Hometowns | Vanaprasta [LA, Tulsa, Madras, Waimanalo, Silver Lake]

Whenever I listen to Vanaprasta’s 2011 debut album, Healthy Geometry, I think to myself, “these dudes deserve a round of applause.” Basically, you know, for being mega-awesome. And also for being themselves, not necessarily obsessed with being “different,” which is one of the greatest things I can say about a band.

We wrote about Vanaprasta last year, making “Nine Equals Nine” our Jam of the Day. If you don’t remember that one, let’s all take a moment to soak in its goodness one more time.

Vanaprasta – Nine Equals Nine

Thankfully, we were able to catch up with Taylor Brown, Ben Smiley, Cameron Dmytryk, Collin Desha, and Steven Wilkin, as they talk about their various hometowns. Enjoy!

What/who do you miss the most about/from home when you’re touring?

Taylor Brown
Being the one guy in the band that’s actually originally from LA, it’s always nice coming back home from tour. There’s something about LA that puts me at ease…the climate, the atmosphere, the vibe. I love touring, but when I’m away, I probably miss being able to sleep in my own bed in my own house the most. Having that personal space is important, and when you’re crammed into a van with a bunch of dudes for a stretch of time, it’s nice to come back and have that space.

In what hometown bar have you done most of your drinking? Tell us a story about that place.

Ben Smiley
It’s a bar in Tulsa, OK called Another Round. I’ve been going there since high school because they’re pretty lenient on the whole ID situation. The best story I have about that place is when I was back in Tulsa for Xmas break; it was pretty late into the night and everyone was feeling good. Then out of nowhere, two guys in Santa Claus costumes get into an argument and start yelling back and forth. Before you know it they’re in an all-out brawl, which lasts until the cops show up. When I left the bar the two santas were sitting on the curb in handcuffs. It’s an image I will never forget.

Who (besides you!) is the most famous person to hail from your hometown?

Cameron Dmytryk
For a small town of about 7,000, Madras has been home to a couple random famous people such as the late River Phoenix, and Jacoby Ellsbury, who currently play baseball for the Red Sox.

What’s your favorite song about your hometown? Why?

Collin Desha
Hmmm, there is a song called “Waimanalo Blues” that will forever remind me of being a child with my grandpa and him pushing me to play guitar. He always wanted me to learn to play acoustic slack key songs, but I just wanted to play punk rock. It’s funny how much more of an influence he was.

What’s the easiest way to get in trouble in Silver Lake?

Steven Wilkin
Margaritas at any Silver Lake establishment. Ranked by strength in the following order:

1. El Conquistador
2. El Chavo
3. El Compadre

Or, go to the Thirsty Crow and have one Thirsty Crow. Or, walk outside my apartment.

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