KINGDOM COME Guitarist: 'We've Become Better Players Over The Years'
A revamped version of KINGDOM COME — comprised of guitarists Danny Stag and Rick Steier, bassist Johnny B. Frank, drummer James Kottak, along with singer Keith St. John (formerly of MONTROSE and LYNCH MOB) — is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the release of the band’s self-titled debut album on a month-long U.S. tour which kicked off on September 27 at Club Sur Rocks in Seattle, Washington. Original singer Lenny Wolf declined to participate in the trek, which marks Kottak‘s first run of shows since embracing recovery after a longtime battle with alcoholism got him kicked out of the SCORPIONS.
Asked by Sally Steele of Vegas Rocks! magazine how the KINGDOM COME reunion came about, Kottak — who joined the SCORPIONS in 1996 and played with the band for 20 years — said (see video below): ”We’ve been talking about it since 2008, actually. And then SCORPIONS were saying ‘farewell,’ and then we got together in 2013, but, unfortunately, we had to put it in the backburner, ‘cause SCORPIONS said, ‘No farewell. We’re doing another album and tour.’ But we finally got it together this year.”
He continued: ”As you know, or don’t know, Lenny retired, so we wish him well, and he wishes us well, and we brought in our secret weapon, Keith St. John; he sang with MONTROSE and LYNCH MOB and everybody. And we’re just ecstatic to be out here. It’s taken so much effort. We’ve been working full time since January/February to get here.”
Steier said that performing with his KINGDOM COME bandmates again is ”like old friends that you don’t talk to that often, but when you reconnect with them, it’s like we picked up right where we left off. So it’s awesome that way,” he explained. ”What I love is we’ve become better players over the years; a lot of these bands, they get worse. So we’ve become better players, and we got a little older, but we’ve still got the stage vibe going on, which… you can feel it when we’re playing.”
This past June, Wolf issued a statement via his official web site in which he said that ”the KINGDOM COME ship has reached its final destination, at least during my visit on our planet earth.” He added that his decision was ”mainly caused by experiences I made throughout the last three years, during which the fun factor disappeared more and more, and our energy and hopes have repeatedly been crushed by people and circumstances beyond our control. Some folks out there may not believe it, but it’s NOT all about money,” he said. ”I realized that chasing something which seems is not meant to be, trying to force things, would never lead to something good. Therefore it’s time to let go.”
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”.