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Terri NunnLIKE NUNN OTHER...
Terri Nunn, Lead Singer of Berlin, Speaks to QV.
INTERVIEW BY LUTHER ORRICK-GUZMAN

IT’S THE FIRST NIGHT of the tour. It’s her hometown, and all her friends are going to be there. As she adds the final touches to her performance during sound check, you almost find yourself saying, “Who’s that 17 year old girl?” But it’s really a mature and sexy Terri Nunn, lead singer of the ’80s band Berlin!

Berlin rose to fame in the mid-’80s with hits like “No More Words,” “The Metro,” and the number one song “Take My Breath Away.”

Now the group has released “Voyeur.” It’s Berlin’s first studio production in sixteen years. In addition, Berlin is back on the road with lead vocalist Terri Nunn sounding simply amazing and her band beyond tight.

The album, which has been in the making for about year and a half, includes the first single, “Blink of an Eye” which Nunn says is her attempt at writing a song about a rave. She explains, “There’s nothing like being at a rave with the music and the people. I wanted to have a song like that.”

About the style of the new album, she adds, “This album is very electronic, but we’re moving a lot into dance. It’s like Moby and Massive Attack, except we write words and a message along with it.”

As Nunn speaks, I can’t help but notice her electric smile and her sexy sassiness. It’s at this moment, that sex comes into my mind, and I ask her if there’s any sex on the album. After all, this is a group that once had a hit called, “Sex I’m A...”

“Of course!” screams Nunn. “What’s a Berlin album without a lot of sex?”

She then goes on to talk about a sexual track called “Stranger on the Bus.” Nunn reveals, “I wrote that song originally to be kind of a rape fantasy. But then it goes a little wrong—in other words it goes a little too far and it gets scary.” She continues, “It’s a little bit over the edge.”

Though not about sex, another great song on the album is called “Sacred and Profane,” a song which Terri co-wrote with Billy Corgan from Smashing Pumpkins. Terri says the song was written as a tribute to Michael Hutchence, the lead singer of INXS, who died quite a few years ago. She says, “He was a very big inspiration for both Billy and me. The song is about my first experience seeing him because that changed my life. He influenced me probably more than anyone else as a performer. I became 12 years old in five minutes wanting to have sex with him. That’s all I wanted! Oh my god. Everybody did! You just wanted him. He was the epitome of rock star.”

Terri Nunn 2Another song on the album is called “Stronger Than Steel.” Terri says she wrote this song to her mother, who had a bout with cancer last year, and fortunately, beat it. She explains, “It is about being there for each other and learning how to support someone during something so horrible. It was a life-changing experience. It taught me what to do in the face of something terrifying. But she made it!”

After being away from the music scene for such a long time, one can’t help but wonder why Nunn is bringing Berlin back. She explains, “Part of what brought it back, aside from the music and writers—and where the electronic scene is going, for me, is a lack of sexuality in music today... with women. There just aren’t many women out there just letting it all hang out.”

When asked about her touring plans and about touring with a new young band, she reveals her excitement. She says, “Going new places with the band is like having kids, in a way. A couple of them are really young and they haven’t experienced all this yet. It’s showing the whole world to them all over again, like it was for me when I started.”

It’s interesting to hear Nunn explain this since she still looks like a young woman, herself. Suddenly, I find myself complimenting her look, her amazing body, and her voice. She smiles and says, “Thank you.”

So what’s next for Terri? She says, “More into family in the next few years. I’m a stepmom now. I have two boys that my husband brought into the family. They’re 7 and 10. So I’m learning to be a parent. We might have our own in the next few years. But that will be after this tour is carried out.”

While she plans on concentrating on her family in the future, she acknowledges that she will always make music and perform. She says, “I love playing and I love writing. I don’t like the studio—I get what I need done, and I’m out of there. But I do like performing for audiences and having experiences together. That’s what does it for me.”

Our conversation, suddenly, takes a new turn as we start talking about drag queens—after all, every great female artist has a drag queen. So I ask her if she has ever seen any Terri Nunn drag queens. She responds, “I’ve seen three. I remember Viva. I saw him at a club out here (in Los Angeles) called Peanuts and there he was...doing Terri Nunn. That was amazing!”

As for Terri’s closing comments, she gives a message to her QV Latin audience. She says, “Thank you for being there for the band. Enjoy yourselves. Be yourselves, go crazy, be outrageous, f*ck everybody. Just have a good time being you. In the end, that’s who you’re left with, so enjoy.”

For more information about Berlin, including tour dates, visit www.berlinpage.com

 
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