SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - Celebrated composer Hans Zimmer is hitting the road again with his career-spanning concert tour, which he describes as a little bit cinematic and a little bit rock 'n' roll.
"People came thinking it's going to be sort of a bit stodgy. ... It's going to be the pretentious composer sitting at his big, black, grand piano,'' the Oscar winner said of his tour, "Hans Zimmer Revealed,'' which kicked off in Europe earlier this year.
"It's a very, very different way of presenting music,'' Zimmer said in a recent interview at his recording studio in Santa Monica. "I come from rock 'n' roll so I had to sort of go back to my humble beginnings.''
So Zimmer enlisted Pink Floyd's lighting designer Marc Brickman to set the mood for the energetic show.
He looked to his favorite concert-going experiences, ranging from David Bowie at London's Earls Court in the 1970s to taking his 10-year-old son to his first concert - by The Rolling Stones.
"You're supposed to aim for something that people will remember for the rest of their lives and all the good shows I saw did exactly that,'' he said.
Zimmer also leaned on friends Pharrell Williams and The Smiths' guitarist Johnny Marr to help him overcome stage fright.
"Those two were pretty much the main offenders going, 'You can't hide behind that. You got to go out there. You have to go and do it.' And so they sort of set the tone and they were sort of my mentors and teachers in this,'' he said of Williams and Brickman, whom he worked with on "The Amazing Spider Man 2'' score.
Audiences can expect classic renditions and a few fresh reboots of some of Zimmer's most popular film scores, including "Gladiator,'' "The Lion King,'' "Pirates of the Caribbean'' and "The Dark Knight Trilogy.''
"When you play 'Lion King,' you suddenly realize that that was part of so many people's growing-up music. A lot of it has been the soundtrack to their lives. Some of it we're fairly radical about,'' Zimmer said. "There's an energy that comes even with some of the pieces I didn't realize. I didn't realize that 'Pirates' is basically an all-out rock 'n' roll onslaught.''
After his successful run across Europe, Zimmer announced his first U.S. performances. He'll stop in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas in April before visiting Australia and New Zealand and finishing with 21 more European shows.
"There's an energy you can get from American audiences that you can't quite get anywhere else,'' Zimmer said. "Most of this music came because this town gave me a chance. And so we sort of all feel we want to go and actually do this as a thank you to L.A. That's why it has to be about this town.''