What’s in a Name? - Cullen Omori on Going Solo and What His Name Means

Omori is Playing Under the Radar's SXSW Day Party Next Thursday

Mar 10, 2016
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What's in a Name? is our recurring guest blog series where an artist writes about how they came up their band name. For this edition we hear from Cullen Omori. Of course, Omori is now recording under his own name, but he used to be the frontman of Smith Westerns and here he writes about the process of deciding to now release music simply as Cullen Omori. Omori is releasing his debut solo album, New Misery, on March 18 via Sub Pop.

Omori is performing at Under the Radar's Thursday SXSW day party next Thursday at the Flamingo Cantina at 6th and Red River (515 E. 6th Street, Austin, TX 78701). The party is free and open to the public; head over to the Eventbrite page for our SXSW parties to RSVP. He goes on at 1:35 PM and the rest of the lineup features England's Everything Everything, England's MONEY, South Africa's Petite Noir, Wales' Gwenno, Pillar Point, and Northern Ireland's Girls Names.

Read on as Omori explains the origin of his name.

I had continued to put off titling the new project I was working on for over a year. Every time someone would ask me about the name, I would just shrug off the question and say the band name or whatever would appear to me at some point. Well, that never did happen, and I was left two weeks before my album was to be mastered with no idea for a band name. So I went with my name, "Cullen Omori"; which I thought and still think is unique enough to be a band name. It's not like my name was John Smith or Bob Mott or Some Shit (TM). If you really want to analyze my name, which I do, then you've got to know some things about me. I'm half Japanese and half Irish, so my name is technically a representation of both: Cullen is Irish and Omori is Japanese. Let me guess you are totally blown away by that? Well let me blow your dick off some more. Cullen means "puppy" or "little dog" in Celtic, and Omori in Japanese means "large forest." If we add those two names together we get something like "little dog forest" or "large forest of little dogs." Not too bad for using my name to go solo. So if you're having a hard time pronouncing it (people do) just call me "Little Dog Forest" and I'll be happy to answer whatever dumb shit question you have. Thanks  

Under the Radar SXSW Day Party at Flamingo Cantina, Thursday, March 17:

5:00 PM: Everything Everything
4:05 PM: MONEY
3:15 PM: Petite Noir
2:25 PM: Gwenno
1:35 PM: Cullen Omori
12:45 PM: Pillar Point
12:00 PM: Girls Names



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