Nominated for independent album of the year 8th Annual LA Music Awards
Kottak, formerly known as KrunK, is a pop punk/rock group formed in Los Angeles in 1996 by James Kottak aka Jimmy Ratchitt, drummer for the hard rock band Scorpions and his ex-wife Athena Lee. Current members are:
James Kottak/Jimmy Ratchitt – lead vocals and guitar
Stephanie Smith – lead guitars, backing vocals
Nils Wandrey – bass backing vocals
Francis Ruiz – drums
The band describe themselves as “Cheap Trick meets Green Day, on a bad day” and their album Therupy certainly continues to build the band’s infamy.
In early November 1997, KrunK walked away with two awards in the 2nd Annual Rock City News Awards for bands in Los Angeles. The band was named BEST PUNK BAND, and Athena won BEST FEMALE DRUMMER. In the 7th Annual L.A. Music Awards, Athena was nominated for BEST DRUMMER (Males & Females). She was the first female ever nominated in the history of the L.A. Music Awards.
In 2006, the band changed its name from KrunK to Kottak, citing the need for a more original name now that “krunk” has become a general term.
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. (“It’s the ultimate day job,”
he wisecracks.) On drums for Kottak is Athena, who is
way hotter than her brother Tommy Lee, and can
definitely hold her own behind the kit. Guitarist
Chris Sheridan (former Sweet Savage) and Rev Jones (of
MSG) round out this combustible quartet.
Regarding the name change from Krunk to Kottak, “it’s
obvious,” says Ratchitt. “When we started in 1998,
Krunk was an original name, but in recent days there
are Krunk skateboards, rappers, you name it. We felt
we should honor our music with a more original band
name,” adds Athena, “hence Kottak.” They’ve been
calling this kind of music punk’n’roll in London of
late and that’s just fine with Ratchitt who screams,
“I’m a punk’n’roller, dude!”
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, with the help of Wolfgang
Rott, 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.” The
best has now arrived for Kottak.