Interview by Adrian Hextall
The Treatment formed in 2008 in Cambridge, England. Their debut album, “This Might Hurt” was released in 2011 and followed by “Running With The Dogs” (2014), “Generation Me” (2016), “Power Crazy” (2019) and “Waiting For Good Luck” (2021). The band has toured with KISS, Mötley Crüe, Steel Panther, Thin Lizzy, and Alice Cooper, just to name a few, as well as appearing at massive rock festivals like Download and Sonisphere.
As the band gear up towards their next headline tour in April, we spoke to guitarist Tagore Grey about touring with Fozzy, life on the road once more and the reception to the critically acclaimed album ‘Waiting For Good Luck’ released during the pandemic.
The first thing to remember when interviewing an artist, it’s one of the simple things, is to ensure that you record the discussion so that you are able to write it up later. Something one of my peers clearly forgot to do as it’s the first thing Tag mentions (just to be sure I remember) when we speak.
TG: The other day, we got half an hour into it. Then realise that the guy hadn’t been recording so I had to start the whole thing from the beginning again. It’s tough to maintain that enthusiasm when you’re essentially having to remember all of the answers you gave first time around. I kept thinking what did I say? What was my answer originally? Do I give the same one or do I embellish?
With the recording light firmly glowing red, we continue and look back a few months to the end of 2021 where the band were one of the few fortunate acts to be able to get a full tour in around the UK despite having tough Covid restrictions still in place.
TG: I think we just managed to get as close to lockdown as we could originally before we stopped touring. We were in Dublin with another with lockdown coming in at midnight on the day we were playing. We actually got the last ferry out of there, at essentially 11:59 and it was pretty tight. But having said that, the fans there, it felt like it was something really special that was happening because they kind of knew it was like the Last Supper The Last Chance. They knew it was their last night out for some time.
Those shows were probably the best shows on the whole tour and it was just absolute chaos. I mean, the Irish can drink, and we can drink with best of them, but they really took it to a new level and the people, they were amazing though. All they wanted to do was have a great last night and it was just brilliant. They took the view that said; look, we’re going to go into this, it is what it is. Let’s have a great time. So we were super lucky and actually in Glasgow as well. I think Scotland went into lockdown as well just after we’d played so we were very lucky on that.
The tour towards the end of 2021 saw the band supporting Fozzy which also wasn’t without its own issues. Lockdown aside, lead singer Chris Jericho fell ill during the tour and whilst certain shows were cancelled at short notice, the London show however went ahead with The Treatment playing a longer set whilst Fozzy used their time to do a Q&A, full album playback and a couple of live songs with the crowd acting as a collective lead vocalist.
TG: It was quite strange. We really owe it to Fozzy because they could have easily pulled that show. But to us, it was that it’s a home town gig, we really wanted to play and we had a lot of money resting on it. I’ve got to say, credit where credit’s due because Chris could have cancelled, it would’ve been a lot easier for him to just cancel the show, but they came up with a cool idea. They looked at how they could actually do something for the fans. And you know, playing the new album, kind of worked quite well. He has such charisma and just he’s just a great front man. For us, it was awesome getting to play 45 minutes as well.
Honestly, it would have been a very very miserable time if we’d gone back without playing that. There’s nothing worse, you get halfway through a tour and then it kind of gets cancelled. Everything you’ve got goes into it. And then if they get cancelled, you’re left thinking, ‘well what now’?
For a band with some 5 albums under their belt, a 45 minute set should be a breeze. However switching from a rehearsed 30 minute set to half as much again does bring its own problems.
TG: You know, it’s strange. We’ve got five albums, but if you would go and ask me to play a song from the debut ‘This Might Hurt’, I probably couldn’t. I’d have to sit down and really think about it. Because we don’t as a plan, rehearse all the five albums. You always have the list of favourites, those that work live.
We’ll rehearse up maybe 10 numbers. We typically (as support) get about 10 minutes to load all the gear on stage and 31 and a half minutes to play. It was a really tightly thought out set and we cut certain bits of songs to get them to fit. Intros of songs and the ends, just to try and get as many songs in. We’ve always got a couple of songs in our back pocket, but it’s not as easy as you think just adding different numbers in because sets, they run in different ways. And you have to make sure you place all the songs correctly. You can have real highs and then followed by what you might think is a quite a nice groovy slow song, but it actually destroys the set. But you’ve got to keep the energy going.
The difference in April of course (dates and links at the bottom of the page) is that The Treatment will be the headliners on their own 18 date tour.
TG: Well, that’s it. on your own headline tour, it’s different. The fans are there for you and I think there’s less pressure on the set because they’re going to enjoy whatever you’re playing because they are fans, they know the music. On the Fozzy shows or any kind of support slot, it’s very different because you’ve got to win them over from the start. You need to pick those perfect songs and make sure there’s no dead spots in the whole set.
That was the hard thing on the Fozzy tour. And I think we got it just right. There weren’t a lot of Treatment fans though. We had a few hardcore fans but it was very much a Fozzy crowd and for us it was amazing. I think The Treatment really perform the best when we’re going out fresh and we’re going out fighting, to win people over. We could be three numbers in and we see a change with the fans thinking, okay, this is all right, and by the end they’re moshing and loving it.
And that’s the other thing about these wrestling fans, fucking hell man, they can jump around. You expect a few punters down the front but no, it was great. That was a tough fight and it was it was quite hard but when it landed, worth it!
The upcoming tour sees the band playing on a triple bill with Piston and South of Salem, two acts that feel like the perfect fit for a Treatment show.
TG: It’s going to be a really, really awesome. I think we’ve been lucky that all three bands, even though we’ve got our own kind of style, our own thing going on, all complement each other.
The South to Salem boys, they seem really, really on it, right now. I’ve heard lots of good things and I’m really excited to see them play. Piston have been around for a while and never fail to impress. It’s actually kind of crazy that the singer of piston Rob (Angelico) is actually working with Laurie (Mansworth – manager and father of band drummer Dhani) at the moment. They’ve just recorded an album so we’ve actually been kind of working with Rob quite a bit.
18 shows is a good tour and we’ve got zero days off. It’s a bit busy but, you know, that’s how it should be man.
The tour opens in London at Lafayette – notable because it’s a brand-new 600-capacity music venue that has been developed as part of the King’s Cross regeneration scheme. It’s also owned by Ben Lovett of Mumford & Sons. It’s also going to see the band get a real opportunity to play tracks of the latest album which is just about to celebrate its first anniversary as well.
TG: The London show is actually my birthday April 15th so it’s a great way to kick start the tour. The venue is fantastic, its got the most amazing interior and a great set of old-school, stage lighting around the top.
The album came out I think on April 21, last year and I think we’ll be able to play a fair amount of it because the fans know the music now. It’s not like we’re ripping into a new song and people are going, I don’t recognize this one. I think the only shame is that is taken us a year and a half to get out there and do it.
The album was also Tom’s (Rampton) second with the band and one that Tag feels allowed Tom a lot more freedom to express himself.
TG: He was a lot more comfortable. I think with working with Laurie in the studio. He definitely relaxed a lot into it, which was really nice to see. It also helped that we recorded the album live. When lockdown allowed us to, we all went to Rockfield Studios, which was great. We got four days in there and that was all we had. Although Rick (“Swoggle” Newman) had left the band we had no bass player but Tao (Grey) took on some of the bass work, I did my guitar and we just went in to blast it out. All these songs in about two and a half days. It’s amazing how it all came together in that time. And the other incredible thing was just a lack of editing. The songs are really a live album as it were.
“The Devil In The Detail UK Tour” is as follows…
Friday, 15 April 2022 Lafayette, London
Saturday, 16 April 2022 Booking Hall, Dover
Sunday, 17 April 2022 Old Fire Station, Bournemouth
Monday, 18 April 2022 The Fleece, Bristol
Tuesday, 19 April 2022 O2 Academy2, Oxford
Wednesday, 20 April 2022 Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes
Thursday, 21 April 2022 Sugarmill, Stoke
Friday, 22 April 2022 Tivoli, Buckley
Saturday, 23 April 2022 Waterloo, Blackpool
Sunday, 24 April 2022 G2, Glasgow
Monday, 25 April 2022 Macarts, Galashiels
Tuesday, 26 April 2022 Riverside, Newcastle
Wednesday, 27 April 2022 Brudenell, Leeds
Thursday, 28 April 2022 Junction 2, Cambridge
Friday, 29 April 2022 Queens Hall, Nuneaton
Saturday, 30 April 2022 Waterfront, Norwich
Sunday, 1 May 2022 Station 18 Festival, Swansea FESTIVAL SHOW
Monday, 2 May 2022 Robin, Bilston
Support Piston and South Of Salem
Information and tickets available HERE