|Birth name||James Kottak|
|Born||December 26, 1962|
Louisville, Kentucky, United States
|Genres||Hard rock, heavy metal|
|Instruments||Drums, guitar, vocals|
|Associated acts||Buster Brown, Montrose, Kingdom Come, Warrant, Scorpions, Kottak|
James Kottak (born December 26, 1962 in Louisville, Kentucky) is an American drummer. Kottak is best known for his work with the German hard rock band Scorpions, which he joined in 1996. At the time of his firing from the band in 2016, he was their all-time longest-serving drummer, surpassing Herman Rarebell, who spent 18 years in the band.
Prior to joining Scorpions, Kottak was a drummer for the Bob Brickley Band, Nut House, Mister Charlie, Buster Brown, Montrose, Kingdom Come, Wild Horses, the McAuley Schenker Group, Warrant, and Ashba. He gained early mainstream exposure during his time with Kingdom Come, appearing on the band's first two studio albums, the first of which included their biggest hit, "Get it On." This track prominently features Kottak's drumming, culminating in a drum solo just before the song's conclusion.
In February 1997, he helped Dio on their US tour by replacing Vinny Appice for four or five shows when Vinny Appice had pneumonia. He also gave drum lessons at Far-Out Music in Jeffersonville, Indiana, once having as students former Bride drummer, Jerry McBroom. He also played with guitarist Michael Lee Firkins.
Kottak also plays in his own band Kottak, formerly known as KrunK.
On April 28, 2016, it was announced that Kottak would be replaced by Mikkey Dee on 12 North American headlining dates, including a run of shows at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas dubbed "Scorpions blacked out in Las Vegas". On September 12, 2016, it was announced that Kottak was no longer in the band.
Kottak endorses Ddrum and Yamaha drums, Aquarian drumheads, Zildjian Cymbals, Ahead drumsticks and accessories and Danmar percussion.
Kottak was married to Athena Lee, Tommy Lee's younger sister, who is also a drummer and was a fellow member of Kottak. The couple had three children between them, including their son, Matthew, and Athena's two children from her first marriage, Tobi and Miles. Miles is currently the lead drummer for indie rock band, Bad Suns.
On April 29, 2014, the National Post reported via the Associated Press that Kottak was arrested in Dubai and sentenced to one month in jail for offensive behavior, insulting Islam, and public drunkenness.
On September 12, 2016, he was fired from Scorpions for his alcoholism, and would later work on his recovery.
Since his dismissal from The Scorpions, Kottak has come out publicly about his politically conservative views.
In June 2019, Kottak said, "I wrote a new song.... 'Get out of My Kountry' ie: stay out of my space! We don't need anymore outsiders. We can't even fix the homeless problems?! When homeless problem is solved we take care everyone else..."
On October 15, 2019, Kottak went on Twitter and stated, "You know I am sick of every other commercial having inter racial couples...this is not reality. It is Hollywood shoving it down our throat. I don't have one friend or friends who live in this category...just saying".
On November 26, 2019, Kottak went on to say that "OK so the percentage of black Americans in the US is about 13% so why are they represented 50 to 60% on all commercials? Just saying call me out if you have a reasonable argument?". A short time later, he added: "Maybe none of you have any balls to speak the truth?"
Kottak is one of the characters in the book Sex Tips from Rock Stars by Paul Miles published by Omnibus Press in July 2010.