Hans Zimmer talks first North American tour dates in 7 years, magic of composing music for film

LOS ANGELES — For generations, German composer Hans Zimmer's film scores have soundtracked magical movie moments in „The Lion King,” „Gladiator,” the „Dark Knight” trilogy and, most recently, „Dune” and „Dune: Bart. Two.” This fall, Zimmer will bring his award-winning score to the live stage.

His „Hans Zimmer Live” tour sold out in Europe and will head to the U.S. and Canada this fall, Zimmer's first time performing in North America in seven years.

The last one, which some fans may remember, was the 2017 Coachella show.

Via Zoom from New York, Zimmer said he was inspired after „refusing to get on stage for 40 years” because his friends Johnny Marr of The Smiths and Pharrell Williams told him to.

„You have to look your audience in the eye. You can't always hide behind a curtain. You know, you owe it to your audience,” they told him. After Coachella, he realized: „I can do this,” he said.

„We're at the top of our game at the moment,” he says of his band, after a run in Europe.

Don't expect a traditional, classical composition or a piano concerto — in “Hans Zimmer Live,” there's no conductor, no sheet music in front of each musician, and not a single frame from the films he's referring to.

„I come from rock and roll and I believe in putting on a show,” he says. “People stay with us because we give them an experience they've never had before… Life is tough. Life is hard these days. People worked hard to pay for these tickets, so it's good that we put on a show that they absolutely deserve to come and see us.”

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„Hans Zimmer Live” kicks off Sept. 6 at Cass South Arena in Duluth, Ga., and will hit 17 cities across the U.S. and Canada before concluding Oct. 6 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The tour includes stops in Hollywood, Florida; Raleigh, North Carolina; New York; Baltimore; Boston; Montreal and Toronto; Minneapolis; Chicago; Fort Worth, Texas; Denver; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Oakland, California and Seattle.

Zimmer says attendees can expect a diverse audience. „I've seen audiences where there's a mom with her grandson sitting next to a guy with a mohawk, a man in a business suit sitting next to another bunch of bikers, you know,” Zimmer said. . „So, it's not just multi-generational, it's multicultural.”

In more ways than one: Zimmer's band hails from the Ukraine; „Two weeks after the invasion, we managed to get half of them out of Odessa,” he says. Lebo M, who sings „The Lion King” theme, was a political refugee from South Africa when Zimmer first met him. Pedro Eustache, his woodwind player, is from Venezuela, and „he thinks he'll never be able to go back home,” Zimmer says.

„I have these very, very international players and … part of what makes them passionate composers is that they all have a story to tell you.”

The recently restored „Hans Zimmer Live,” „Gladiator,” „Pirates of the Caribbean,” „The Dark Knight,” „Interstellar,” „The Lion King,” „The Last Samurai,” and „The Hill.”

„Each part is really the adventure of making it, the adventure of actually making that movie, the adventure of collaboration, you know, 'How did we get here?'” he says. „Where did this happen? Is the journey just beginning? How do we make sure it never ends?”

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“Each of those films is painted in color and influences what is happening around us. And they are all extraordinary journeys.

All of these films and their scores are very different, but Zimmer's unique approach and arrangements should be considered connective tissue. That, too, creates a certain je ne sais quoi in an effective — and affecting — score.

„You have to be committed. You have to be honest. You can't be emotional,” he says of a winning score. „The other thing is that it's the people who make it happen. Because if you think about it, the last actors to actually get hired, the last actors to act in a movie, are the musicians. So, I am very careful in choosing the people I work with.

Tickets for „Hans Zimmer Live” will be available for purchase at www.hanszimmerlive.com beginning March 22 at 10 a.m. local time.

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