Hans Zimmer Talks Johnny Marr, Rodrigo y Gabriela & New “Pirates of the Caribbean”

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Hans Zimmer and JB copyComposer Hans Zimmer is up for an Oscar for the Inception score and dropped by Morning Becomes Eclectic yesterday to talk about his working relationship with Director Chris Nolan, as well as collaborations with Johnny Marr and station favorites Rodrigo y Gabriela.

He said Chris Nolan (who he also worked with on The Dark Knight) really lets him push the boundaries as a composer. “I think one of the things I so enjoy about working with Chris is that, wherever the edge of the abyss is, we are right there and sometimes take a little step over it.

Zimmer says they don’t talk about the music per se, but the “feel of the thing…our aesthetic landscape” (if you haven’t seen Inception, you should. It’s an exceptional cinematic adventure)

He also told us how Johnny Marr (The Smiths!) entered the picture for a guitar part on the track “The Dream is Collapsing.”

“I know it’s not done.  It’s usually a hideous thing orchestras and guitars, because its—it’s a hideous thing, lets face it.  But I asked Chris “What about Johnny Marr?”  and he said “Oh that’s great, I love his playing.”  And I called him and asked if he wanted to come in and have a bash at this.”

“What I needed was somebody who could literally take these very simple phrases and play them with utter commitment and let his personality shine through.  That’s what I always appreciated about his playing, was that it was always extraordinarily individualistic.  There’s a true artist there.  Honestly sometimes when you call your heroes it doesn’t turn out so well.  They turn out to be, I don’t know, not as advertised.  But with Johnny we’ve struck up a really cool friendship.”

Rodrigo y Gabriela by Jeremiah Garcia
Rodrigo y Gabriela by Jeremiah Garcia (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

The composer also confirmed that he is collaborating with Mexican musical duo Rodrigo y Gabriela! The KCRW DJs have embraced their dueling guitars from the beginning and its great to see their talent recognized in other ways. Zimmer only had great things to say:

“The way we’re working, the three of us are sitting in a room, I play average keyboards and they play brilliant guitars and we’re writing cues together. There’s a force, a ferocity, about their sound.”

Hear the entire interview and read a transcript here.