Terri Nunn and Berlin

Berlin: mention the name and familiar tunes like Masquerade, The Metro, No More Words and their famous classic hit, from the Top Gun soundtrack, Take My Breath Away, pop into your head. While many bands of the eighties have come and gone, Terri Nunn and Berlin remain as timeless as their music.

They recently released their first full-length effort in 16 years, entitled Voyeur. Nunn's sexy, powerful vocals set the stage for the songs on this album like Sacred and Profane, With A Touch, Stronger Than Steel and my personal favourites, Blink of An Eye, All I Ever Need and Lost My Mind.

Berlin takes your breath away in concert, coming alive with lots of energy and great performances honed from years of touring. Their next dates in Southern California are at the California Speedway in Fontana (November 2nd) and the House of Blues in Anaheim (December 6th).

I had the pleasure of chatting with Terri for about an hour at a recording studio following her performance on July 12th at The Universal Ampitheatre in Los Angeles. She was friendly, charismatic, funny, witty and charming, full of energy, passionate and was an absolute delight to interview.

You are widely regarded as one of the best live bands. What do you think sets you apart?

Theatrics... performing... the band is more showy than bands usually are and I like that. I've always liked bands that do that.

Undeniably, you are one of the sexiest women in music. How do you stay in such great shape?

I work-out. I do cardio three or four times a week, run with my husband and do the treadmill. My trainer has me on yoga once a week, weights once a week and abs three times a week. I didn't like yoga and he got me into that. I like what it does to my body. It does different things than the bulking up of the weights. I like the lean look. I just like the results.

We just went to Hawaii a couple weeks ago to swim with the dolphins. That was a work-out. Most days, we didn't find them but we'd have to swim a lot. Finding them, we had to swim even more because they really move. You really have to swim to keep up.

I understand that you are also a nutritionist. Do you advise your band and road crew as well?

For the band. When you're on the road, you get a lot of weird bugs because you're in new places. Even in the water. People are used to their own bugs in their own water but when you go somewhere else...

So the guys, you know the boys, they're men but they turn into boys when they get sick so I take care of them. We tour a lot. We're not going to next month right before the record but we're going to start up again in September.

You were once a competitive figure skater.

Yeah, I got up to regionals. I had been competing for 4 years and I was doing well and I thought one day, "Okay, if I win the regionals, I go to nationals. Win that, go to internationals. Win that, go to the Olympics.I win that, then what???" In those days, the only "then what" there was was the Ice Capades and the Ice Follies. So the best shot, for the rest of my life, would be a soloist in the Ice Capades or the Ice Follies or in the chorus line if I didn't win the Olympics and that's it. Those were my choices.

It's one of the most expensive sports of them all. You've got to rent the ice, you've got to rent the coaches, you've got to rent the costumes, and the equipment... it's expensive! My family went into a lot of debt. Well, now people can go pro. They can be sponsored but not then. You had to be amateur to compete in the Olympics.

Do you still skate?

We actually did in Detroit. We were in a hotel that had an ice rink. The band went out and we all rented skates and tooled around.

Did you do any of the spins or pirouettes?

[laughs] Oh no, I can barely spin. It would take me a month to be back on the ice to bring back anything.

What do you do with your free time? Do you have any hobbies or interests?

Read... I love reading.

So you just curl up and read a book.

Yeah, to me the ultimate is to actually have time to read a book without falling asleep or being interrupted. [I love] Being with my husband. We love to run, we love doing physical things together.

You make you home in Los Angeles?

Agoura Hills. It's not really L.A.

What do you like or dislike about this city? You grew up in L.A.?

I grew up around it. It's too congested. It's not friendly. It's not a place that I want to hang-out. It's great business. You know, without L.A., I would never have had a music career. It's one of the four capitals of the world, musically…L.A., London, Nashville and New York. But now, my business with Berlin is running itself and I don't need to be in the freak-out, crazy Los Angeles atmosphere all the time and I love the beauty, the peace, the safety and the friendliness of the people out there. It's not crowded and people aren't booked solid every second of the day so there's time to talk and be nice. I like that. I like being able to walk on the streets at night. It's safe and there are animals out there and it's beautiful.

Animals like...

Animals like deer, coyotes, raccoons and amazing birds; all different kinds of birds. It's a different time of my life.

You did some acting while you took a hiatus from the band. How was that experience?

It was great...loved it. But it wasn't something I wanted to do my whole life. You know how when you do different jobs, there's a living of it. There's the hours of it, there's the how much time did we take, there's how hard is it, how much stress is there, how much money is there; all those things factor into what it is. Not just the glamour or the stuff you see. And for me, the early hours, the having to get a job all the time, not having much control over my work, other people control my work. The whole living of it wasn't for me. The creative part was great but that's such a small part of that life.

Music fits me. I like the hours, I like working at night, I like traveling. I like being in control of my business; being in control of my music. I still answer to people because I have to work with the company to release it, produce it, promote it but it's a much smaller community and I like that.

Do you have any interest in further pursuing acting?

I'd have to go back and study again. I was good but it's a different world now from 20 years ago.

If someone were to drop a good script in front of you for the right amount of money, would you consider it?

[laughs] It's not so much the money, because money isn't so much of an issue anymore. It's more about being good enough. I would want to feel like I'm good enough; I would want to study again.

Tell us about your new album, Voyeur.

The band is very proud of this new album which is produced by Mitchell Sigman and Peter Rafelson. Peter's produced and written with Madonna, Stevie Nicks and The Corrs.

Billy Corgan from the Smashing Pumpkins also co-wrote "Sacred and Profane". Mitchell and I had written it and Billy re-wrote the music underneath the melody and words that I had and slowed it down. He brought emotions out of that song that I didn't even know were there. It was amazing.

Are there any other songs on this album that has a special meaning to you?

I wrote these songs so they are all special to me. Shiny was written to capture my first rave experience in the middle of the Southern California desert. Stronger Than Steel is about my mother's battle with cancer.

Do you mind if I ask about your husband?

Not at all. He's a loan officer and helped me buy my house. I was getting a divorce and had to sell the house we had and I had to get a new house. He walked in and the first thing he said was, "We normal people think you rock stars make a lot of money. What happened?" [laughs].



Copyright © 2003 LA Splash Magazine. All Rights Reserved. Incorporated. No portion of the contents of this online publication may be reprinted or republished, in whole or in part, without the expressed, written permission of the Publisher.

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