The Treament: like a pack of wild dogs

What a terrific rise to fame The Treatment has known! In just three years, they went from opening for Alice Cooper for their first shows outside of England, to being a support band for Steel Panther, then Kiss, then Mötley Crüe in America. The band is high on rock’n’roll and sweeps the audience off their feet everywhere they go with their impressive energy. The Treatment are the new wave of old school hard rock, and that demands a lot of work and sacrifices, as singer Matt Jones reminds us. Times have changed, and the “sex, drugs and rock’n’roll” era is no more. Nowadays everything is more difficult and demands a healthier lifestyle. And yet, the band still managed to release their second album, Running With The Dogs.

With the help of Laurie Mansworth (the father of Dhani Mansworth, the band’s drummer), their manager, who teaches them everything there is to know about the business, this pack of wild dogs intends to make the most of life, and to enjoy success and luck. As an example, Jones mentions their meeting with Airbourne, a band they feel particularly close to. But life is not all rainbows and roses, as proven by the separation with Ben, their former guitarist, who left to take care of his dying father. That’s how their new henchman, Jake Pattison, came in the picture – in a most atypical way.

« There have been nights when we had to sleep in the van, there have been days when we haven’t eaten, and like I say, you got to be able to give up everything in hope that your band can make it. »

Radio Metal: Not so long a ago, you guys were an unknown young band. But in just a couple of years you succeeded in gaining a great success and even doing a tour as a headliner. How do you explain that?

Matt Jones(vocals): I don’t really know that, it’s all been a whirlwind. It’s all kind of one thing led to another, I mean, like the first tour we ever did here in Europe was with Alice Cooper and then after that we opened for Still Panther and then straight after that we did the tour in America with Kiss and Mötley Crüe, it’s all been one thing after another. We’ve been really really lucky so far, it’s been amazing.

You did a lot of opening shows for huge bands like Alice Cooper, Thin Lizzy, Steel Panther, and Motörhead, in the last three years. How did you get all these opportunities?

I think our manager is just fantastic at doing what he does, he’s been in business for a good 30 years. We’re really lucky because he has a lot of contacts within the business. But we are proud of what we do as well, you know, we’ve come a long way in the last 3 years in the band we’ve got better and better, so I think a lot happened because of that, because we got better as a band. I think a lot of people just enjoy the music, you know, at the end of the day it’s all about the songs, so as long as people enjoy the music we’ll keep on playing it.

Dhani’s father (Laurie Mansworth) is the band’s manager and have been in the music business for quite long. Would you say that his experience has helped the band in getting professional much faster?

Oh definitely, we’ve learned a lot – well, we’ve learned everything from Laurie. Like you said he’s been in the business a long time, he’s a very experienced person, and I mean he’s willing to teach us, that’s the most important thing. He sits down with us and tells us how things should be, how we could improve. We’d be mad not to listen to his advice because he’s been doing this for such a long time and he’s great at what he does, so yeah he’s like our secret weapon (laughs) !

What advice could you give to young bands like you?

I would just say you’ve got to love it and you’ve got to enjoy it. If you don’t, then it’s not the right business for you. I mean we’re willing to do whatever it takes to get to the top. I mean, there have been nights when we had to sleep in the van, there have been days when we haven’t eaten, and like I say, you got to be able to give up everything in hope that your band can make it. If you believe in it and you’re ready to work hard for it, you can do it.

The type of hard rock you’re playing is pretty old school and we usually expect some old folks to be playing that type of music whereas you guys are pretty young. How did you get into this kind of music in the first place?

I think we’ve all kind of just grown up with it, I mean I can’t really remember not having this kind of music in my life. My dad is a big rock fan and I think the rest of the boys, their parents are big rock fans, so we’ve always just been around that kind of music. So when we started making music ourselves it was the natural thing for us to start doing. When we start jamming together we’d start by jamming old AC/DC tunes and Led Zeppelin, stuff like that. And then we started writing songs and that’s what comes out so it’s just a natural thing for us to do, I don’t think we could do anything else.

« It’s such a small business as well, so if you’re drunk and you upset someone, he will reverb through the whole business and then you’ll be ostracized. »

There’s been a strong revival these past years with hard rock and classic rock music. How would you explain that?

I don’t know, I think kids of our age now are kind of… It’s always going full circle; it’s kind of been passed down on to our generation. People our age, they’re kind of the perfect age to throw back to the old time, because they’ve heard records all their lives because their folks have been into it. Some people are just kind of getting a bit bored with the whole metal scene. There are a lot of bands that kind of sound the same, there are a lot of bands doing exactly the same kind of things. I think people need something a bit new, a bit fresh even if that means kind of sounding a bit like something a bit older. At least it’s something different from what’s going on at the moment. So I think that might be why there have been a bit of resurgence over the last few years.

Would you say that this new generation is getting fed up with what they hear on the radio and are turning towards the authenticity they hear in classic rock?

Yeah I think, if you’re bored of what’s going on at the moment you’re gonna find music from other places and I think that’s why people are going back to some of the classic stuff and getting into that, and getting involved with that and then getting influenced to write music that way.

Apparently you guys don’t drink and don’t take drugs, would you say it is more important nowadays in rock music to have a healthy way of life and a real work ethic compared to the old days?

I think so, yeah. I mean it’s harder being in a band as it was back in the day, you know. You have to be on the ball, and you have to be able to play shows every night and if you’re drinking every night or you’re taking drugs every night, you know, you’re not gonna be on top form. It’s such a small business as well, so if you’re drunk and you upset someone, he will reverb through the whole business and then you’ll be ostracized. It doesn’t work like that anymore unfortunately. We’re not completely clean, I mean we do have a pint at the end of the tour but we just choose to do it at the end, because it’s the right place and it’s the right time.

Your new album is called Running With The Dogs. Actually, Airbourne did release an album called Black Dog Barking last year. Since both of you are young energetic hard rock bands, do you feel close to them?

Yeah we do, I mean we were just touring with them in the UK, we did a whole UK tour and it was a really really good tour. We met them before the tour and we hung out and had a beer – well probably like ten beers (laughs) – having a good party with those guys. We get on really really well, I think we’re really similar types of bands, we have similar taste in music and we think in a similar way, we’re in the same frame of mind. So, yeah, we’ve got a lot in common with Airbourne. Everytime we see those guys we get on really really well, so, yeah.

Considering the title of the album, would you consider you guys in the band as a pack of hounds?

Definitely, I mean that’s what the whole album title is about. It’s about us being unified together, all the fucking gang, you know. Then we’re running with the dogs like we’re some kind of gang, you know. It’s just about us going on tour and having a good time or doing whatever we do and having a good time, that’s what the whole album is about. It’s a real kind of feel-good album, I think.

« I think, as musicians, the natural thing that you want to do is get on stage and play, so it’s definitely what we enjoy the most »

You guys seem very at your ease on stage. Would you say that being on stage is the environment that feels the most natural to you compared to recording in the studio?

Yeah we definitely are like that, I think, like you said it’s where we are most comfortable. Recording is a different side of what we do, we enjoy recording as well. You can always be a bit more creative, a bit more expressive when you’re recording. But I think, as musicians, the natural thing that you want to do is get on stage and play, so it’s definitely what we enjoy the most.

Ben [Brookland, guitarist] recently left the band due to the illness of his dad. Are you still in touch with him? How is he and is his dad doing better?

Oh, unfortunately not, no. His dad is very very very ill, so Ben obviously wanted to be with his dad in the last moments of his life, stuff like that. It was the best thing for him to do at the time. But yes we’re still good friends and we’re still in contact. It’s unfortunate, but, that’s the way life is sometimes, you get hit and got to roll with the punches and stuff. We’ve got Jake now playing guitar and he’s doing really really well, he’s a nice guy and he fits perfectly. It’s unfortunate… Some things are meant to happen, unfortunately.

By the way, how was Jake Pattison recruited?

We found him on Facebook!


Yeah, we put out a status saying we’re looking for a guitar player, so if you’re interested and your age is between 19 and 25, give us a message and we’ll check you out. He sent us a message and we had to sit through hundreds and hundreds of messages but we came across Jake’s. We liked how he played, we liked the way he looked and when we met him we got on great and he just fit in straight away so there was no kind of questions in our mind, you know, he was the guy for us. He’s been fitting really well.

Last question: you guys are called The Treatment. To what disease would you be the cure?

(Laughs) I think just Rock’n’Roll is a cure for everything, you know! Whenever you’re feeling bad or happy or whatever, you know Rock’n’Roll is always gonna be there for you. So that’s definitely the cure for any ailment (laughs)!

Interview conducted by phone on Wednesday, January 22nd 2014 by Amphisbaena
Transcription: Judith
Introduction: Alastor

The Treatment’s official Facebook page.

Album Running With The Dogs, out since February, 3rd 2014 via Spinefarm / Universal Records

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