There's some implicit criticism here from the interviewer of the current trend toward ochestral scoring of games in favour of what is referred to as a more 'iconic' style. I'm not really sure what is meant by this but I'm guessing it's an argument in favour of game music sounding like 'game music'.
I can remember the theme songs of those older games, and part of it is, as you said, probably because I had to play through the levels so many times.I'd certainly support as wide a variety of scores as is appropriate to the games but I think we should remember that game music, like film music, is part of a unified experience. Perhaps if you can clearly remember the themes then it is drawing attention to itself too much ?
RJ: Yeah, the exposure...
But still, it's somewhat disturbing to me that I can't call to mind the music of recent games, a lot of them. Exceptions are like Halo, but that's partially because you have to wait on that loading screen for such a long time.
I don't think music in games is going to be as memorable or invest itself with real emotional meaning until it is truly 'interactive' and at one with the scene' rather than 'reactive' (see 'Hellgate London" post below!).