Now on to your personal side;

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 and films.

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 industries.

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 next?
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;

Action Biker title screenThe 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.

Kentilla title screenThe 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 2.
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 C64.

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 mine.

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

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 time.

International Karate
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 tune.

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 1 voice.

One Man and His Droid title screenOne 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 the Asteroids).

Shockway Rider
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 so well....

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 with?
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 ideas.
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.
Demos: ??
Programmers: Jeff Minter, Tony Crowther, Andrew Braybrook of Hewson.
Artists: ??
Musicians: Martin Galway, David Whittaker, Ben Daglish.

Do you still have the C64 lying around somewhere?
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 be fun!

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.

» Go back to the first part of the interview

» Get his music - from C64 to Atari ST to Speccy and more!

Softography - not only the C64 stuff.

» Scans - exclusive scans of the original music scripts!

» Back in Time - pictures of Rob from this event.

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