Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
100 Greatest Videos Games Of All Time
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Empire Visits The Hobbit's VFX Team
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
4Music's Size Does Matter
Introducing your new favourite app
Feature
Empire Meets... Hans Zimmer
From Going For Gold to Man Of Steel

submit to reddit

Hans Florian Zimmer has gone from The Buggles to Burbank in 30 incident-packed years. An inspiration for a generation of movie composers, he's on speed dial for directors of the calibre of Christopher Nolan, Ridley Scott and Steve McQueen. The diversity of those filmmakers is testament to his sheer versatility and capacity for invention and reinvention. Abandoning Inception's 'BRRAAAMMM' motif to a legion of imitators, he's since decorated Rango, Man Of Steel and, most recently, 12 Years A Slave with his mighty compositions. He's also a thoroughly nice man who kindly agreed to take Empire through the key moments of his career to date.

WORDS NEIL ALCOCK
1 2 3
  1 of 3 Next

Hans Zimmer

GOING FOR GOLD (1987)

"Let me tell you why I love Going For Gold. Going For Gold truly meant that I wasn't starving, and I could pay my rent and I could pay the electricity bill. If you want to be an electronic whizz-kid synthesiser composer there's nothing worse than when the electricity gets cut off, which kept happening to me frequently in those days for non-payment of bills. And Going For Gold, God bless them, they kept me alive!


TAFFIN (1988)

"I didn't know what I was doing. I had no idea! I ran into Pierce Brosnan a couple of years ago and I said, have we ever worked together? And then I suddenly went, 'Yeah, Taffin!' I was still Stanley Myers' (British composer whose work includes The Deer Hunter and My Beautiful Laundrette) assistant really. When I listen to some of those things all I do is shudder with embarrassment, but at the same time if I cut myself a little bit of slack I have to say yes, you've got to start somewhere and you learn. Hopefully I got a little better since then. At the same time all you can do is be grateful to people for giving you a chance and putting up with all the mistakes you make, all the obvious stuff that you shove into these movies before you learn to be a little bit more subtle about it.


RAIN MAN (1988)

Rain Man

Rain Man soundtrack "It was surreal to be nominated (for the Oscar) for Rain Man. The whole thing came about in a really surrealistic way: I'd done a small but really great English movie called A World Apart, and Barry Levinson's wife Diana had seen the movie and bought him the CD, and he loved the music and had temped it all over Rain Man. He was in London and I think it was 11pm, and there was a knock on my door because he had my address but he didn't have my phone number. There's this guy standing there going, 'Hi, my name is Barry Levinson, I'm a Hollywood director. Would you like to do this Tom Cruise/Dustin Hoffman movie?

At first I didn't believe that he was real, nor did I believe that this was ever going to happen, but eventually there was this aeroplane ticket so I went over to Los Angeles and saw the film. I didn't know my way around, I didn't know anybody there so the whole score was done in Barry's office, just a bunch of synthesisers and me. It was a very un-Hollywood approach, so to get the nomination was really strange. I just think they made a mistake! To them, 'German composer' sounds like somebody who's paid their dues, not a rock 'n' roller who's having a go at writing a film score. I think they thought I had toiled away on arthouse movies for 30 years. I just think it was all a big mistake, but it was really exciting!


TRUE ROMANCE (1993)

True Romance

True Romance soundtrack "I grew up in Germany, and one of the things that was de rigeur in German schools was to do this sort of Carl Orff music technique, where all the kids were banging around on xylophones and marimbas and those that didn’t want to bang around had to play treble recorder. There is no sound worse than a whole classroom of kids playing out of time, really loudly, all blowing into treble recorders. They have no dynamic, it’s on or off, like piercingly loud or whatever. But there’s such an innocence about it, it’s such an absurd sound.

Tony (Scott) was making this movie which was so tough, you know, after Christian Slater goes and kills Gary Oldman and [Patricia Arquette] says, 'That was so, so, so...', and you think she’s going to say something terrible, and she says 'romantic'! There’s a childlike quality about it and all I kept thinking was what a dreadful, horrible, violent racket those marimbas were. But they weren’t really, so if you did something really really simple – it actually took me a really long time to write this thing, it’s a three-chord tune but it took me forever to make something that was that simple. I just didn’t think the movie was a movie that wanted an orchestra, and Tony loved it. He loved it whenever I would go against the grain. He lived by the motto “weird is good”.

1 2 3
 
1 of 3
Next

Have Your Say
Register or login now to let us know what you think.

Your Comments

1 Hans Charm
Hans self deprecating charms always make up for producing a wholesale store of scores under his and his banner in RC related staff. Among some kinda interesting scores he has many that are flat out bad and not that inspired, and droning and non-musical and extremely repetitive. The Batman trilogy was the most droning unspired boredom of score endlessly repeated. But I suppose it goes with the malaise of lifelessness of the world that Nolan created, where even victory over the bad guys is tinted with depression and death and ennui, that is what the score sounds like too. Hans nicely admits that Days of Thunder is a terrible score. I cannot really believe Spielberg listening to Crimson Tide for 8 hours, and it was pretty much a rip off, or tribute perhaps to Basil Poledouris superior score to Hunt for Red October. Out of his camp of composers I would agree with Darren that John Powell is the superior, to Hans and all the others. Hans is a endlessly charming person in interviewMore

Posted by ado123 on Wednesday March 26, 2014, 20:03

2
My personal Hanz Zimmer fave. Kung fu Panda 2 with the criminally underrated John Powell. More

Posted by Darren47 on Friday March 7, 2014, 00:58

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Exclusive: Luc Besson Talks Lucy
'There is no bullshit with Scarlett Johansson'

Video: Daniel Radcliffe Talks What If...
On Gordon Ramsay, swearing and date movies

The 24 Best Film-Related Ice Bucket Challenges
The viral craze that won’t quit takes in some of Hollywood’s finest

Who Shot First? The Complete List Of Star Wars Changes
An exhaustive chronology of George Lucas' post-release tinkering

Gamescom 2014: The 10 Most Exciting Games
Zombies! Guns! Tombs! Sheep! Watch the trailers right here...

Who Is Mack Bolan? Your Guide To Cinema's New Action Man
As Bradley Cooper lines up to star as the hero, here's your handy guide to his story so far

Film Studies 101: A Film Buff's Guide To Movie Movements
Everything you need to know about cinema's key groups

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)