Interview: Kingdom Come announces 30th anniversary tour, James Kottak dishes on his return

When Kingdom Come set out on their month-long, 20-date tour, fans of the 1980s hard rockers will join them in celebrating the 30th anniversary of the band’s self-titled debut album.

Starting Sept. 27 in Seattle, Washington and finishing Oct. 27 in Kansas City, Missouri, Kingdom Come will play a setlist largely comprised of tracks such as “Get It On,” “What Love Can Be,” and “Living Out of Touch” from Kingdom Come, as well as some from their second album, In Your Face

“We’re gonna play some Montrose, man. And some Led Zeppelin,” Kingdom Come drummer James Kottak, who was previously a member of Montrose, in the mid-1980s, told “We’re gonna kill it.”

Kingdom Come was founded in 1987, quickly became a hit — opened for Van Halen, Scorpions, and Metallica during the North American Monsters of Rock Tour in 1988 — before breaking up in 1989.

Their eponymous album peaked at #12 on the Billboard 200 on April 30, 1988, and reached Gold certification by the RIAA the day before.

Although the band members’ enduring friendship over the years paved the way for this reunion, Kottak’s commitments with the Scorpions (he was the legendary band’s drummer from 1996-2016) did not.

“I had the entire band — I had Lenny [Wolf, singer], Johnny B. Frank [bass], Danny Stag [guitar], Rick Steier [guitar] — in L.A.,” Kottak said of the attempt to reunite the original lineup in 2012. “Then Klaus [Meine, lead singer of the Scorpions] called me — I’m not kidding you — the day after our first [Kingdom Come] rehearsal together. He said ‘Hey, James. You know, I know you’re doing Kingdom Come and you’ve got Project Rock and A New Revenge, your solo albums. But, listen, can you not do anything else but the Scorpions?’ Of course, my allegiance was always with the Scorpions and I had to pull the plug on all those projects.”

“I was told in 2009 that the Scorpions' farewell tour was coming, so what does a smart businessman do? You start planning projects, and that’s what I did,” he explained. “And then Klaus calls one day and I pulled the plug on all projects. I worked [with the Scorpions] for the next three or four years, and then I parted ways with the guys. We’re still amicable to this day. I was just with the guys [September 2] and it was wonderful.”

After leaving the Scorpions in 2016, Kottak took off several years from performing.

When he was ready to return to rock, he put together a reboot of Kingdom Come to coincide with the 30th anniversary of their first album. While Frank, Stag, and Steier quickly signed on, Wolf declined. According to Kottak, the vocalist said that he has retired.

The one singer who kept coming to mind for Kottak was Keith St. John, who fronted Montrose from 2001 until Ronnie Montrose’s death in 2012. He initially had St. John in mind for a project in the early 1990s, although that never panned out.

“I’ll tell you what, he was always one of my favorite singers,” the drumming legend said. “Then over the last two years, I did the Ronnie Montrose Remembered [Concert] that he put on. He was so great,” said Kottak, who drummed on several songs for that show.

While excited about the future, Kottak also took a quick look back at the band's legacy.  "The MTV 80s era was totally exciting and we are thrilled to death with everything we got [back then]," he said. "But mostly, I’m super proud of those first two albums and that says it all as far as legacy or anything goes right now. We’re looking forward to this new tour."

Kingdom Come’s 30th Anniversary Tour schedule:

Sept. 27 - Seattle, WA - Club Sur Rocks
Sept. 28 - Vancouver, WA - Cascade Bar & Grill
Sept. 29 - Sacramento, CA - Holy Diver 
Oct. 3 - West Hollywood, CA - Whisky A Go-Go
Oct. 5 - Las Vegas, NV - Vamp’d
Oct. 6 - Ramona, CA - Ramona Mainstage
Oct. 7 - Scottsdale, AZ - BLK Live
Oct. 8 - Santa Fe, NM - Camel Rock Casino
Oct. 11 - St. Charles, IL - The Arcada Theatre (w/Special Guests Killer Dwarfs)
Oct. 12 - Westland, MI - The Token Lounge
Oct. 13 - Versailles, OH - BMI Indoor Speedway (co-headlining with Autograph & Special Guests Killer Dwarfs) 
Oct. 14 - Louisville, KY - Bourbon Hall 
Oct. 17 - Warrendale, PA - Jergel’s
Oct. 18 - Sellersville, PA - Sellersville Theatre
Oct. 19 - Baltimore, MD - Fish Head Cantina 
Oct. 20 - Poughkeepsie, NY - The Chance  (Kingdom Come is direct support for Zebra)
Oct. 21 - Derry, NH - Tupelo Music Hall
Oct. 23 - New Bedford, MA - Greasy Luck Brewpub 
Oct. 26 - Granite City, IL - Eddie’s Bar & Grill
Oct. 27 - Kansas City, MO - The Scene K.C. Rock Bar