When practice is through and they’ve talked to the media, the band does what most rockers do if they’re under the age of 12: They play with toy swords.
“I killed you,” says keyboardist Katherine Roberts.
“No, you didn’t,” says drummer Elijah Vann as he heads back to the front yard to join his fellow warriors.
The group plays games, but this weekend they’ll go back to playing music.
Random, a band of Los Alamitos and Rossmoor preteens, is scheduled to perform 7 p.m. Saturday Night at the Kobe Steakhouse in Seal Beach and at the St. Hedwig’s Autumnfest at 1 p.m. Sunday.
And the kids say they’re ready but a little nervous.
It’s Monday afternoon, there’s a cool blue sky and the recognizable strains of "Eye of the Tiger" are echoing off the houses across the street from Random’s practice site, Elijah’s Los Alamitos home.
Songstress Lexi Luyben, 11, has finished her set—which included a soulful rendition of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep"—and sits with her father to watch her four bandmates perform.
- Rossmoor resident, Max Guardi, 10, on guitar
- Rossmoor resident Jack Levin, 9, on bass and vocals
- Los Alamitos resident Lexi Luyben, 11, on vocals
- Los Alamitos resident Katherine Roberts, 11, on keyboard
- Rossmoor resident Elijah Vann, 9, on drums
A handful of other parents watch too, occasionally reminding the musicians to smile or to stand in the shade.
Sometimes Random plays in the garage, but today they’re out in the fresh air, next to a rather spiffy-looking treehouse.
The band started off about three years ago, when Jack and Eli met at a Rossmoor Elementary School variety show.
Since they teamed up, the two have been joined by Katherine, Max and Lexi.
When forming the band, Eli said some of their proposed names included “Bonecrush,” “Gods of Rock” and “Random Bones.”
A parent who thought the names were “too scary for a kid band” suggested Random, and that was that.
The band recently played their first block party event this summer.
Each of the members have their own the rock star dreams.
They hope someday to have fog and strobe lights at their concerts, they want to play big venues like Times Square on New Year’s Eve or the Grammys, and, of course, they all want the standard things you’d find in a professional musician's dressing room:
Katherine: “Dressing room mirror.”
Lexi: “Chocolate fountain.”
Max: “World peace.”
Patch: In your dressing room?
Jack: (talking to Max) “A world peace generator."
Ok, maybe not all the standard things: they’re young, after all.
The band’s six-song set — chosen by the kids — includes "The Climb" by Miley Cyrus, "What I’ve Done" by Lincoln Park, "Not Going to Write You a Love Song" by Sara Bareilles and, of course, Journey's "Don’t Stop Believing."
Random’s members love music, too.
Singer Lexi says that music helps her know and be known by others.
“You get to express yourself,” Lexi said. “You (also) get to see how other people feel.”
'$1 Million in my Hat'
Eventually they hope to have T-shirts with their band logo on it with flames wrapped around the words for the guys and angel’s wings for the girls.
Drummer Elijah says he loves rock because he gets to “attract chicks. “And he loves the “feel of playing.”
Jack says when he performs he feels like he has $1 million in his hat. (He wears a red fedora while performing.)
And the parents like to watch them, even if it makes them tense.
“I’m far more worried than the kids are,“ said Mike Levin, Jack’s father.
“I could never get up and do what they do,” says Cindy Vann, a social worker and Elijah’s mom.
And if there are any mistakes?
“We keep going and act like it didn’t happen,” says Katherine.
Later she adds, “I love you, fans! You rock my world.”
After a few more questions, the band heads off to chase each other around with plastic swords.
To learn more about the group, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/randomrocks.