KNAC.COM: You have quite the long resume of playing drums with various bands. You’ve been with the Scorpions how long now?
KOTTAK: I’ve been with the Scorpions for 13 years. That’s a long time for any band. I have to say, I’m very fortunate. Those guys are first class all the way. It’s an incredible organization to be involved with. It’s kind of like a law firm. It’s like I’m a junior partner and things get better every year.
KNAC.COM: Secure that partnership!
KOTTAK: Junior partnership. It’s kind of like the Rolling Stones; you’ll never really be part of the club. I’ll always be the new guy. No, no, not the new guy, now the bass player is the new guy. I’m just very thankful and grateful to be with such a great group of guys.
KNAC.COM: How did you get that gig?
KOTTAK: The phone rang one day, and there was a manager saying, ‘Hello James, would you be interested in coming to play with the Scorpions?’ It was really that simple. Actually, back on the Monsters of Rock tour, I was with the band Kingdom Come and I got to know the guys [from the Scorpions] back then. That was Van Halen, Scorpions, Dokken, Metallica and Kingdom Come. And then I also played with Michael Schenker in MSG, I did the last MSG record, and I got to know Michael. And you know, rock & roll is such a small world and seriously, literally the phone rang one day and it was the call asking me if I wanted to come play.
KNAC.COM: So, did you tell them you’d get back to them, after you think about it for a while?
KOTTAK: Actually, I did think about it for a few days and I called back and said, ‘Sure, I’ll come check it out.’ I was really burned out at that point. Like all things, it had a happy ending.
KNAC.COM: Do you have a favorite band you’ve played with?
KOTTAK: My favorite band is definitely playing with the Scorpions. My second favorite was Wild Horses, the band I had with Rick Steier (Kingdom Come/Warrant).