Phoenix isn’t just an incubator for bands with odd tunes like Treasure MammaL, RPM Orchestra, and Drunk and Horny — it’s also a beacon for them. From O.G. shock rocker Alice Cooper, who migrated to the Copper State from the Motor City decades ago to The Minibosses, which brought its trademark video game rock from New England to our dusty desert just after the new millennium.
While The Minibosses are best known for their progressive video game theme song renditions, the group's four-album catalogue of experimental rock originals are honestly far more out there than any Castlevania cover, and they will no doubt be delivering both on June 19 at The Yucca Tap Room in Tempe for the band's 15-year anniversary party.
Founding member and guitarist Aaron Burke will be on hand for the gig, which will include guitarists Robin Vining, Cameron Rosewicz and Ben Baraldi, as well as bass player Erik Ryden and drummer Steve Duek. Burke also hinted that the bosses will most likely be performing with special guest from other bands.
With the big show less than a week away Burke took some time to talk to New Times about 15 years of video game-centric music.
New Times: It's been quite a long time since you guys have released any new music, is there any plans for a new record in the near future?
Aaron Burke: Nothing planned yet. Hopefully someday sooner rather than later.
What has been stopping The Minibosses from releasing new stuff?
A bunch of stuff, but mainly member transition stuff,. One of our old guitarists left the band, so we've been finding the right fit or fits.
How about video game covers, are there any new titles that the band might be interested in covering the music from?
We've got a bunch of stuff ready that we can record whenever, including new stuff from Dr. Mario, new Castlevania stuff, a war medley with music from games like Rush'n Attack, 1942, etc. There's also some other stuff we'd like to tackle. But not sure how much of that we'd like to put out there yet.
Did Robin Vining get a big head after he began touring with Jimmy Eat World?
He already had a huge head, both physically and egomaniacally, before the touring began, but yeah, it did get bigger.
Who is your favorite video game villain?
I dunno... That's a toughie. I really like Ganon from the Zelda series if we're talking Nintendo. But overall I think I'd have to go with Glados from the Portal series. She's the greatest.
Who is your favorite video game sidekick?
Funny question in a few ways. I dunno, maybe Navi from Ocarina of Time? A lot of people find her annoying, including myself, but I also find her pretty endearing. I'd have to think about that for a while. I'm sure I'm missing someone pretty great.
If you had to choose between music and gaming for the rest of your life what would you choose?
Music, hands down. Gaming is great and all, but music is everything to me. I find it to be, at least, the most interesting of the arts, if not the greatest form overall, if one form could even ever be hypothetically picked. It's possible opera would beat it but only because it's a conglomeration of other arts.
In 15 years of Minibosses, what is the most outlandish thing anyone has ever offered you guys instead of money as pay for a show?
Something that is really not fit for print.
Did you take it?
Pacman or Mrs. Pacman?
Mrs. Pacman, woot woot!