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The Minibosses.jpg
Background information
Origin Northampton, Massachusetts
Genres Progressive rock, video game music, Nintendocore, instrumental rock
Years active 1999–present
Members Robin Vining
Aaron Burke
Matt Wood
Jeff Owens
Past members Ben Baraldi
Fred Johnson
John Lipfert
Rich Smaldone
Robert Kelly Turner

Minibosses is an independent progressive rock band originally from Northampton, Massachusetts and now located in Phoenix, Arizona. They are known for their video game music covers, which are instrumental rock variations of the theme music from classic Nintendo video games such as Mega Man, Metroid, and Castlevania. Such covers earned Minibosses the best cover band award in the Phoenix New Times Best of Phoenix 2006.


From 1997 to 1999, guitarist Aaron Burke and drummer Matt Wood played in Jenova Project, one of the earliest video game cover bands, along with other friends from the same dorm at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In January 2000, Burke and Wood recruited bassist Ben Baraldi to form Minibosses.[1] Initially, the band played both video game covers as well as original songs, and self-released their first album, Minibosses, in September 2000. They were unsatisfied with the quality of this album and have since released new versions of their covers (as well as new covers) on the Minibosses/Penny Winblood split and Brass album. At the same time, they replaced their older songs, which had been freely available to download, with the newer versions found on Brass.[1] From 2000 to present, the band has toured continuously while recording material for new albums.[2] During this time, the video game cover scene has matured, with the rise in popularity of sites such as VGMix and OverClocked ReMix, giving the band the opportunity to play at such events as DEF CON, Penny Arcade Expo, Arcadia Festival and the Atomix Gamer Choice Awards.[2] Minibosses often tour throughout Arizona and California, and occasionally return to the Northeast to perform, most notably at the Middle East where they recorded their live album, Live at the Middle East.

The band has gone through several changes, mostly on second guitar, which is now held by Jeff Owens. Ben Baraldi is still a member of the band, but is "on sabbatical" according to the band's Facebook page, and played guitar for several shows in 2010.




  • Robert Kelly Turner — guitar (2010)
  • Ben Baraldi — guitar (2007–2010), bass (1999–2007)
  • John Lipfert — guitar (2004–2007)
  • Fred Johnson — guitar (2002–2004)
  • Richard Smaldone — guitar (2001–2002)


  • Minibosses (Self-released on Kraid Records, 2000)
  • Minibosses (EP) (Self-released, 2004)
  • Live at the Middle East recorded at The Middle East nightclub (Self-released, 2004)
  • Minibosses/Penny Winblood (Forge Records, 2005)
  • Brass (Self-released, 2005)
  • Brass 2: Mouth (Released December 2, 2011)

Covered game themes[edit]

Game themes falsely attributed to Minibosses[edit]

There are various video game song remixes floating around the Internet that are falsely attributed to Minibosses, perhaps by mistaken fans or newcomers to the genre. These include a remix of the theme from the first level of Doom, the stage music for Big Blue from F-Zero (which is actually from a guitar arrangement of F-Zero X) and the Tetris theme (which is actually the Russian folk song "Korobeiniki") as performed by Ozma. Minibosses only play NES game music, although they did release original songs and non-Nintendo covers on their first album, Minibosses, as well as play the theme to Halo for PAX 2007's Omegathon.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Minibosses FAQ
  2. ^ a b Minibosses Shows

External links[edit]