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RM Hubbert Interview

Claire Quigley


More Than The Music caught up with RM Hubbert before his show at The Arches in Glasgow to discuss collaborations, unusual venues and of course, playing for food.

MTTM: How have the various collaborations on the new album influenced the style of music?

RMH: It has been an interesting process. There is a pretty wide array of instrumentation going on between the vocalists, chinese harp, piano, banjo, accordion, drums, violin and my guitar. The general feel and style from my solo work is still there though. At least I think it is!

MTTM: You’ve played in some unusual venues, including caves and an abandoned swimming pool.  Which venues have you enjoyed playing in the most?

RMH: I really enjoyed playing out in Caiplie Caves near Anstruther for Haarfest last year. That was an amazing day. Playing Glasgow Barrowlands with Godspeed You! Black Emperor was a huge deal for me too. Playing to two lovely people in their bed in a chalet at All Tomorrows Parties was great fun too!

MTTM: You also appear in people’s living rooms doing “Will play for food”.  What have been some of the most memorable dishes?

RMH: I got some amazing suchi and korean pancakes in Glenrothes. The best Moroccan chicken I have ever tasted in the east end of Glasgow courtesy of Miss Halina Rifai too. To be fair though, I’ve yet to do one where the food and atmosphere isn’t great. I love those shows.

MTTM: You released your album First and Last under a Creative Commons licence.  Did anyone come up with some good remixes?

RMH: There were a few good ones. My favourite use of it though was when someone that I’d never met used a song for a birthday video for one of their friends. That made me smile.

MTTM: Apart from the collaborative pieces, how does your new work differ from First and Last?

RMH: Well, the subject matter is different for a start. All of the new pieces are centered around the idea of documenting how I’ve been reconnecting with old friends and getting to know the new ones. I guess it’s an extension of First & Last in that whereas that was about using music as a more comfortable medium to communicate through with regards to those that were immediately around me, the new pieces use music to try and connect with those that are in my life now.

MTTM: As your music is based on Flamenco have you ever considered collaborating with some dancers?

RMH: Aye, I actually occasionally do improvised guitar with contemporary dancers. It’s a lot of fun. I don’t have much to do with the flamenco community though. My style is certainly derived from it but isn’t what the purists (or myself for that matter) would call flamenco.

MTTM: Is there anyone you’d like to collaborate with but haven’t had the opportunity so far?

RMH: Actually, to be honest, everyone that I wanted to work with said yes. There are a few that I won’t have time to write with for this record but we’ll get around to it at some point. Outside of those people though, I’d love to do something with Mike Watt at some point.

MTTM: How does the process of writing flamenco-style pieces compare to that of writing more standard rock-style music?

RMH: Melodically speaking, the music I write tends to be closer to rock or post rock or whatever. The flamenco influence tends to be seen in the structure and techniques used. To be honest, I’ve never written any purely flamenco pieces. I found the melodic rules far to constraining. I was far more interested in the emotive openness and rawness inherent to the genre.