James Kottak Doesn’t Hold A Grudge Against Scorpions
In a recent interview with The Metal Voice, former Scorpions drummer James Kottak opened up about his dismissal from the band and his feelings towards his former bandmates. Kottak, who was with the band for over two decades, revealed that he was blindsided by the decision but harbored no ill will towards the iconic rock band. He discussed the circumstances surrounding his departure, Mikkey Dee replacing him, and his thoughts on the matter.
Kottak’s dismissal from Scorpions came as a surprise to many, including the drummer himself. He was replaced by Mikkey Dee, who spoke about the topic, saying that he brought the band a fresh start and a new energy. Kottak, on the other hand, was not aware of the band’s intentions to replace him until much later.
The drummer spoke candidly during the interview about the events leading up to his departure from the band, including his time at Eric Clapton‘s Crossroads drug and alcohol treatment center in Antigua. He explained that there was no indication that his position in the band was in jeopardy, as he was in constant communication with the other members.
Kottak expressed that he was hurt when he was dismissed from the band, especially considering his long tenure and the fact that he was caught off guard by the decision. However, he also made it clear that he doesn’t hold any resentment towards the Scorpions for their choice to let him go.
Recalling the memories, the drummer said:
“I was in [the island of] Antigua [at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads drug and alcohol treatment center], and I talked to the guys about once a week or so. But I never had any indication that anything was gonna change. And because that year also, there was only a handful of shows booked for the whole year; there was only, like, maybe 10 shows.
So they got some kid from Greece to fill in [for a couple of dates]. And they kept going, ‘Man, you’ve gotta stay there [at the rehab]. Stay there all you want.’ I’m, like, ‘Okay.’ So I did. And everything seemed cool. And then I came back [home] to L.A. in July. And we didn’t talk about splitting ways till, like, November or something. I was actually really surprised about that.”
When asked whether he was hurt by the band’s decision, the musician responded as follows:
“Of course it did. I was really surprised [and] taken off guard. I think we were on the phone that day for two and a half hours, going back and forth, back and forth, and stuff. But they were so good to me, man. That’s why [when people say to me], ‘Aren’t you pissed off?’ Why would I be pissed off? It just is what it is.
That’s why when somebody goes, ‘Why’d you guys get divorced, you and your wife get divorced?’ Well, why do you think? We didn’t get along, or she punched me in the head, or who knows.”
Despite his sudden dismissal from Scorpions, James Kottak remains understanding and appreciative of the time he spent with the band. Kottak’s story may even serve as a reminder that life can take unexpected turns, but it’s important to keep moving forward and stay positive.