Roadhouse Rebels


The Doors’ Robby Krieger Joins Forces with Particle, Crowes and Boingo Members

:: Roadhouse Rebels ::
:: Oriental Theatre :: May 27 ::

By Brian F. Johnson

It’s the afternoon of 4/20 and Particle keyboardist Steve Molitz has just hopped off a plane in Jacksonville, Fla., on his way to the Wanee Music Festival. That night, he and Particle will cap the day’s festivities with a late-night set that follows performances by Furthur and The Allman Brothers Band. But, as he dashes through the airport, politely but quickly directing traveling companions and greeters, his mind is focused on another task  — talking with The Marquee about his side project Roadhouse Rebels.

“We have a runner. They’re meeting us here,” he said to his crew. “Could you call this number and coordinate, please? And I’ll just get in the car,” he said.

Without missing a step, he’s back on Roadhouse Rebels — a band that he helped put together based around a musical friendship he’s developed over the last decade with rock and roll royalty, The Doors’ guitarist Robby Krieger.

“We’re always exploring. To me, complacency is the enemy in any creative field. We all have our other groups, but it’s really nice to step out of the normal way of doing things and get a fresh perspective, and we get that by playing with different people,” said Molitz.

Molitz and Krieger met in the Los Angeles music scene in 2002, and Krieger joined Particle on stage at various times over the years. “We loved his playing, but we also loved that he’s on a quest. Robby loves playing and he’s on a lifelong journey, always trying to discover new stuff and try new things,” Molitz recalled.

Earlier in the day, Molitz had connected The Marquee with Krieger, who eagerly talked about the passion that projects like this bring to his music. “This is really liberating,” Krieger told The Marquee. “It’s great to play with Ray [Manzarek], and we do stretch out on certain songs, but the audience expects to hear certain songs, and we can’t very well let them down. But with something like Roadhouse Rebels, we can change stuff up and get away with it.”

Krieger was 18 when he joined The Doors, and the guitarist penned some of The Doors most notable songs, including “Light My Fire,” — one of the first songs Krieger ever wrote.

Four decades after the death of Jim Morrison and the demise of The Doors, Krieger teamed with Molitz and developed Roadhouse Rebels with John Avila of Oingo Boingo on bass. In 2010 the group played a few shows with some other percussionists. This year however, Molitz, who has been playing with and appeared on Black Crowes co-founder Rich Robinson’s newest album Through A Crooked Sun, invited Robinson along for the ride, and he, in turn, brought along his drummer Joe Magistro.

The formula for the group is simple. Take material from each artist, mix it up throughout the set and toss in some covers from artists they appreciate, but rarely get to play. “The first time, we played a bunch of different covers, including some Santana and some Grateful Dead covers,” Molitz said. “We’re getting to explore material and ways of playing that we wouldn’t do in our own groups. You’ll probably never go see Robby and Ray play and walk in on them doing a Grateful Dead classic. Similarly, you probably won’t hear Particle playing Santana.”

These days especially, it seems that Krieger is open to all sorts of music outside the box. He and his fellow surviving Doors, Manzarek and drummer John Densmore, recently recorded the first new material by the three of them since 1978’s American Prayer. Shockingly, it wasn’t rock and roll that brought them together. It was dubstep.

Laptop shredder and hotshot producer Skrillex was able to assemble the surviving Doors to play on the track “Breakin’ A Sweat” for the documentary film Re:Generation. “We’ve done that Skrillex song and we just did something else with Tech N9ne,” Krieger said.

Krieger didn’t know who Skrillex was when his manager first confronted him with the dubstep idea, but Krieger asked some kids who were at his house washing cars, and based on their seal of approval agreed to do the project, and shockingly, the guitarist gave the producer some big kudos. “It’s weird, but you know, he really plays that thing [his laptop]like an instrument. It was really cool. It’s different, but it’s still an instrument the way he’s doing it and he’s got some talent,” Krieger said.

He added that while all three Doors weren’t in the same room at the same time — over the years, Krieger and Manzarek have battled with Densmore over various legal and personal issues — that these collaborations could be a sign of things to come. “We weren’t all there at the same time, but we were all on the same track. This could be a trend,” said Krieger, adding that if the opportunity presented itself he could imagine a time when all three share the stage again. “If it were up to me, it’d be no problem,” he said. “I’m sure it will happen at some point.”

In the meantime, Krieger will play a couple of Roadhouse Rebels shows this summer, before he takes off on a big world tour with Manzarek.


:: Roadhouse Rebels ::

:: Oriental Theatre :: May 27 ::




Recommended if you Like:

• The Doors

• Particle

• Rich Robinson


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