Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Featured Interview: The Treatment

Return with 'Running With The Dogs'
Interview by The Dedicated Rocker Society

At a time when so much rock music is defined according to a specific genre or sub-genre, it’s refreshing for a new band to come along who are both happy and proud to be called simply ‘rock’… and when that band are just 18 years old, then the project becomes very exciting indeed: classic sounds filtered through young hearts an’ minds.

A five-strong outfit based in the Cambridge area of the UK, The Treatment are indeed tender in years, but you’d never guess that from the quality of their song-writing or the confident swagger of their live show. It’s only really the exuberance and in-built energy of their playing that gives the game away, adding a fresh-faced twist to some deeply classic grooves.

Combining the drive of early Def Leppard with the song-writing ability of prime UFO and Thin Lizzy, the whole thing underpinned by the sort of low-slung riffing redolent of early Aerosmith or G n R, The Treatment are unashamedly inspired by an era when rock bands looked like rock bands and were generally intent on causing a stir (both onstage and off); an era when the lifestyle was important, when music was everything and when vinyl was king.

The band's debut release, 'This Might Hurt', set the rock music world a buzz!  They've opened for Motley Crue, Kiss and The Answer leaving lasting impressions on those who came out to witnessed their rock and roll fury!

The Treatment are back sounding better and hungrier than ever with their highly anticipated sophomore release, 'Running With The Dogs'. The band's guitarist, Tagore Grey gave us the lowdown behind the new album and what they have planned for 2014. Here's what He shared with us.

Q: Let's talk about the new album, 'Running With The Dogs'. Is there any significant meaning behind the title? 

“There isn't some dark secret going on or some crazy meaning behind the title as such! Its more of a concept we liked. We've always been a really close bunch of friends, so the phrase ‘Running With The Dogs’ isn’t about some mad pack of hounds running amok down a dark rain-soaked alley – it’s more a bunch a mates going around the world and taking on whatever's thrown their way! Running with the dogs could be running with a gang, and the album art reflects this – it’s the kind of emblem you could happily see adorning a leather jacket, nestling amongst the badges, the fringes & the studs.” 

Q: How long did it take to record? There are 13 tracks, how many songs did you actually write for the album? 

“We started recording pretty much straight after the release of the first album, ‘This Might Hurt’, which came out back in 2011. We were able to lay down a lot of the parts in our home studio, in Cambridge UK, then for the bass and the drums we went into Steve Harris’ studio for a couple of days. Yes, we worked on lots of different ideas during the recording process, but in the end we whittled it down to the songs we felt strongest about. As I recall, we had 12 tracks altogether plus one cover version, a number called ‘Way Of The World’, originally recorded by NWOBHM band, More. However, after a while, we decided that the cover didn’t really sit comfortably with the rest of the material, so we recorded two more of our own songs and used the cover as an iTunes bonus track. ‘Drop Like A Stone’ was one of the new songs we added to the album – the original title was ‘Toxic Love’, and it had a different melody, but the riff was the same. That was always cool! And fast! Oh, and we also recorded a few covers for the bonus disc with the Deluxe version of the CD.” 

Q: Have you guys shot a video to promote 'Running With The Dogs'? If so, which song is it? 

“So far, we've shot three! ‘I Bleed Rock + Roll’, filmed in our rehearsal studio, a lyric video for ‘Emergency’, plus an on-the-road clip for ‘Running With The Dogs’. All of the filming & editing has been done by a guy called Mikee Goodman, who is also one of the vocalists with revered UK metal act, SikTh. The first two are already available to be viewed, but we’re still working on the ‘Running With The Dogs’ promo. Mikee has got some cool footage, but he’s coming to another show on our current UK headline tour to get a bit more – I guess he hasn’t captured our best side as yet! Ha! Ha! "

Q: Do you feel you've grown more, on a musical level, than when you first came onto the music scene? 

“I personally never feel like I'm getting any better as a musician, but then when I watch videos or listen to recordings from a few years ago I guess I've learnt a few more chords! As for growing up… never! I’ll always be a kid as long as I'm in the music business. I’d rather be travelling around the world with my best mates than working in an office. In our world, anything can happen. I’ll certainly never be short of stories! When we toured with Alice Cooper, he told us some amazing tales from the early days of his career – hopefully, we’ll be doing that to a younger band one day!” 

Q: Can you share some memorable moments , good or bad, in the making of 'Running With The Dogs'? 

“Let me see… well, going down to Steve Harris's studio, behind his house, to record the bass & drums, and then mix the album tracks there was amazing.  It was such a wild experience for us. Now there’s a studio with some serious history, and the engineer who runs it, Tony Newton, is a great guy. He’s in a band himself, Voodoo Six, and in fact we’re both signed to the same label, Spinefarm. Small world. Ha! Ha! I think another great experience was being part of the development of the track ‘Emergency’, which seems to be drawing a lot of attention at the moment. It’s quickly become a real favourite with the fans, and most of the reviews have singled it out… we love it! Oh, and then there is the intro piece for ‘The Outlaw’ – that was provided by a guy called Hank Williamson who plays with The Boss Hoss, a band from Berlin. They’re a HUGE act in their home country, so it was great to get that, and it fits the song perfectly. You can’t beat some bells!” 

Q:  For someone reading about The Treatment for the first time, how would you describe your band to them? 

“A hard rock band, no bullshit, no frills, no messin’ around. Five guys touring together and having fun, and trying our best to put that into the music! We really hope that aspect comes across because we really are having a good time, all the time. Of course, there are tough moments, like our guitarist Ben (Brookland) leaving because he had some family issues to deal with, but now we have Jake (Pattinson) in the ranks and The Treatment carries on. For all of us, this is our dream, this is what we’ve always wanted to do, and there’s nothing better than when your dreams come true. Remember, we’ve already toured the US with Kiss & Motley Crue – 50-plus shows in massive sold-out venues. You can’t even dream about stuff like that!” 

Q: How important has social media become in getting the word out on The Treatment? Do you read the tweets by your fans? 

“We've never made a conscious effort to promote ourselves through the likes of Facebook, Twitter etc., it’s just come hand in hand with what we do, and of course because we’re young, 19-21, these kind of things appear pretty natural – we aren’t daunted by this means of communication. Naturally, it’s a great way to promote tours and releases, and for people to hear our music – we actually streamed our new record a week before release, we wanted the fans to hear it, to enjoy it, to talk about it, especially as we were heading out on tour the day of release. And… we do actually read all our comments, reviews, tweets and posts… good or bad! The good ones we appreciate, and the bad ones we laugh at – let’s face it, you’ll always find nay-sayers on the internet. Negative comments just make us want to do this even more!” 

Q: Are you guys scheduled to play any of big festivals there in Europe? What about in the States? 

“Yes, I’m delighted to say we are. We're doing Graspop (Belgium) and a whole bunch more, most of which I’m not allowed to mention yet. Put it this way, we’ll be playing some of the biggest festivals in the world, and we're all really excited about our schedule for spring / summer 2014. There here will be some updates very soon! One thing I can tell you, though, is that we’ll be returning to Japan this year – we played the inaugural Ozzfest there last year, in Tokyo. We were the only UK act to appear apart from Black Sabbath – see what I meant about having stories to tell!” 

Q:  What goals have you set for yourselves in 2014? 

“To keep working at what we're doing, really. We want to have a busier year than last year, play more shows, have more laughs and cause more chaos. I think all of that is possible. Certainly, the chaos part, that’s a given!” 

Q: Any messages or comments you would like to pass along? 

“Just a big ‘thank you’ to our fans all over the world for buying the singles & albums, turning up to the shows, supporting us in any way they can! We can't do without you guys and we appreciate everything! For example, on this current UK tour, we have two sisters following us around, and they’ve come all the way from Canada! In fact, they’ve both moved to the UK now – one is working in the Science Museum in London, the other in a restaurant. You can’t get greater dedication than that. To all our fans – SEE YOU SOON!” 

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