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Birth place & date: Kingston Upon Hull,
England. I don't give out my birth date.
Reside in: East Yorkshire, England.
Hobbies: I still play the piano and like to watch movies
Music taste: Modern Classical music.
Likes to do best: Films, Concerts.
Goal in life: Learn as much as you can, enjoy the moment.
How does life look today?
Life is good. I still have a strong interest in the multimedia
and video games business. Things are changing very quickly
and there are some interesting new technologies.
And the family?
Married with no children.
You recently moved back to England
from the US. Why?
I moved back to relocate back to Europe, mainly for personal
and family reasons.
What will you miss the most?
I'll miss the weather and lifestyle and the American service
What will you be working with?
I'm still undecided on this. I'm getting back into playing
some gigs again with a band.
Focusing on the future, what's planned
To get into playing again and get established back in
Europe. And also to visit European countries that I've
never been to.
If we return to the computer stuff
again, it makes me think about the fact that you was always
at the top, leaving no one disappointed when ever a new
Hubbard tune hit the market. From your point of view,
tell us about the C64 days as you remember them.
The old C64 days were a lot of fun - I really had a blast
doing those games. There were no rules, no producers,
no one dictating marketing. A C64 computer music culture
developed that was completely fresh and new and I am very
proud to have been part of it. Things have changed, become
more corporate, and unfortunately, those days will never
return. We were always trying to find new ways to get
better sound and push the envelope artistically.
Yeah, that's the whole thing! I
mean, the memory, the SID and just everything about the
C64 was limited. It forced you to find new ways of how
to reach a certain goal.
By changing the driver code and by not following any trends
- there were no rules and lots of freedom. Eventually
it became a cult scene and had a style associated with
it, especially in Europe.
If you take a look on what you actually
did ten years ago, what do you think of the quality?
I think there was some good stuff and some bad stuff.
There were some tunes that were well contructed and had
something, while others were sometimes a little ambitious
and didn't really work...
Fill in the following;
first one to be used in a game: Action Biker or Thing
on a Spring.
The most complicated one to compose: Kentilla and Delta.
The one that took the longest to do: Kentilla and Delta.
one that drove you insane: Kentilla and Delta.
The one composed in shortest time: Commando.
The worst one: Sam Fox Strip Poker !!!
Sam Fox being the worst title -
then you must tell us about John York!
Sam Fox Strip Poker was such a cheesy title and they wanted
that cheesy lame music along with it - I didn't want to
admit that I did it just for the money!! John York was
the first name that I thought of and used as an alias....
Tell us about the making of Ace
This was supposed to be the usual Top Gun type Danger
Zone music. It turned out much better than I expected
as certain musical styles can be difficult to do on the
Action Biker is a huge favourite
of mine. The sounds are a bit poor, but damn it's charming!
Action B was a very early game and very conservative in
it's approach - it was my idea of giving them what I thought
they wanted, a simple cute tune.....
How was it to work with Benn on
Auf Wiedersehen Monty? Who came up with the idea of you
two working together? Did you stay up really late and
had a lot of laughs?!?!??
I think it was something that Gremlin wanted to do as
I had done the first Monty and Ben worked at the office
full time. It could have been Tony's (Crowther) idea also.
Yes we stayed up late, but eventually got the job done.
Whenever doing a cover version of
a tune, did you have to work out the copyright details
before the tune was published? Lightforce is one example.
Is LF a cover? I don't remember if it was. In any case
it was good rythmically but the rest was a piece of junk.
Generally there were no copyright issues involved with
covers. I always figured it was their problem and not
What was Julian Breeze's involvement
in the Thanatos tune?
He gave me a music sketch and I implemented it.....
A friend of yours?
Never met or spoke with the chap.
I have picked out a couple of my
favourite RH tunes (impossible task). Please tell us about
how they came to life.
Star Paws was originally written for the Atari ST and
was therefore compromised for that machine. The tune was
basically junk - I was very tired and uninspired at the
IK was for System 3 - I started exploring pentatonic things
in B flat minor over different bass notes, B flat, D flat,
G flat and A flat. The middle section went into F (I think)
at double tempo to liven things up. I was pleased with
The follow-up, IK+, had a more mature
sound than its precursor and I'm really amazed how well
you worked with the sounds on this tune because they are
very clear sounding.
I can remember IK very well, but not IK+ so that must
tell me something. I also think that Comets is much better
than Mega A.
The Last V8
Last V8 was a simple futuristic game and so I was off
into Jarre land.... I purposely wrote the 2 melody lines
to work off one voice to make it sound like more than
Man and His Droid
OMAHD was also Jarre inspired. It was actually based on
something I wrote a few years before, so it was from music
I had already written (as was Chimera and Phantoms of
Shockway Rider - I just loaded this w/SidPlay because
I couldn't remember it! It's OK, has a nice sole in it.....
Monty on the Run
MOTR was supposed to be this run around like a madman
type music and has lots of energy. The middle section
was an excuse to use the new pitch bend code that I wrote
for this project.
Thing on a Spring
TOAS never had it. So the middle section has nothing to
do with the tune (bad). The 3rd section also has nothing
to do with the tune but just fitted the tempo and feel
The Human Race
Human Race was a very interesting project. The tunes tried
to capture some of the feel of the game, evolution etc.
One of the tunes was also used for an ST game (GoldRunner
I think). I only used 2 SID voices for all these tunes
because I used the other for SFX.
Most of the tunes were sketched out on a small keyboard
and manuscript paper. I used paper to keep track of the
basic ideas and arrangement, and I still have all the
original manuscripts. A lot of the manuscripts are not
readable because I used to work very fast and never updated
many of the changes I made. I used to use a machine code
monitor to edit music data and sound patch data on the
file while the tune was playing. This allowed me to really
fine tune the SID parameters for the music.
I think that people in general consider
Sanxion, W.A.R. and Delta to be your best work. The melodies,
the arrangements... everything works really good together.
Tell us more in-depth about them.
Sanxion was a lot of fun, inspired by Zoolook by Jarre.
Also Romeo and Juliet was used (not my idea but Gary Liddon's
idea). I think most people remember the main theme. I
think the solo is very melodic and is the best part of
the tune.... I once did an Amiga version of this which
was a slow version - don't know what happened to it.
WAR was something I wrote a few years before the C64 version.
I expanded upon it greatly and took some big risks. It
is too long... I still have this idea about doing a custom
version of this tune with synths etc.
Delta was based on this minimalist composition technique
inspired by Glass and a bit of Pink Floyd. It was quite
hard to do and required some custom code to the driver
to do it. The music was tedious to debug. The other Delta
stuff was more conventional - I quite liked the other
tunes. Delta was spread over a 2 week period...
Which tunes do you feel most satisfied
Sanxion - I think this has a bit of character about it.
Crazy Comets - Many people seemed to like this tune.
Skate or Die - Used sample sounds in this tune.
Kentilla - This is about 15 mins long and has lots of
W.A.R. - I wrote this years before the game and just adapted
it for the game.
Your favourites on the C64;
Games: Elite, Thing, Revenge of the Mutant Camels.
Programmers: Jeff Minter, Tony Crowther, Andrew Braybrook
Musicians: Martin Galway, David Whittaker, Ben Daglish.
Do you still have the C64 lying
I actually sold my original C64 system (along with many
other computer systems) when I moved to the US. I still
have a US C64 lying around with two disk drives.
Will you return to composing again?
I have done a lot of music in video games and also on
the PC. I would like to do a CD sometime in the future
- perhaps of some of the old C64 tunes.
A C64 piece then?
I don't really have the time right now - perhaps it would
As a final, do you have anything
to say to the people out there??
Just many thanks for all the kind words I've received
over the years and best wishes to all the C64 fans.
back to the first part of the interview