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Robby Krieger Talks Manzarek Tribute, Doors App

Robby Krieger has plenty on his creative plate these days. But he still misses his Doors bandmate and longtime partner Ray Manzarek, who died of bile duct cancer on May 20 at the age of 74.

“It’s taking awhile to get over it,” Krieger tells Billboard.com. “I knew him for so long. I still think about him every day, and I’m constantly doing interviews and stuff about him.” 

Krieger adds that Manzarek’s disease came as a surprise to the keyboardist and to those around him. “I think he only found out in March, although on the last tour I remember that he seemed to be getting tired more quickly than he used to,” Krieger says. “It wasn’t a long, drawn-out thing.”

PHOTOS: The Doors | Remembering Ray Manzarek

Manzarek’s death has reunited Krieger with Doors drummer John Densmore, repairing a relationship that became strained when Densmore filed suit against Krieger and Manzarek in 2003 over their attempts to use the group’s name for a live act. 

“We’ve actually spoken a few times after Ray’s death,” Krieger notes. “I think it sort of showed us that, hey, you can’t hate somebody forever. It’s better to try to mend fences when you can, before it’s too late.” Krieger says he and Densmore are also “talking about doing a tribute to Ray, maybe on Ray’s birthday, Feb. 12, and give him a nice send-off.”

Krieger and Densmore also sat for a joint interview for the new Doors’ app, which is currently available for iPad and was the brainchild of Jac Holzman, who signed the Doors to his Electra Records label in 1966. 

“He’s the one who put it together, like really a labor of love,” Krieger says “It took him about a year and it’s just got all kinds of cool stuff in it. There’s just tons of stuff, lots of stuff that nobody’s seen, a lot of outtakes from the studio. Most of the stuff has been on the Internet already in one form or another, but this, it`s really for the true Doors fan that just wants everything that he’s never known about the Doors or already has, all in one package.” 

Krieger is continuing to work on his own music, too. He’s currently on the road with his Jam Kitchen band, an improvisation-minded troupe that features Frank Zappa alumni Arthur Barrow and Tommy Mars as well as musicians who have played with War, Chicago, Al Di Meola, Chick Corea and Neil Diamond. The group is also working on Krieger’s follow-up to his 2010 album “Singularity” and will be recording in a studio the guitarist is currently building in Glendale, Calif.

“We’ve got probably half of an album done,” Krieger reports. “It’s hard to say what it sounds like. It’s instrumental, mostly, but there’s some vocals. It’s different — groundbreaking, in my opinion. I just love doing music, and different kinds of stuff, so I’m sure (the album) will reflect that.”