Former SCORPIONS drummer James Kottak has once again confirmed that he is in discussions with singer Lenny Wolf for a reunion of the original lineup of ’80s rockers KINGDOM COME. Kottak played on the group’s first two albums, 1988’s “Kingdom Come”and 1989’s “In Your Face” before leaving. The drummer went on to play on MCAULEY SCHENKER GROUP‘s 1992 “MSG” album before joining SCORPIONS in 1996.
Asked by Maximum Metal in a new interview for an update on the KINGDOM COME comeback talks, Kottak said: “The story behind this is, when the SCORPIONS announced the farewell tour in 2010, I was meeting with Lenny in Hamburg, who’s the singer from KINGDOM COME, and we talked many times about this reboot. So I was, like, ‘Okay, wait, so I have two years [of touring left with SCORPIONS]. I have PROJECT ROCK [now A NEW REVENGE] together, which we toured Russia three times, I was doing my KOTTAK band and another album; we toured Germany, Japan and America. And then KINGDOM COME, we went so far… We were all in L.A. We rehearsed together. We had it all set up and running, and then the phone rang one day in February 2012 and it was Mr. Klaus Meine [SCORPIONS singer]. He was, like, ‘Hey, James, you know, I noticed you’ve been doing these bands on the side, and we’ve decided not to retire and to continue on. So, can you please not play with these other bands?’ I was going, ‘You’ve got to be joking.’ But I respect Mr. Meine and the band, and I love SCORPIONS and that’s my allegiance, so I put everything on hold. That meant putting 20 people’s lives on hold. ‘Cause we had managers, agents and bandmembers and we had the original lineup [ready to go]. Now, I’ve been talking to Lenny [again] and we’re reaching out to promoters and we have some offers and everything looks really good for a KINGDOM COME reboot with the original five members.” He added: “I hope it happens. I really worked hard on it. It hasn’t been easy. We’ll see.”
Last year, Kottak told Shut Up & Rock On that he is “so proud” the first two KINGDOM COMEalbums. “I co-wrote on both of them on a few songs,” he said. “They’re just great albums. The songs are great. Lenny‘s incredible. We just killed it.”
LED ZEPPELIN comparisons dogged KINGDOM COME throughout the latter band’s ’80s peak, in particular, Wolf‘s vocal resemblance to ZEPPELIN singer Robert Plant and the group’s penchant for blues-based hard rock, a style ZEPPELIN helped pioneer. Kottak was asked by Shut Up & Rock On how he felt about these ongoing claims. “If you’re going to be accused of something, at least rip off the best,” he said. “It was just great music. My drumming compared to [legendary ZEPPELIN drummer] John Bonham? Thank you, I’ll take it. I think some of the responses from a couple of the guys in the band maybe misled people.
“The press is so funny when a band comes and they get huge really fast. They love to knock them down, some press people do. Sometimes the press won’t. It’s like, good news travels fast, but bad news travels faster. That’s what happened to KINGDOM COME. The same thing happened to QUIET RIOT in the early days. It’s what it was. I’m super-proud of this stuff. I never had a problem with it. Call us ‘ZEPPELIN rip-offs.’ Who cares?
“Before I even went to audition, I got this tape and these four songs were on there. It was just Lenny with his drum machine and him singing. I went, ‘Oh my God! This is phenomenal.’ I listened to the tape three times in a row. It was ‘Get It On’ and ‘What Love Could Be’ and ’17’ and some other song. I was just going ‘This is great!’ If anything, ’17’, if you listen to STP‘s [STONE TEMPLE PILOTS] ‘Vasoline’, it’s a complete rip-off of ’17’. It’s the exact same riff. It goes round and round. Who cares? It’s just rock and roll.”