The Treatment on new album Running With The Dogs
Earlier this year, TG interviewed angry hard-rockers The Treatment. Now, with a second album in the bag, they're poised to conquer Europe…
"We've toured a lot for the first album, so we had a lot to say about this experience and the different things that happened to us on the road"
With their battered leather jackets and classic rock haircuts, The Treatment feel like something of a throwback - indeed, it's no surprise that the five-piece have secured support slots with the likes of KISS, Kiss, Motley Crüe, Alice Cooper and Airbourne. But with album number two, Running With The Dogs, recently released, the Cambridgeshire 20-somethings are poised to tour Europe and capitalise on some surprising success on the other side of the channel.
We caught up with guitarist Tagore Grey to see how things have changed since we last spoke to the band…
You've had an unusual amount of success in France, what's happening over there?
"Yeah, we played for the first time in France two or three years ago and they have a great sense of hospitality. Sometimes, crowds can be more or less sensitive to our music, but each time we've played in France it was incredible and people went wild! This is one of the best places for rock and we love it. Recently we've played on Taratata [a famous French musical TV show] and we're headlining a show in Paris at the end of June, so it's gonna be great!"
What sort of inspirations were you drawing on when writing for the new record?
"We've toured a lot for the first album, so we had a lot to say about this experience and the different things that happened to us on the road. There is so much stuff we wanted to talk about: the crazy parties, our experiences with girls and so on. That's why this album is really different from the first one, which we wrote just after we left college."
"We really wanted to make it sound 'live'. Powerful! That's why we just mic'd the guitar through the speaker without any kind of additional effects. We love it when there's no bullshit you know"
For a young group of lads you've got a really mature sound. How did you manage to find it?
"Well, there is obviously Steve's [Harris of Iron Maiden] work, who helped us a lot [The album was recorded at Harris' Barnyard studios - Ed]. Everything was then mixed and produced by a man called Tony Newton from the band Voodoo Six. There is also the fact that we are living together. We wrote, played, worked and recorded the songs at home first. That's how it was created. I think there is no better way to record an album than doing it with five or six good mates. It's the same story every time we play together: it feels right!
"We really wanted to make it sound 'live'. Powerful! That's why we just mic'd the guitar through the speaker without any kind of additional effects. We love it when there's no bullshit, you know. It's easy to understand, because my favourite band is AC/DC, but I also love other guys like Hendrix or Jimmy Page. Ben [ex lead-guitarist] is more inspired by guitarists from the '80s like Randy Rhoads or Zakk Wylde - I really think you can hear it on the album."
Do you keep things similarly stripped down when playing live? Do you use many effects?
"No, not even a tuner actually! If I want a boost, it's possible via the mixer, but I don't really need it, as my amp head has two channels with an integrated boost, which I can activate with a footswitch."
Tell us more about this amp and the gear you used on the album…
"Actually, the main difference between the recording of the first and the second album is the amps. We used to play on Blackstar and we evolved to Marshall [Tagore is endorsed by the brand]. We used an amazing YGM head [The Yngwie Malmsteen signature model] - it's just the most powerful head ever!
"We've been using it for two years now. The great thing with this head is that it allows you to switch from 100-watt to 50-watt mode, so we used this feature for the album.
"As for the guitars, we've used a million of them, but a lot of rock 'n' roll relics. These are gorgeous custom guitars made in America. We've also often used a Les Paul Standard, though we're thinking about switching to using ESP guitars. It would make our sound evolve but we're not sure at the moment!"
What have you got coming up over the next few months?
"We have some festivals planned this summer, and then the European tour and a few gigs in England. We'd also really like to tour Australia again and the USA. To keep it simple, we just want to tour as much as possible with this album!"
You've had pretty good feedback over in the States, too, haven't you?
"Yes, we've opened for KISS and Motley Crüe and it was absolutely amazing. Americans love young English bands so it was a dream, especially because we were able to play with these legendary bands. It is also about personality - the way they interact on stage with the crowd.
"We learned a lot from them and they are really humble people. We've even had a crazy time with Tommy Lee, strippers and champagne. Well… you can figure it out! For a young band, it makes a real difference to know these people. It was a dream to discover all these new things like mini-bars and tour buses… it was wild!"