Some indie bands strive to play up their nerdy side, and then there's Miniboone, a combo who named themselves after MiniBooNE, a celebrated scientific experiment in which a team of physicists set out to learn more about the nature of neutrinos, subatomic particles which carry no electric charge. Thankfully, one requires no advanced degree to understand Miniboone, whose music is an angular but joyously poppy amalgam of the Talking Heads, the Arcade Fire, and early XTC.
While none of the members of Miniboone have a background in physics, the band suitably got its start when Craig Barnes and James Keary met while attending college, and began comparing notes on music even though they were playing in separate bands. Meanwhile, Barnes went to Japan as part of a student exchange program, and while abroad he met another like-minded American student with an interest in music, Doug Schrashun. After graduating, Barnes, Keary, and Schrashun ended up in New York City, and they began writing songs together, with the three trading off on vocals, guitar, and keyboards. With the addition of Sam Rich on bass and Taylor Gabriels on drums, Miniboone made their live debut at the end of 2008.
In 2010, the band teamed up with Drug Front Records to release their first single, a 7" picture disc, while the EP On Miniboone Mountain followed in 2011. They jumped to the Ernest Jenning Record Co., and their self-titled debut album appeared in 2013. By the time they cut their second long-player, the band had made some personnel changes, with James Keary out of the lineup and Sam Rich and Taylor Gabriels replaced by the new rhythm section of Tony Aquilino on bass and Drew St. Aubin on drums. Their second album, Bad Sports, was produced by Travis Harrison and was released by Ernest Jenning in the spring of 2015. ~ Mark Deming