SXSW Spotlight: Vanaprasta

If you’ve been to CMJ and SXSW this past year, surely you’ve heard of the band Vanaprasta. Or maybe you saw them play packed shows in Southern California at venues like Spaceland, Cinespace and The Roxy. Perhaps, you saw them headline the Sunset Strip Music Festival at The Viper Room. If you haven’t seen them, we feel sorry for you. The good news is that the Silverlake alternative rockers are going to make their biggest splash yet at this year’s SXSW festival. They’ll be playing EIGHT shows. If you miss them, we seriously question your taste in music and decision making skills. Guitarist Cameron Dmytryk checked in with us recently to tell us a little bit more about the band. Check it out:

If you were to create a mixtape to describe your sound, which songs would you choose?

Cameron: It’s tough. I want to put a bunch of songs that we all love but I’ll try to answer more with songs of our own that put off the same vibe as these songs.

Muse – “The Small Print” from Origin of Symmetry
Frightened Rabbit – “Poke” from Midnight Organ Fight
Led Zeppelin – “Dazed and Confused”
John Lennon – “Oh Yoko!”
Phoenix – “Love Like A Sunset”
Yo La Tengo – “Pass The Hatchet, I think I’m Goodkind”

How are you preparing differently for this year’s SXSW compared to last year?

Cameron: We only had three shows last year, two on Wednesday and one on Friday. It was a little more laid back. This year we have about seven or eight as of now. So, definitely not partying like we did last year. By the time we were done Wednesday night, we didn’t have another show till Friday afternoon. It was a crazy free for all. We did a lot of press but there were a lot of open bars and long nights in Austin. This year it’s a bit more truckin’ around. We also want to see a lot more acts this year since we have an official showcase and we’ll have wristbands.

We’ll probably change up the set a couple of times, especially on Wednesday. We have four shows on Wednesday. We wouldn’t want to play the same set everytime. We might play some older songs that we don’t do or even try some of the new material that we’re looking to premiere at SXSW.

Which artists do you want to see at SXSW?

Cameron: Definitely on a national scale, we want to see the Strokes. I wanna see Odd Future really bad. James Blake, our bass player Tayler really wants to see James Blake. He’s playing in that church, it should be incredible. The Naked & Famous, Gobble Gobble, The Antlers who are playing some new material. We have friends that we want to see like White Arrows, Hands, Voxhaul Broadcast.

Which song have you always wanted to cover?

Cameron: Me and our bass player Taylor have always wanted to do an epic rock version of “Oh Comely” by Neutral Milk Hotel. It’s 8 minutes long and real slow and progressive. It’s just a gorgeous song.

Which song of yours would you like for someone else to cover and who would you want to do it?

Cameron: I would say the Section Quartet. I saw them the first time at Coachella in 2006. They’re this string quartet that covers rock songs like by Led Zeppelin and like Muse. I would want them to do our song “Three Thirty Three”

If you could put on your own SXSW showcase, where would it be and with which bands?

Cameron: Definitely the Belmont where we played for you guys last year. It was just fuckin incredible. We played at night when the sun went down. I remember seeing all the buildings on 6th street and you could look up in the sky and see stars. I haven’t seen stars in the city – I’m from LA- in a long time. With whom, that’s a whole can of worms. I’d have to think about that a lot more. For brevity’s sake, let’s just say the Belmont with a bunch of bad ass bands.

What do you have coming up next?

Cameron: For SXSW, we’re really promoting hard. We’re really excited about it. We’re gonna get in the studio for a couple of weeks right after SXSW to work on some new material. Then we’re hitting the road the first week of April doing the RUMBLE tour going from Seattle, Portland, San fRancisco, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Las Vegas, LA and the whole west coast.

Catch Vanaprasta at SXSW at the following shows

WEDNESDAY 3/16 1PM Annies West/Pop Antipop Showcase
3:30PM The Rusty Spur Hello Music Showcase
6:10PM The Belmont – West Rocks
9PM the Rusty Spur Roxy Official Showcase

THURSDAY 3/17 1:40PM The Belmont West Rocks Day 2
5PM The Blind Pig Manatt Showcase

FRIDAY 3/18 2:20 Red Eye Fly – .MUSIC Presents Texas Tornado Showcase

SATURDAY 3/19 6:05 Red Fez Sophisticarts Showcase

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