Singer and songwriter Peter Cunnah (54) from Derry is the frontman of D:Ream, which has released its latest single, Meet Me At Midnight. He lives in Donegal with his wife Ruth Pilkington and has two daughters, Poppy Belle (18) and Madeleine Estelle (16).
: Do you take regular exercise, and if so what?
A: I have periods where I do exercise, generally surrounding a tour when I get my fitness levels to what they need to be, but in lockdown I’ve had such a depression. The first lockdown was fine and I wrote a lot of songs, but we lost two tours.
I would normally have gone to the gym three days a week doing high impact training. I walk my sister’s dogs for at least an hour a day and I swim once a week. I am a work in progress.
Q: What is the worst illness you’ve had?
A: I think in 2004 when I had a flu and I thought I was going to die. I was four days on my back. I thought I was dying but I came out of it and my immune system kicked in. I’ve only broken my foot once, but that is it. I’ve been pretty much injury-free my whole life.
Q: How healthy is your diet?
A: Very. I am married to a top chef and she has insisted that because of my weight that she monitors my diet. I have two meals a day, so I have lunch and supper. I don’t eat after 6pm until 12 o’clock, and that’s the window in which I am trying to give my system time off. I’ve done keto diets, which are effective but really hard to discipline yourself into.
Q: Any bad habits?
Not going to the gym is a bad habit. Like everyone, I love chocolate — I love good chocolate. I wouldn’t say it’s a bad habit. It’s a sin. Watching box sets. I have to stop myself. I looked at my phone the other day and I had been watching for 4-5 hours. I had no idea. That’s a really bad habit. Twitter and Instagram and box sets, those are the bad habits, but they’re the only thing distracting me from the absolute madness.
Q: Do you drink and smoke, if so how much?
A: I drink way in excess of the guidelines, once or twice a week. I don’t drink all the time but when I do drink I’ll have a bottle-and-a-half or two bottles of wine. I could sit in the studio for a whole day and work and not even know how much I’m drinking.
Q: Do you take any supplements?
A: No. Ruth is very conscious of how much of everything we get. We have lots of colours on our plate that we eat from fresh. If we do eat meat it’s grass fed. We’ve only recently been vegetarian. I was inspired to go vegetarian for two weeks and I have to say there are so many good products out there.
Q: How do you take time out?
A: We go walking in interesting places, and before lockdown we would have travelled to interesting places, everywhere from Rome to Split in Croatia. I love seeing new cultures. I am a qualified PADI diver, and I’ve been diving all over the world. I’ve been diving in the Philippines, the Bahamas, St Lucia, the Caribbean and Egypt.
Q: How well do you sleep?
A: Sleep’s good, thank you. Except when I’m working on an album and I tend to be a bit tortured by sleep.
Recently I learned how to come out of a dream when I have a good melody in a dream. I’ve done it three times now. You’re in a frozen state that the brain puts you in and you have to negotiate with it and I’ve managed to do that. I have very vivid dreams and I’ve learned how to control them. I’ve had some fantastic adventures in my dreams.
Q: Do you worry about getting old?
A: I do. I had a great talk with a friend, Professor Brian Cox, and he tells me they weighed people at the point of death and found at the point of death their weight changed by 21g. You can only attribute that to electromagnetic energy leaving the body. It isn’t going anywhere, it’s infinite, it’s going into the universe. That is scientists telling us we have a soul that leaves a being and can float into something else or another being. If I do come back, I’m coming back as a cat. Cats have figured it all out. They get their tummy tickled, their tray changed, food is free, good shelter — you are basically their butler for life. That is why I am coming back as a cat.
Q: What is your go-to product that keeps you feeling healthy?
A: Water. Electrolytes. I don’t really have a routine with skincare or anything.
D:Ream’s new single, Meet Me At Midnight, was released in April and their new album will be released in July. Listen on Soundcloud or watch the video on https://youtu.be/0Cwp_sxhA-M. To find out more, visit www.d-ream.co.uk or follow facebook.com/d.ream.co.uk; twitter.com/d_ream_music or instagram.com/d_ream_music