Former SCORPIONS drummer James Kottak spoke about the recently announced partial reunion of the original lineup of ’80s rockers KINGDOM COME, a band perhaps best known for its uncanny musical resemblance to LED ZEPPELIN. Kottak played on the band’s first two albums, 1988’s “Kingdom Come” and 1989’s “In Your Face” before leaving the same year. Kottak went on to play on MCAULEY SCHENKER GROUP‘s 1992 “MSG” album before joining SCORPIONS in 1996.
Asked “how fair” it was for KINGDOM COME to be constantly compared to LED ZEPPELIN, Kottak told KNAC.COM: “It was unfair, but when a journalist asked about the influence, I’d take it. And if I was asked about the John Bonham influence? I’d say, ‘Hell yeah! Of course he’s an influence. That’s a huge compliment.’ [Laughs] Listen, I embraced the LED ZEPPELIN comparison anytime it came up. There were a couple of guys in the band that frowned on it, but I was, like, ‘Guys, you’re missing the point here. We’re being compared to the biggest rock band in the history of rock ‘n’ roll!’ I remember in an interview for one of the magazines, one of our guys was quoted as saying sarcastically, ‘I’ve never heard of LED ZEPPELIN.’ Of course he was kidding, but sarcasm doesn’t translate well to print. I remember that quote was used as the headline and most people would see that and didn’t bother reading the article.”
Asked which band sounds more like ZEPPELIN, KINGDOM COME or GRETA VAN FLEET, Kottak said: “I would say GRETA VAN FLEET. [Laughs] I remember the first time I heard them, I thought it was LED ZEPPELIN until I realized I wasn’t familiar with the song. [Laughs] Those kids are going through the exact thing that we went through. I have heard and read interviews where they mentioned KINGDOM COME, so they really know their classic rock history.”
A revamped version of KINGDOM COME — comprised of Kottak, guitarists Danny Stag and Rick Steier, bassist Johnny B. Frank, along with singer Keith St. John (formerly of MONTROSE and LYNCH MOB) — will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release of the band’s self-titled debut album by embarking on a U.S. tour in the fall. Original singer Lenny Wolf declined to participate in the trek, which will kick off on September 27 in Seattle, Washington.
After its early run of success in the ’80s, KINGDOM COME released several albums, with Wolf remaining the only constant member of the band. The group’s most recent effort was 2013’s “Outlier”.