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ScoreKeeper Interrogates Hans Zimmer on SHERLOCK HOLMES!!

Greetings! ScoreKeeper here sleuthing my way into 2010 with a wallop of an interview so elementary it defies the laws of rational logic. Hans Zimmer is one of the most prolific and sought after composers in Hollywood. The films he has scored over the span of his career has generated billions of dollars at the box office and his seemingly insurmountable popularity swells with each new score he creates. The day before I was set to depart for my Christmas vacation, I had the opportunity to interrogate Mr. Zimmer on his latest cinematic endeavor, SHERLOCK HOLMES (2009).

So what was I able to deduce from my inquiry with the mega-popular German-born composer? You'll have to read for yourself. Remember…when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth!

ScoreKeeper: Hello Hans! Hans Zimmer: Hey! How’s Christmas shaping up?

SK: It’s shaping up very well. How about for you? HZ: I’m just about to dash out and do some Christmas shopping.

SK: Actually, after this interview I will be as well… [Both Laugh] HZ: Exactly! We are all in the same boat.

SK: Yes, indeed. I want to thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule during an especially busy holiday season to speak with me. I'm glad we were able to do this before Christmas. HZ: You are very welcome.

SK: Okay…so let’s get things started so we can go do some Christmas shopping, shall we? HZ: Ask me anything!

SK: Hans, you're one of the most sought after composers in Hollywood. I'm curious how and why you choose your projects. I'm sure you could almost pick any film out there that you wanted. Why team up with Guy Ritchie and score SHERLOCK HOLMES? What made this project so attractive to you? HZ: The thing is, once you meet Guy, you know you are going to have a fun time! I partly pick my projects by the people I get to work with. Guy phoned me up and he said, "I'm doing a Sherlock Holmes movie. Every time I go into the cutting room, there's THE DARK KNIGHT all over it. I like DARK KNIGHT but that's not what I want." The good news was that he didn't want me to do the same-old-same-old. I said, "Okay, I'll come over to London and have a look at it." Then I got very busy and months and months went by. Then he asked me, "Are you ever going to come see this thing?" I went over there and I had great trepidations about it. I was worried that he would have made a mess of the character or something like that. I was the first person he showed it to and he had me within twenty seconds! He solved all of the problems that I had or could foresee. It was fun! We started talking and we both liked the same sort of music so that’s a good start.

SK: What kind of collaborator is he? Was he very active in the scoring process or more passive? HZ: Very active! I would have a tune and he would literally pace up and down in front of me then come back to me and say, "Quiet here…" It was great! I never mind playing with the director in the room, coming up with ideas or chucking things out and coming up with new stuff. It was very much in a spirit of true collaboration. He and I were very much on the same page…what the movie should be, how quirky it should be and to keep the fun parts and to make it funny. I'm a hideous player. I truly play with no technique whatsoever. To quote Jim Brooks, "The only thing I've got going for me is I'm prepared to humiliate myself."

SK: Can you pinpoint for me one unique characteristic about Guy Ritchie that set him apart from your experiences working with other directors? HZ: The conducting part! Also he'd be seriously getting in amongst it in a very proactive way and be completely fearless. Remember, it's still a big Hollywood blockbuster-type movie. When I said to him, "What about banjos?" and him not flinching, you know? Whatever I would say to him, he wouldn't scare.

SK: Let’s talk about that a little bit. You employ a very colorful array of ethnic and non-traditional instruments for this score. Can you guide us on a tour of some of the more interesting instrument choices that you used? HZ: Sure! [Laughs] Guy actually has a pub in London. There's a traditional Irish band that plays in his pub called "The Punch Bowl Band." They play Irish jigs and folk music and there's a great sound to it. I thought, "How can I not have that be an isolated incident in the movie?" I thought of taking musicians from all over the world that I knew or I had heard of and wanted to see what would happen if I put a very eclectic band together. There are basically three fiddles: Alexei Gusteman who is Russian and lives in Vienna, Ann Marie Calhoun who is in Dave Stewart's band, and another chap who actually lives over here in Los Angeles. They all have very different styles. That was basically my string section. Then I found a bass player in Italy. I found a cellist who was on tour and Davey Johnstone who is actually a guitarist in Elton John's band but never gets to play the banjo. I know he's a really great banjo player. I got this wonderful group of musicians together and wrote for them. The idea was to make it actually a virtuoso playing the score where everybody could really go and give their best. Guy and I didn't want that homogenous sound that you get from an orchestra. We felt that it wasn't the way to go in this movie. Everything had a point of view. Everything was a bit bolder. Everything was a bit more lively and dangerous.

SK: One of the signature instruments that I am hearing in the score sounds like a dulcimer. What is that? HZ: It’s a Hungarian cimbalom and it’s like the big brother of the dulcimer. We also brought in an old piano and turned it on its side. We were playing the strings with hammers or drum sticks and stuff like that. There was a lot of misappropriation and torturing of instruments going on! For instance, Diego (Stocco), the bassist, literally took a hacksaw to his bass to have the strings resonate sympathetically. I really wanted the music to be – it's a very overused word – but very organic. It's very un-electronic. It's surprisingly un-electronic for me, you know?

SK: You have a very distinct fiddle style in this score. How much of the music was written out specifically for each of your three fiddle players and how much of it was just turning them loose to do what they do? Were there any improvisatory elements in the score? HZ: Believe it or not, it’s all written. Everything is written. It was all about the performance really but it’s all written.

SK: Why lean so much on the violin? HZ: Sherlock Holmes is a violinist. I kept thinking, "What would happen if he actually played the violin? Would his violin playing sound more like (Albert) Einstein?" Einstein loved being a violinist but he made a scratchy sound. It was much more about the synapses in his brain firing. It was much more a way of looking into the mind of Sherlock Holmes which might not be as tidy as you think. I think if Sherlock Holmes doesn't have a case to solve he's actually depressed. I think he's basically manic depressive. So I thought, "Oh, the violin should do manic depressive music."

SK: Research is always a common component to the scoring process for composers, especially when they are dealing with exotic environments and sonic landscapes like you have utilized in this film. How much research prior to scoring did you do? What did that entail? HZ: Very little. The main thing I did was try not to listen to any of the other Sherlock Holmes movies. I didn’t want to be influenced by them. The rest of my research was just finding my players. I was really clear about who the musicians were that I wanted to use on this. I grew up in Germany and with the opera. I wanted to it to have – I know it's slightly the wrong area and geographically wrong as well – but I wanted it to have this republic sound. A little rough around the edges. When I start writing, I try not to listen to anything or anybody else because it's just noise in my head. You're supposed to invent! You are not supposed to be an anthropologist. It was more about, "What should I leave out?" and "What was the purpose of everything?" I kept saying to the brass section, "Can you sound more like the Salvation Army?" [Both Laugh] I wanted things to be on the street corner or come from the pub around the corner. If you say to me that Guy and I spent a bit of time in a pub, that was probably part of the research.

SK: Could you break down the various themes that you wrote and what they represent in the film? HZ: Okay, well it was very important that the first thing you hear on the album is the "Holmes Theme." I start the movie off with it because the movie very quickly goes into pretty dark territory and I just felt the first thing you need to do for an audience is you need to say to them, "You can have a bit of a giggle here. You can have a bit of a smile before we go into all of this dark territory.” Watson doesn’t really have a theme. The whole idea is that it’s these two friends. In other words, if it’s Watson by himself the theme is more the lack of a theme and the void it creates. The love interest I wrote many themes for. She finally ended up with a rather sexy theme. Again, it is a violin but it's very self-centered with a little bit of attitude. The other main theme is the Big Ben theme, just the bells of London, and that's really for Lord Blackwood, our bad guy. If you turn the notes upside-down and re-harmonize it in a way it will take you a while to figure out it's Big Ben. I hope you do by the end of it. Part of it was to play the same games that the movie plays where you get a clue to something but you won't know what it is until the end. That sort of game was really fun. I was forever trying to keep my focus on the main character and forever write about Sherlock Holmes. I got (Robert Downey Jr.) in one day very early on and said “Look, you know more about this character than I ever will, just talk to me about how you approached him. A lot of it was very much written with Robert’s voice in my head.

SK: Maybe that’s the answer to this question but let me ask it anyway…Every film has a door in which the composer searches for the right key to enter it. What was the key to SHERLOCK HOLMES which allowed you to enter the film and how did you arrive at finding it? HZ: Oh, very much the Irish band. Very much the “Punch Bowl Band” and talking to Robert. For instance, him telling me how he would enter and exit a scene by holding the violin. Just finding those arches. There were certain things that were just obvious to me at the beginning: that it shouldn't be a homogenous orchestral score and that it shouldn't be a big pompous thing. The movie actually looks very gritty even though the set design is probably the most absolutely gorgeous set design I have seen since, THE LAST EMPEROR. There’s an opulence in the picture and I just wanted to keep it small and distinct and agile. Holmes is really agile and that’s something great about having really virtuoso playing which is a little bit like the virtuosity that goes on in his head. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s novel or it’s straight, but there’s a fun to be had putting the adventure into somebody’s mind. Does that make sense?

SK: Yeah, definitely…I would assume that most of the films you work on are temp-tracked by the time you get to scoring them. You even mentioned earlier that SHERLOCK HOLMES was temped with your music from THE DARK KNIGHT. How do temp-track scores affect your creative process in general? How did it affect you on this film? HZ: Actually, SHERLOCK HOLMES was the first one where I had a temp-track in a really long time. My process usually is to start writing before they start shooting and then I will have written large chunks of something or the other or at least created the themes by the time they start cutting the picture together. For instance, THE DA VINCI CODE (2006) never had a temp-track. Because THE DARK KNIGHT was sort of the wrong direction we wanted for SHERLOCK HOLMES, it was really easy to ignore it. In fact, I don't think I ever really noticed THE DARK KNIGHT going all the way through it. We work differently these days. It’s not like the old days when the studio had an army of copyists, arrangers, and orchestrators and the first time the director would really hear the movie was on the scoring stage with an orchestra sitting there. This was much more organic, writing things and recording things on a daily basis. I mock everything up with my synthesizers and I do a version of the whole score. We actually went and previewed it with the mock-up score because the score is a little bit out there. I do think Warner Brothers wanted to know if…you know, if I should be replaced. We went off and did the preview and it was scary as hell! Luckily everybody really liked the music.

SK: At that screening what bumps did you encounter and how did you fix them? HZ: The bumps I encountered? It’s funny because the preview audience couldn’t articulate the bumps. They were just asked, “Did you like the music?” All of the hands came up. I promise you, the time it took between the question being asked and the hands coming up – which was probably a second or two – to me felt like ten years in purgatory. What if no hands came up? I would have been in serious trouble. I really think it’s interesting sitting there with an audience just experiencing the movie with people around you that have never seen it before. They don't know where it goes. I just felt like the tune wasn't landing properly and there was a fair amount of retouching that happened afterwards because you get to see it in a different light. You have the chance to make it better for yourself and some things I tried to improve actually got worse. It doesn’t always work out that way, but on the whole, because it was so eclectic, I really had to go and pull it together so thematically it had an arch. My problem is I keep coming up with ideas. GLADIATOR (2000) is a complete mess as there are nineteen main themes in that. I would get to another theme and be completely undisciplined and just, "Hey! I got an idea. Let's do it!"

SK: You are a proponent of composing extremely long pieces of music in your films. I think just about every film you score has at least one epic cue. There is even a piece of music in SHERLOCK HOLMES that approaches twenty minutes… HZ: We cut that one down, believe it or not. We cut about three minutes out.

SK: So in the film, it’s even longer? HZ: Yeah.

SK: Are you concerned at all about the inherent risks contained in longer pieces of music? The endurance of the ear, fatigue, complacency, things like that? HZ: I was worried about that. Especially on this one. The strange thing about working with an orchestra as compared to working with soloists is you can tuck in behind the dialogue and the effects and it's okay. With these guys it was really hard to pull them back. I had to take it out completely or play boldly. We worked really hard on the shape of that last piece. I think it works pretty well in the movie. Everybody was worried that we were going to exhaust the audience with it. Rather than cutting that last piece down I was careful about the reel before it and took out some music in there which lowered things beforehand. By the time you got back to music it was actually a welcomed distraction as opposed to just something that you wanted to go and shoot yourself over.

SK: You had a very impressive seven months to work on SHERLOCK HOLMES. There’s an old saying, "You never really finish a score, you just run out of time." It seems like seven months is a luxurious amount of time to compose a film score. Were there any aspects of it that you wish you still had more time to work on for whatever reason? Was there anything that you wanted to do in this score that you couldn’t or didn’t? HZ: It started off that I was supposed to be finished by the first of August. I actually had eight weeks originally and then I looked at the release date and I went, “That’s crazy! You are not coming out until Christmas!” They finally went, “Okay, you pick your date.” We finished it about two and a half weeks ago. You are absolutely right, listening to it at the premiere I’m cautiously optimistic that it sort of worked. I am my worst critic. Are there things I would loved to have changed? Yes, there are. As you work on something, you actually get better at it and so some of the earlier stuff I would have liked to have redone. At the same time if they didn’t say, “Okay, it’s finished now,” I would never finish it. It’s a real dilemma. I do drive everybody crazy with it by delivering everything at the last moment. If you don't say, "Finished!" that little devil in your brain is saying to you that the chance exists that you could do something extraordinary and something much better than you ever expected yourself to do. As soon as you say, "Finished!" you just go, "Okay, it's just me. It's the same old me." I do try to push it. Even though I had seven months, there were so many days I wouldn't get home until 6:30 or 7:00 in the morning. It was seven months without taking a day off.

SK: Wow! HZ: It’s not a job. This is what I love doing. One of the truly special things about Guy is his amount of enthusiasm and his energy and the way he just rolls up his sleeves. He’s just part of it. You get more daring when you have a director like this. I love directors who I can say, “I have no idea what to do next!” and they don’t freak out on you because they know it takes a bit of time before you come up with the solution. He defended the score constantly. As we were making it, that was very much the attitude. Things had to be bold and things had to be daring. Some things were experiments which just weren’t going to work. I don’t know how many themes I had written for the Irene Adler character. I think I have a good fifteen themes left over. There’s a whole other Holmes tune. There’s a whole Watson tune that has never seen the light of day.

SK: You brunt criticism for employing other composers who receive “additional music by” credits in the films that you score. Fair or not, this has led to speculations that you don't write portions of your music. Using SHERLOCK HOLMES as an example, can you take us through your scoring process and how your team of composers and orchestrators fit into the overall big picture? HZ: I’ll happily do that. Look, years ago the studio system had orchestrators, arrangers, and copyists. There was a team of people employed and they were on the payroll. That all went by the wayside. When I got into film, I worked as an assistant for another film composer. A man named Stanley Myers. That’s how I learned to do film music. He always gave me a credit. Sometimes I had done hardly anything. I was just around and might have contributed an idea or something but he always gave me credit. I thought it was great that he never treated me like a ghostwriter. I don’t think people should be anonymous. I think people should be acknowledged. How else are their careers going to happen? How else are we going to have new voices unless we promote the Harry Gregson-Williams and John Powells? Those two guys are the perfect examples of people who I insisted upon giving music credit. To get to the specificity on, "Do I write this thing or not?" I mean, yes I write it. I write it probably more and more singularly than anybody who writes on paper – the old fashioned way you would write your notes on paper the note is the symbol that tells you the pitch and the duration of the note. I write in a computer. Every note that is being played has at one point or another been played by me. I surround myself with really good programmers as well. Once I set the tune and the outline of it, people are filling it. Plus, I value people coming up with other ideas. It's a conversation. It's like being in a band. People contribute and that to me is additional music. Maybe it's some perverse thing in me whereby I am always going a little bit against the grain, but you look at all films…Look at THE DARK KNIGHT. It’s very much a Chris Nolan movie. There can be no doubt about it. But was there a collaborative process? Sure! Are there other people involved? Sure! Do they have a voice and contribute to that voice? Sure! The SHERLOCK HOLMES score is my score. Do I have people coming in and doing arrangements? Look, I’m not a great percussionist. I’ll hire great percussionists and I’ll give them an outline and I’ll give them a beat. So I suppose I had written it but by the time he has finished it, he will have contributed an enormous amount of depth to it. I work a lot with Scotsman – which is appropriate on SHERLOCK HOLMES – a guy named Lorne Balfe. He is a brilliant programmer, a brilliant arranger, and a brilliant musician. We talked about every note. So, yes, I am going to have him credited as “Additional Music.” At the end of the day it doesn’t take away from me. My ego isn’t that fragile. I don’t have to have the big credit. You and I know – and we don’t have to mention the name of the movie – there was a big hit movie out there a few years ago that I don’t have a name on in the titles and I wrote the score. They started putting my name onto the sequels. I feel music is about playing. I feel that music is about getting a bunch of people around you and actually making music together. In one way or the other, I always like to have them acknowledged. I remember when I started out it was really exciting when I got a credit. That sounds ridiculous. My mother used to phone me up and say “Hey, I just saw your movie and I saw your credit!” which was somewhere at the very end of the roll. It meant something to her and that meant something to me, you know? By the way, I have to fight for those credits with the studios. Studios don’t really want to give credits to anybody else. They just want my name up there.

SK: Your music has influenced so much of what modern film scores sound like. Is that a blessing or a curse to hear so much of your influence throughout cinema? HZ: Let’s go from THE DARK KNIGHT conversation with Guy to what we actually did in SHERLOCK HOLMES…THE DARK KNIGHT is a very minimalistic score with drones throughout. By drone I mean everything just sticks to one note and hangs around that one note and does very little. It doesn’t have a lot of chords, you know? It doesn’t have a lot of harmonic movement in it and it doesn’t have a lot of tunes in it. So after THE DARK KNIGHT there were so many other scores out there that sort of employ the idea of an ostinato – which is just a bunch of repeating notes around one pitch. When SHERLOCK came along, I tried to figure out how to have lots of chords and lots of harmonic movement again and how to put tunes in it and still make it a modern score. There are just certain things which we can’t get away with in those movies anymore. You can’t do a GONE WITH THE WIND (1939) in a Sherlock Holmes movie. You don’t even make a GONE WITH THE WIND anymore. In a peculiar way they are anachronistic. I am trying – for better or worse or to the best of my abilities – to make film music interesting and make it shift and change and make it take on new style. The first real action movie I ever did was BLACK RAIN (1989) and people actually thought that was quite a revolutionary score. I thought, “Great, now I’ve figured out my style. Now I know how to do an action movie.” Two years or whatever later, by the time I got to my next one, so many other movies had ripped off that style, I had to go and change. The same goes for PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN (2003). The same goes with CRIMSON TIDE (1995)…If I hear one more choir doing it’s big thing in a score, I’m going to shoot myself…which some people might actually like. [Both Laugh] The whole idea is you are supposed to grow and progress. You are supposed to come up with new ideas. THE THIN RED LINE (1998) is still all over the scores these days. It became a way of scoring…Yes, it became the temp-track for a lot of things… Ultimately, as a composer, what you are being asked to do is invent. You have to come up with something new. Look, even if you don’t get the stuff I’ve done with Ridley Scott, there’s a big difference between GLADIATOR and THELMA AND LOUISE (1991). There’s a big difference between that and BLACK HAWK DOWN (2001). Do I write it myself? Yeah, I do write it myself. I sit here and I agonize over it and I don’t get a lot of sleep. I don’t get to see my family and I hear something in my head and I’m trying to figure out how to get it out into the world. I’m going to go on continuing to give people credits. If it confuses everybody, so be it. The big difference – and I don’t actually care if the audience gets confused about the credit – I do actually care about the individual musician having a credit and being acknowledged for doing good work. It does sometimes confuse the Academy and that’s the fun thing because suddenly the question that needs to be asked of the Academy is, “Are they still relevant?” The way we do things has changed dramatically and they get confused when James Newton Howard and I were doing the score for THE DARK KNIGHT. At the same time we put down the name of the sound designer, the name of the music editor, and the name of the arranger, and that completely baffled them and eventually got us thrown out and then reinstated. They are not really looking at the music per se like, “Did the music serve the movie? Did it make the movie better?” and “Is it something new?”

SK: In your recent interview with Film Score Monthly, you were asked about the article that John Burlingame wrote a couple of weeks ago for VARIETY. Since that article was published it has been a favorite question of mine as well. It’s been interesting to hear the various reactions among different composers. You referred to it as "rubbish" and that you "couldn’t relate to that article," which I thought was… HZ: Oh, I never saw that! I remember saying “rubbish.” I can’t even remember quite what I said but it was something about…I’m now getting two articles confused…There was an article recently about the poor downtrodden film composer who’s budgets are getting slashed and they are not even being invited to the party anymore…Is that what you are referring too?

SK: The article was titled "Film composers lose luster" and was published on December 7th. HZ: Oh yeah, right. With somebody saying in the old days they were a true collaborator and now they are not even treated as well as the editor or something like that.

SK: I think the article touched on the notion that there is a decline amongst the filmmakers – not so much the composers – in appreciating the power of functional film music and able to harness that power effectively. HZ: It’s exactly the opposite. Look, take SHERLOCK HOLMES, take THE DARK KNIGHT, take THE THIN RED LINE, take ANGELS AND DEMONS (2009). It’s a much more collaborative process. Okay, I tell you what. Let me go and pick and obscure one as an example, FROST/NIXON (2008). Before Ron went out to shoot FROST/NIXON, we spent probably three weeks together in my room, just talking about the movie and talking about the script and talking about songs and all sorts of things like shots. Then dailies started coming in and it was fantastic because there are certain shots that ask for it…We were talking about the “music could do something good, if you had a shot like this or the other,” and dailies started to appear. I think that’s a collaborative process. I think that’s very much being heard. The same with Guy… The opening to GLADIATOR would never have existed without the music and there’s no way Ridley Scott would deny that. I think it depends on how you work. I work in this very open and collaborative way. I usually start months before they start shooting the movie. THE DARK KNIGHT being a perfect example. The amount of conversation Chris and I had had about the Joker…You have to realize, there had to have been an enormous amount of trust from him, because when I said to him, “Hey, I want to do the Joker with one note,” and he’s the main character in the movie…It takes a lot of courage not to turn around and go, “One note? You are not working very hard, you are fired!” The concept we worked out together. The concept influenced very much the way the movie is made and very much the way the movie is cut. Especially on THE DARK KNIGHT. The editor, the director, the composers, we were always in the room together figuring out the total of the movie as opposed to just our little corner of music.

SK: Let me ask you this…Can you at least sympathize with Burlingame's assertions? I’ve heard this sentiment echoed before. Why do you think the state of film music is perceived this way? HZ: (pause)…I think partly what it's referring to is a particular type of film music which is big orchestral scores. Look, Jerry Goldsmith isn't around anymore. Elmer Bernstein isn't around anymore. Ennio Morricone doesn't do that much in America. So we have John Williams who doesn't do that much anymore and James Horner. James and John are the great composers of the era and they truly are great composers. There's not denying that they're incredible talents. But it's not necessary that we make those types of movies. By the way, this discussion was going on in the 80's as well when everybody put pop songs into their movie, "Nobody recognizes the poor composer anymore.” Who can really remember the composer of THE GRADUATE? It was Dave Grusin but everybody remembers Paul Simon's song. Every once in a while everybody has to have a good moan and shake it off a bit and yes, these are tougher times. The economy is in the toilet and it’s tougher to get your movie green-lit and it’s tougher to go and do daring things when it’s exactly a perfect period in time where we should be doing daring things. We should be entertaining. We should be outrageous and come up with new things and try to make our voices heard in a way.

SK: I have a pair of quick questions here to wrap things up. Would you like to be available to score a sequel to SHERLOCK HOLMES if that were to happen? HZ: You know, a little bit of time has to go by. [Both Laugh] I can still feel that scar. The surgery is a little too recent. If it means hanging out with Guy and Robert Downey Jr. again, yes. We did have a rather good time.

SK: What score of yours would you like to see released on CD that hasn’t already been? HZ: I’m weird about this stuff. There are certain things that I just never thought should be released because I didn’t think there was enough good music there. I do wish one would be re-released because it’s actually something I’m really proud of, THE POWER OF ONE (1992). Two and a half people went to see the movie but it’s actually a very good score.

SK: My last question for you today Hans is what are your New Year’s resolutions for 2010? HZ: Not to have any…because I would break them all!

SK: Well, that’s cheating. HZ: I know. Really? I’ll tell you what my New Year’s resolution is, which started before New Years, the day we finished SHERLOCK HOLMES which was the Sunday after Thanksgiving. I was saying to myself, “I really need to take some time off because this is ridiculous!” I need to take some time off. It’s killing me and the next thought that came into my head was an idea for Chris Nolan’s new movie. Literally a couple of weeks have gone by and I’m in London for the SHERLOCK HOLMES premiere and two days later I’m sitting in a studio with Chris Nolan trying some stuff out. So I am saying I am terrible about my New Year’s resolutions other than making the one which I always had, “Try to write decent music. Try to write something that I’m not going to be embarrassed about.”

SK: Very cool Hans. I feel like I’ve overstayed my welcome already as it is. You have been very generous with your time. Go do your Christmas shopping. I want to thank you for taking the time to talk with me. It was a real pleasure. HZ: You too! That’s the real problem…Forget the interviews and the movies, if you don’t do your Christmas shopping, you are going to be in a bowl of shit.

SK: That’s right. We’ve still got a few more days, so that’s plenty of time. [Both Laugh] HZ: I know! That’s what I’m thinking too. It was great talking to you.

SK: Likewise and hopefully we’ll talk again in the future. HZ: All right, take care bud. Bye.

SK: Bye. HZ: Happy Christmas!

SK: You too!

On behalf of Ain't It Cool News I'd like to thank Hans for taking the time out of his incredibly busy schedule to talk with me. I'd also like to thank Ronni Chasen for helping set up the interview and also to Mike McCutchen for his help putting it together. Hans Zimmer's score for SHERLOCK HOLMES will be released on CD by Watertower Music on January 12, 2010. Here's to a great 2010 for all of us!!!


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