Getting To Know You: Cullen Omori

Good at sex, bad at bible camp

Cullen Omori releases his first solo album this month, following the 2014 split of his glam pop trio The Smith Westerns. The man behind ‘New Misery’ likes drugs and Drake, and wishes he could sing better.

The best piece of advice you’ve been given

Only take half, wait an hour and then take the rest if you’re not too wasted.

Your favourite word


Your pet-hate

I have a pet hamster named Tomato. I had a family cat named Mittens and he was a total asshole but he’s dead now.

If you could only eat one food forever, it would be…

Assorted movie candy or Milk Duds.

The worst job you’ve had

Working at a bible camp for 5 – 10-year-olds for a couple of summers when I was just in high school.

The film you can quote the most of

The Matrix. Morpheus: “What is real? How do you define ‘real’? If you’re talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then ‘real’ is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain.”

Favourite place in the world

My bedroom in Chicago. I love this city. When I was younger I just wanted to go out and see the world and I did, but there is no place like home or a city as unique as Chicago.

Your style icon

James Duval, Townes Van Zandt and Keanu Reeves.

The one song you wished you’d written

‘Hold On, We’re Going Home’ by Drake.

The most famous person you’ve met

Kate Bosworth and Alexander Skarsgard were dating at the time and they came to our LA show and hung out back stage with us. The Arctic Monkeys were there too. There are other times and other people but I can’t remember. Time is a flat circle.

The thing you’d rescue from a burning building

My laptops, all my notebooks and diaries, and the little piece of lucky rope I’ve kept on my guitar strap since I started playing live music 8 years ago.

The worst date you’ve been on

The one that got me stuck in this 4-year relationship with my current girlfriend: I’m basically a stay at home hamster dad.

Your guilty pleasure

Drugs. And I don’t mean weed 😉

Your first big extravagance

I just bought a van to tour in from a semi reputable “dealership”. Let’s hope it doesn’t fall apart before I get to finish this US headline tour.

The worst present you’ve received

A Cybiko.

The characteristic you most like about yourself

My self-pity and simultaneously my self-awareness.

Your hidden talent

I’m really good at sex.

Your favourite item of clothing

It’s a tie between my lime green Patagonia fleece and my leather trench coat.

Your biggest disappointment

I felt that for the last Smith Westerns album (‘Soft Will’) I wasn’t as present in the recording process as I should have been.

The celebrity that pisses you off the most even though you’ve never met them

Zendaya and/or Rita Ora (yuck).

Your biggest fear

Becoming paralysed from the neck down.

The best book in the world

Junky by William S Burroughs.

People’s biggest misconception about yourself

That I’m a teenager. Or that I’m a brat.

Who would play you in a film of your life?

Willem Dafoe

What is success to you?

Surviving long enough that I can continue making music without restrictions and that I get to eat some good food.

What talent do you wish you had?

That I could sing really, really well.

How would you like to die?

I would be really full from a huge meal and then I would sit in a lazy boy and shoot up and OD.

What is the most overrated thing in the world?

Revivalist indie white boy music.

What, if anything, would you change about your physical appearance?

I wish I could be basketball player tall: like 6’8.

What’s your biggest turn-off?

Sharp toe nails in the bed!

What would you tell your 15-year-old self?

Drugs aren’t that cool, and give up – no girls want to fuck you.

Your best piece of advice for others

Take only half and see how you feel, take the rest after the first hour.