** What happened between you and the Scorpions? You were with them twenty years, longer than Herman Rarebell!
JAMES: I did have some trouble but I have since worked very hard on myself...I was burnt out and didn't want to admit it. I had been burnt out for years. You are talking to a guy who did his first USA tour at age 15 in 1978. Do the math...that is a lot of miles... Most peeps wouldn't admit this but I do. After 30 + years in R&R I have been through the ringer. Fortunately, I was in The Scorpions for 21 years where we were all family & friends. I just needed a big break
** Ive seen around the net where you've claimed it was actually a relief to be out of the band. Wasn't it weird at first though after spending so much time with them and giving them so much of your time and talent to not be with them anymore? How has it been so far being out of the band?
JAMES: Of course, it's like a divorce...thank God in this situation we are still very much friends! It wasn't like all at once...it was gradual. I volunteered to go down to Eric Clapton's 'Crossroads' rehab joint...best move I have ever made...The band backed me for my health! The Scorpions are my R&R family...still!
** Did you ever feel like the fifth wheel or out of place at any time in your tenure with the Scorpions after having taken the place of Herman Rarebell?
JAMES: In the first few years it was a bit awkward, but we hit the groove hard about year three.
** How did you come to join the Scorpions?
JAMES: The phone rang...manager Stuart Young said, 'Hello James, would you like to come over to Germany for a play with the boys?'
I said ' YES!'
I first met the Scorpions on the 1988 Monsters of Rock tour...the first USA stadium tour ever. My band Kingdom Come was the opener for Metallica, Dokken, Scorpions, Van Halen...it was insane! KC & Scorpions were label mates on Polygram and we stayed in the same hotels, shared dinner, and more...Keith Olsen produced Scorpions Wind of Change album as well as KC 'IN YOUR FACE' album....
I also played on MSG's third album....small world!!
** You were in a book called Sex Tips From Rock Stars: In Their Own Words, published in 2010. It gives insight into rock stars sexual instincts, urges, and experiences. How were you approached to take part in this book and why did you agree to be in it?
JAMES: I did the book as a lark...you should've seen the questions I DIDn'T answer?!?!
** You were in a band called Montrose with Ronnie Montrose and produced one album with the band in 1987 called Mean. How did you come to meet Ronny and join up with his band?
JAMES: Ronnie Montrose is my ultimate hero. He put me on the R&R map with MEAN! I had a metal band based out of my home town Louisville, Ky. called Buster Brown. We had a truck, PA, lights, etc... we did 25 shows supporting Ronnie in the southwest. After the tour, Ronnie called and said...'wanna play on my next album'? I went through the rooooooF!!!
** After that, you left and joined Kingdom Come in 1987 as their drummer and appeared on two of their albums Kingdom Come and In Your Face. I love the early Kingdom Come album 'Kingdom Come' and the song "Do You Like It" off of the In Your Face album, both of which you were on. The band split up in 1989. Why?
JAMES: It's always complicated...let's just say we didn't agree on things. I loooove those first two KC albums and want to revisit them again soon!
** Are the rumors about you starting a Kingdom Come regroup true? If so, what got those wheels turning? Didn't Lenny Wolf say that as of 2016 Kingdom Come was over?
JAMES: I loooove KC first two albums. I am so proud of these efforts. I hope Lenny will come around and hit it again?!
** Whats behind this James Kottak aka Jimmy Ratchitt? Is Jimmy Ratchitt your real name or something?
JAMES: Jimmy Ratchitt is an alter ego I created who represents my punk side and he is a rabid songwriter...He allows me to express myself in ways that I normally wouldn't. btw, he retired.
** Your band Kottak used to be called Krunk. Where did Krunk come from? Its an unusual name. Why the name change from Krunk to Kottak?
JAMES: In Krunk as in Kottak I sing & play guitar and Athena was the drummer. When our kids were very young we used the word Krunk in place of curse words. It was her idea...then the rappers came along and 'crunk' became one of their words. My label in Europe pushed for changing the name to my last name KOTTAK.
I didn't want to, but i went along with it and here we are...
** Was Kottak a side project when you had downtime from the Scorpions?
JAMES: Yes, and a creative outlet in a big way.
We just started a 5th Kottak album and are doing a Pleadgemusic campaign: https://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/kottak-new-album
** What would be your worst and best tour/show experience?
JAMES: Greece...the best! I don't have a worst...