'Let The Head Games Begin!'
Kottak — formerly known as Krunk — has arrived ... with its Cheap Trick-meets-Green-Day-on-a-bad-day Escapi Music debut, Therupy.
Vocalist/Guitarist Jimmy Ratchitt has been a songwriter all his life. As James Kottak, he drummed for Kingdom Come, and, for the last 10 years, has been behind the big kit for German rock legends, The Scorpions.
Athena shares in the songwriting with Ratchitt, who admits, "In 2000, we couldn’t get arrested so we formed our own sub-label, S.N.U.G. Records, to put out the band’s ironically-named first release, 'Greatist Hits'."
Krunk survived despite Jimmy drumming worldwide with Scorpions, a downsizing music business, and Athena being diagnosed with cancer. The band steadfastly toured, performing hundreds of stateside shows, as well as shows in Japan and Germany.
It wasn’t long before Jimmy and Athena, during a furious stretch of songwriting, were contacted by several labels, ultimately accepting a deal from Escapi Music in January of 2006.
Eight months later, Therupy is on the streets containing 10 originals — including "Ripped," "High (In My Room)," "Pink/Soft," "Song That Won’t Go Away," "Life Support — and two covers, the Scorpions’ "Holiday" and Cyndi Lauper’s "Money Changes Everything."
As told to me in a recent interview with Athena, the best is yet to come for Kottak!
The obvious question: What the heck is Kottak and does it mean anything? "It's Jimmy Ratchitt's alter ego's last name."
How did you go from "Krunk" to "Kottak"? I'm not sure what the connection is? "When we started as Krunk, that was a pretty original name. Now that word is everywhere and we wanted to get back to original."
What does it feel like creating your own new genre - punk n' roll? Where did this idea come from? "It came from London. That's what they call rock bands with a punk edge."
When you were diagnosed with cancer, how did affect your songwriting? How did it affect the band as a whole? Did you need to take time off and stop touring for a bit? Or was it the opposite? "It didn't affect our writing, but we did have to take some time off."
How did the band come together? What was your common thread that drew you guys together? What's your ultimate goal with this band? "We're all idiots!! Our ultimate goal is to sell records, tour the world & HAVE FUN!!"
What was the band's major inspiration as a whole? Do each of you have individual motivations? "Cheap Trick and Green Day. We generally write and work as a team."
When and where was the favorite show you played? Why? "Wacken open air festival in Germany!! An amazing mix of people from all over the world."
What would you say is the worst part of your job and the best part of your job? "Worst: Port-A-Potties!!!!! Best: Seeing people love your songs while you play them!!"
Do your song ideas come to you spotaneously or is it a long drawn-out process? When was the weirdest moment that you just had an a-ha moment for a song? Have any of those moments been your singles? "The songs that take longer for some reason are never as good as the ones that just come to you quickly ... not sure why that is.'
What are your future plans? "Make a DVD, more CD's, tour the world, etc."
If you could cover any '80s (possibly cheesy!) pop song, which one would it be ... and why?! "HA! "Jump" Van Halen.......says it all."
Exclusive Magazine loves Penguins ... do you?! "Yes. I love penguins! I also love monkeys!! I used to have one. A gibbon named "Nitnoy"!"
Interviewed by Brian J. Hong
If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of Kottak's new CD, just answer this easy question: Which friendly German friend of theirs helped the get the deal with Escapi Music?!
Send me your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these great AUTOGRAPHED CDs! Just send us an e:mail here before December 1st with your answer and the subject title 'CONTEST: KOTTAK SIGNED CDs' to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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