ALEX'S WORD WITH: CULLEN OMORI OF SMITH WESTERNS

Posted on 08.21.2013

by Alex Catarinella

Everyone knows the ‘90s have made a comeback. Big time. Icona Pop reminds us this via their inescapable crazily addictive smash, “I Love It.” (We just can’t quit you, ladies.) And let’s not forget DKNY’s ‘90s revival Opening Ceremony collection, okay? But, let’s be honest, not everyone can pull of ‘90s realness however indie rock trio, The Smith Westerns, are doing the ‘90s thing oh-so-right. Their latest disenchanted teen dream of an album, ‘Soft Will,’ gives me early Smashing Pumpkins vibes (yes please!), and the trio’s effortlessly immaculately hip style makes me shiver in my shredded skinnies. Yeah, it’s THAT good. I may or may not have fallen in love with The Smith Westerns frontman, Cullen Omori, on set for the filming of their music video, “Idol,” directed by my very talented homie, Sandy Kim. The vid is an homage to The Ramones’ “I Wanna Be Sedated,” by the way, which translated into a wild party complete with the popping of balloons/the spilling of beer, flashing Christmas lights in a Bushwick loft. He also wore really amazing drop crotch pants for which I obviously complimented several times. Also worth noting: Cullen’s shiny locks need to be the star of a shampoo campaign ASAP. Until then, I talked to the charismatic rocker about style, music, and, yeah, THAT HAIR.

Have you ever experienced any onstage wardrobe malfunctions?
Not a ton. But then again we don't wear costumes or anything.

What's on your tour rider?
Nothing really extraordinary. We have a lot of veggies and fruit stuff. Gotta maintain the physique!

Any pre-show rituals?
Check email. Read Perez Hilton. Hate on everyone in the band.

Sounds fun. Favorite gig so far?
Chicago is always a great show for us. We played there pretty religiously when we were starting out and it took forever for us to get any type of following.

Favorite fashion-y album cover of all time?
Roxy Music’s ‘Country Life.’ Found this album when I was eight.

That’s a good one. Favorite go-to karaoke song?
“All of My Love” - Led Zeppelin.

Favorite NYC hang spots?
I never go out really when I’m there because I'm so busy or super burnt out. But I go to Cabin a lot.

Okay, so, tell me the secret behind your gorgeous hair! (LOL)
Hehehe. I feel like the more I mistreat it and don't condition it the better it gets. My mom has really thick hair and I think being part Asian helps also.

What was your style like in high school? Any fashion regrets?
I was a really big loser most of high school and didn't really have any style. I skated from like the time I was a freshman till junior year so I guess I was a skater kid. Senior year was when I started listening to a lot of records and going to punk shows. So most definitely punk from then on.

What's your NYC closet situation like? Hot mess? Super organized?
I live with my girlfriend so she organizes everything. I feel really bad saying that but I do my part to help out with the clothes. I’m really fortunate to have an apartment with a walk in closet in Chicago.

On a regular day, you're wearing:
Sweatpants. Button Down. Snap Back. Sneakers. I love comfort.

What's your pick for “song of the summer”?
“Hey Hey What Can I Do” - Led Zeppelin

How would you describe your style nowadays in 5 words?
Sweats. Snapbacks. Prints. Chicago Sports

Alright, so, since this is DKNY Jeans... If you could design the 'perfect pair' what would they be like?
They would be super comfortable and roomy in the top but wouldn't look super skinny at the leg nor super chunky.