Random Encounter Preps for European Tour

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Who says playing video games is a waste of time? For the band Random Encounter, video games form the central uniting theme of their music and it’s a theme that’s taken them on national tours and, in the near future, all the way to Europe.

Formed nine years ago in Sarasota by the lead singer and accordion player, who goes by the nom de rock Careless, Random Encounter writes music steeped in video game mythology and harmonies, with a bit of Russian folklore thrown in for good measure. But while video games supply the impetus for their music and the inspiration for the band, Careless is quick to point out that the music is also accessible to non-gamers.

“We don’t directly cite video games and tell you ‘This is about a video game,’” said Careless, referring to the song 72 Hours, inspired by The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. “It’s a love song and the context is the video game, but if you don’t know the context, you understand the world’s coming to an end and it’s about friendship.”

Rounding out the present lineup are Rook, a Sarasota bassist and veteran of the circus life (daughter of the famed Human Comet), Konami, a former NASA scientist from Clearwater who hung up his white coat to play guitar and sing, and Kit and Moose, two Orlando musicians who play the guitar and drums respectively.

Veterans of the rock scene, Random Encounter has released two albums (Unavenged and LET ME TELL YOU A STORY) and an EP entitled 72 Hours in the Ocean With Your Mother, with an additional EP scheduled for an October release while the band tours Texas with party-rocker Andrew W.K.

Often donning black paramilitaristic outfits for their shows, Random Encounter paid its dues around town at places like The Blue Owl and The Closet (now defunct), as well as playing yearly at the Sarasota School of Arts and Sciences, which Careless attended as a child and now hosts an annual anime convention.

Today, Random Encounter plays shows across Florida (Orlando being another regular haunt) and the United States. The band was voted the No. 1 rock and indie band by Orlando Weekly two years in a row and stands on the verge of its biggest tour yet.

“Every year we’ve gotten bigger and bigger,” said Careless with a touch of disbelief. “Now we’re about to go on tour in Europe.”

The big break for Random Encounter came this past year when they crossed paths with none other than Tommy Tallarico. For the uninitiated, Tallarico is perhaps the premier video game composer working today, with a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for most video games composed by any one individual. Tallarico has spent the last seven years touring nonstop with an orchestra, performing his music in a show called Video Games Live.

During a recent leg through Florida, Tallarico met Random Encounter and invited them on stage. After successful shows in Miami, West Palm and Orlando Tallarico offered them a spot on his upcoming European tour. 

“It was a really amazing experience,” said Careless. “We play small shows – we played Hard Rock Live once for 3,000 people and it was mind-blowing – and then Tommy brought us along and had us play with the orchestra and gave us time on our own in his show and the crowds were like 5,000 people.”

In case you can’t make it out to Europe any time soon, you can catch the latest Random Encounter this October when they release the pay-what-you-want EP The Big Blue EP, featuring remastered versions of tunes from their first album.

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