Street Side With Vanaprasta At SSMF!


Photo By Christina M. Felice

Vanaprasta rockin’ since 2008 is an L.A. based band about to serenade SSMF with their incredibly sweet somewhat ambient soulful sound.  They’re vintage rock goes perfectly with the vocals- never overpowering but complimenting to the songs themselves.

Vanaprasta (Collin Desha, Steven Wilkin, Taylor Brown, Cameron Dmytryk, and Ben Smiley) were street-side gearing up for an insane afternoon of rock and roll at sunset strip music fest where we got to chat about their upcoming vinyl release and Echo residency before fleeing the West coast for CMJ fest in NYC!

BNB:  Hey I’m here with Vanaprasta before their set at SSMF!  How’d you get that name?!

V:  I was driving home after one of our rehearsals and I was listening to a talk radio show on KPFK and there was a philosopher talking about this third stage of the Hindu philosophy called vanaprasta where the past and the present come together to influence your life and it was basically sort of our influences- I’m really into the old music, they’re really into the newer stuff and we’re just kind of coming together to hopefully create something for the future!

BNB:  Little bit of a symbiotic relationship going on!

V:  Exactly.  I mean come on- some random name?  We were going to be The Flaming Dragons.

BNB:  But you decided no on that- I support that decision.

V:  Yeah us too!


BNB:  Main musical influences for you all?

V:  Led Zepellin, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Modest Mouse.


BNB:  In general what region of the world do you tend to flock to for good music- American bands, Canadian bands…

V:  The Brits!  London bands!  Montreal is pretty good.

BNB:  I think Montreal is sometimes a little underrated!

V:  Yeah but they’re totally getting credit now- they’ve got one of the biggest bands out there- Arcade Fire!

BNB:  Fair enough!

V:  Then there’s Saskatoon…

BNB:  I know of three bands from Saskatoon- blew my mind!

V:  Are you kidding?  My favorite thing to do in my free time is just say random Canadian cities- Thunder Bay…


BNB:  Are you guys on tour right now?  Possibly hitting up Thunder Bay?

V:  Haha- you know we are not currently on tour, but we have a residency at The Echo coming up in September- it’s free every Monday!  We’re working on a new album, and we’ll definitely be hitting up CMJ in New York!

BNB:  Well I’ll catch you on the east coast then!

V:  We’re going for the BMI showcase- REALLY excited about that!


BNB:  If you guys could collaborate with one other artist or band- who would it be, pick your poison!

V:  Mars Volta, The Flaming Lips- I think it would be an interesting blend between our music and their music.  Maybe the new MGMT.

BNB:  You like the new record- weren’t so fond of the old?

V:  The new one is what did it for me.  Definitely took it from kid band to ok, we really want to put together a quality record.  Not that their first record wasn’t- it’s just like this one is like ok, we’re gonna move to the next level now!  It’s not just the singles for that album- you have to listen to the whole album.  It’s a thinking man’s album.

BNB:  Okay so you dug the ever-evolving type vibe.

V:  We’re really into the albums that grow on you- the like ok hold on- I’m STILL listening to this album.


BNB:  Is that what you’re aiming for with your upcoming CD?

V:  We’d hope so!


BNB:  Who are you all here to hear today?

V:  Unanimously, Smashing Pumpkins!

BNB:  We’re they a big influence growing up?

V:  Yeah for sure!  I mean, those were our prime music formative years right there.

BNB:  What really got you- the tunes or lyrics?

V:  Well I was a kid- so probably just the music.  I really dug Siamese Dream and how it was about the guitar – and when I got a little older, high school, and I was listening to Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness I really dug a lot of those lyrics.


BNB:  If you could pick somebody to open for YOU guys- who would it be?

V:  RUSH!  That would be incredible!

BNB:  Slappin the bass a little bit?

V:  Yeah!  That was a good question…hmm….really I think we’re more focused on who we can open up for right now!  That would be Big Rock Candy Mountain from New Orleans!


BNB:  Closing Remarks?!

V:  Look out for our 7in. record coming out on the twenty-seventh of September in conjunction with our Echo residency- the record’s hopefully gonna be out by next year and it’s a message of hope and community and being present and we definitely believe in records and that’s what we tried to do with this is create a record that you can enjoy front to back- and we love what we do!


You can catch the uber-creative quintet every Monday in September at The Echo sans an entrance fee- and check out more of their music at (specifically “color of sin” and the undeniably ambient and entrancing “Minnesota.”)