Prior to joining Scorpions, Kottak was a drummer for The Bob Brickley Band, Nut House, Mister Charlie, Buster Brown, Montrose, Kingdom Come, Wild Horses, the McAuley Schenker Group, Warrant, and Ashba. In February 1997 he helped Dio on their US tour by replacing Vinny Appice for four or five shows when Vinny Appice had pneumonia. He also gave drum lessons at Far-Out Music in Jeffersonville, Indiana, once having former Bride drummer, Jerry McBroom, and Shane Harrison who went on to play with country super star Terri Clark.
He also plays in his own band Kottak, formerly known as KrunK. He was married to Athena Lee, rocker Tommy Lee's younger sister, who is also a drummer and was a fellow member of Kottak. The couple has three children; one girl, Tobi, and two boys, Miles and Matthew.