Described as one of the most exciting bands to emerge from England in years, The Treatment are five guys who love rock ‘n’ roll. They released their debut album, This Might Hurt, in 2011 and its follow up, Running with the Dogs, earlier this year to massive critical acclaim. They’ve supported some of the biggest names in music and every year that passes brings nothing but new success. If you haven’t heard them yet, now is your chance to make amends as they’re coming to Dublin this week to play their first Irish headlining show and you don’t want to miss out.
Tickets There was fortunate enough to speak with The Treatment’s guitarist, Tag Grey and find out a little about the origins of the band, their touring experiences over the past few years and what it means to have Tommy Lee coordinate your birthday celebrations backstage.
Tickets There: Hi Tag, how are things going in the Treatment camp at the moment?
TG: It’s going great man. All the fans and all the press as well. And since Kerrang started picking up the last one, things have just been brilliant. It’s done a lot more than we dreamed it could have done. Really happy about it.
Tickets There: Running with the Dogs seems to be picking up a lot of new fans with previous critics highlighting it sounds far more accomplished than your debut, This Might Hurt. Do you feel this album is a stronger representation of the band?
TG: Ah yeah. I think Dhan (Mansworth – drums) was around fifteen or sixteen when he started writing and recording This Might Hurt. We’ve all grown so much as players and musicians that there’s no way you could compare the two. We were so proud with what we did with the first one but by the second one it was even better, you know? We changed loads of things during the recording – the guitars, the amps and the way we were recording. We were really happy with how it came out. It definitely captured another side of the band.
Tickets There: A lot of bands have great difficulty writing and recording their second albums. Did you feel any pressure after the success of This Might Hurt?
TG: We didn’t really think, but looking back we were so happy with the way it came out. There’s no comparison between the two and it’s all just gone in the direction we wanted it to. I don’t think we ever thought about having a problem with the second one, we just got on really. I mean we constantly toured since This Might Hurt came out so we were always recording and writing little bits and bobs.
Tickets There: That’s probably the best way to avoid the pressure.
TG: It’s brilliant actually, we all live with Dhan and our manager Laurie (Mansworth) has his own studio so we could just record whenever which was a massive help for the band.
Tickets There: Were you worried at all that the delay between Running with the Dogs and This Might Hurt might risk losing some of the momentum you’d created?
TG: This Might Hurt came out twice actually. It came out originally on Powerage and when we were picked up by Universal we re-released it with a bonus track so although it was released a long time ago, since the re-release it hasn’t been that long and we’ve just been on the road constantly. We wanted to make sure we had the album completely right. It wasn’t an intentional thing. We weren’t looking to get it out asap, we just wanted to stay on the road touring really. We’re definitely more of a live band.
Tickets There: Since the release of Running with the Dogs, have you noticed an increase in interest in the band?
TG: Oh massive. The first major tour we had was with Alice Cooper, which was a great tour to start with, but everything since just seems to take a step up. Lamb of God in America was the last big tour we did before recording the new album which was just insane. With this tour the first one we did was our own headlining tour which is just incredible. We went out and hundreds of people were turning up to see us which, for us is just an amazing feeling. We did the Islington in London, which has been a venue where we’ve seen so many of our favourite bands and you don’t realize what you’re doing until you’re standing on stage and all these people turn up. It’s just been amazing.
Tickets There: It sounds like things are really starting to get going for ye.
TG: (laughs) yeah, it’s been great. And now we’re going out and doing all the European festivals – it just keeps getting bigger and better. I can’t wait.
Tickets There: So let’s go back a little. How did the band get together?
TG: It was Dhan basically. He wanted to put a band together and his dad Laurie, he’s been in the music business and was in a couple of bands in the eighties so he knows everything. So they started looking around the country for musicians and that’s how we got the line-up.
We all moved in to Laurie’s house so it became a pretty wild one. Myself and Rick Newman (aka Swoggle) were living in a tent down the end and Dhan was still going to school every day. We started jamming in the shed and it’s just grown since then. We recorded the album and started touring.
Tickets There: It couldn’t have just happened that easily, right?
TG: Well, in the beginning it was quite hard as we couldn’t get into any venues. We were all under eighteen and they’d always kick us out. That’s how young we were when we started.
Tickets There: So none of you were close friends when you started the band?
TG: Me and Rick were the only ones, we went to school together. Dan found Rick and Rick knew me from School and that’s how I got the part. Matt (Jones, vocals) was on MySpace, do you remember? He found him and the original guitar player was from a music college and now we have Fabien who’s over from Germany.
Tickets There: It must have been strange all of ye moving in together at the time. Did ye drive each other crazy?
TG: Oh no, we’ve lived together for seven years so there’s no way we could do it if we didn’t get along. Of course it’s beyond argument; you can’t stick six guys together without the odd one. But as friends we’re as close as it gets. We don’t let anyone fuck with us man.
Tickets There: When you came together, did you know the type of band you wanted to be or did the style fall into place when ye met?
TG: It came together really as a group. We’d all grown up on similar styles of music so it just happened really. We didn’t decide on it, it just came together.
Tickets There: Would you credit Def Leppard or AC/DC more as the influence for the band? Be warned, I’m a Leppard fan…
TG: (laughs) Both of them I’d say. If there’s one band we all have total love for it’s the DC. I remember one year we all went to see them play Download and sitting there, watching a band you all completely fucking love was just amazing. But Def Leppard as well, they are a great, great band.
Tickets There: Hmmm, ok I’ll accept that. So how long did you stay practicing for before you started doing shows?
TG: For the first year of the band Dan was still going to school every day so the idea of touring was impossible. We spent the first year or two in the garage rehearsing, playing a few local shows. The first big one we got was opening for Black Stone Cherry and pretty much straight from that was Sonisphere and then straight onto Alice Cooper and Steel Panther after that. Then we played with Thin Lizzy, Slash and Status Quo, the list goes on man.
Tickets There: It certainly does. In your time together you’ve also supported Lamb of God, Motley Crue, KISS and many others. In fact, isn’t it true that Nikki Sixx personally got you onto their tour with KISS?
TG: Yeah, he did. He asked us to do it. That was three or four amazing months across America.
Tickets There: Nikki Sixx asking your band to open for them and KISS is pretty much a dream come true for any rocker. Can I ask how that came about?
TG: He’s just into young bands and listens out. We were on the Steel Panther tour and it was about 2 in the morning and a friend asked us if we’d twitter and none of us had. So we checked it and he had announced us for the whole tour.
Tickets There: And what’s it like, as a young band to go out there and play side by side with your heroes like that? Did you find yourself learning from them at all?
TG: Oh of course. We’ve learnt so much about how to work a crowd, how to play – how to do everything. You learn from your heroes don’t you, so to be able to support ‘em was such an experience and not only for ourselves, but the live experience as well is fucking great. You also learn from the best when it comes to partying as well (laughs).
Tickets There: Now that’s one, I heard a rumour that in your early years together you had a strict no partying rule on tour. How’s that holding up these days?
TG: (laughs) Yeah, when we first started we had a no drinking rule on tour. It was right place, right time but as we’ve gotten older… Number one is the gig, that’s all we care about. So long as that’s good, we’re good. But, I mean drinking-wise we have more of a laugh now. We’re always up and ready for a show and that’s what matters to us but I think it’s best to say we’ve gotten a little more relaxed (laughs.. Ed. – Laughs because he’s partied with bands like Motley Crue, KISS, Alice Cooper, Lamb of God and many others! – Legend!)
Tickets There: Phew, I was worried there you might shatter my dreams of the rock ‘n’ roll touring life.
TG: Well that was the problem for us as well (laughs)
Tickets There: Do you think allowing yourselves to relax more on the road helped fuel material for Running with the Dogs at all?
TG: Ah yeah, that comes from all the experiences we’ve had. It was Matt’s 21st when we toured with KISS and Motley Crue and Tommy Lee had him backstage and strippers were whipping him, he had a bottle of vodka poured all over his head – I mean how can you have a normal sensible lifestyle while those sorts of things are going on. It definitely helped come up with a few of the ideas.
Tickets There: And what’s it like touring with bands on the level of Motley Crue and KISS? You hear some awful things about support bands can be treated. Did you have any negative experiences?
TG: Everyone, not just Motley Crue, every single person I have toured with has gone beyond what they should have done to help us. The crews as well, every single person and every single band members just made a giant effort to make us feel welcome. Even small things like just someone like that saying hi to you – it makes you feel like it’s worth being on tour just for that.
Tickets There: So, you’re on the road again. Have you got many headlining shows on this leg or are you mostly playing festivals for the summer?
TG: We’ve got the two in Ireland – our first heading shows there actually and then our first headline show in Paris. They’re all going to be wicked. The rest are all festivals and then we have quite a few support slots in between. We’re opening for ZZ Top, Buckcherry and Alterbridge so it’s going to be pretty cool. We have a massive mixture of different places and hopefully later in the year there’ll be lots more coming on.
Tickets There: Is there anywhere in Europe you’re really looking forward to?
TG: Well the last time we went to Dublin we had the wildest time ever. It was great because we did two shows there so we had a night off and had a wild time. Also Italy, for me I love Italy and it’s going to right in the middle of summer so it’ll be buzzing. Everywhere though brings something new.
Tickets There: From the list of festivals you have, you play to a lot of different crowds. How are the reactions when you to play, say Graspop compared to supporting Status Quo?
TG: We’ve done Hammerfest a few times when we’re on with Feed the Rhino – really heavy band and we go down incredibly. I think we have an energy where we just want to go out there and cause absolute chaos by playing classic rock tunes. So we can fit in on any bill.
The response we’ve had from different bands has been incredible. Like recently we went out and support Airbourne and their crowd was just up for it, they wanted to cause a riot. Then we can go on with Quo who are older and more musical and we can go out and have a great show as well.
Tickets There: Is there anyone left that you’d love to go out and support on tour (Apart from Def Leppard and AC/DC of course)?
TG: If Guns N’ Roses get back together (laughs). Could be waiting a bit though.
Tickets There: I better let you head off and get ready for the tour. Just before I do, do you have any plans to tour outside of Europe this year? Just in case your friends on other continents are reading.
TG: It’s something that hasn’t been planned yet, but if something came up we definitely would. We haven’t toured Europe in such a long time and we want to get something big across here. With the record being out here we want to get on the road and support it. If something came up tomorrow, we wouldn’t complain though. Sit around and do nothing or tour? It’s not a question is it (laughs)
The Treatment play Dublin’s Academy 2 this Wednesday, June 18th. Tickets are on sale now from ticketmaster.ie priced €15. Stone Trigger will support on the night.
Or, you could try and win your tickets by clicking here 🙂