nintendo songs?

Burke: You mean for Minibosses? I don't remember - it may have been me. We're never really quite sure how to answer this question in interviews. I mean - for sure it was me. No doubt. I am so confident about it! I just took a sales class this morning.

NHQ: Why strictly Nintendo?

Burke: The Nintendo hardware imposed some pretty heavy limitations on what you could do, and we like that. Composers who work under a special set of guidelines or with limited resources, material, whatever, composers who operate like that and generate some amazing music - that is good shit right there. It's very hard to write a good song that has to repeat every two minutes and not have someone want to kill themselves upon repeated listening.

NHQ: How do you go about learning the songs?

Burke: We use winamp. We each learn our own parts and then we bring them to practice.

NHQ: What are the band's favorites to play live?

Burke: Probably Mega Man 2 and Ninja Gaiden. Mega Man 2 gets the crowd going, and I really like Ninja Gaiden because the music is great, it lends itself really well to your standard rock setup. Tons of fun and not too long either.

NHQ: Any new songs you guys are working on?

Burke: Yup. We have a new guitarist now, so he's learning the catalog as fast as he can, and then when he's done with that we'll start up on new material again.

NHQ: New guitarist? Different from the one in the pictures and videos on your site?

Burke: Yeah, the new guitarist is different.

NHQ: ...why?

Burke: He left the band for personal reasons.

NHQ: Fair enough... So what are the plans for the future?

Burke: Finish our recordings. We've tried to do some serious studio recordings for years now. We're about halfway there. We're pretty excited about them. They sound good but there aren't any tricks or effects on them - it's just us playing distorted guitars and banging on things.

To learn more about the Minibosses, or to check on future shows, check out their website: here.