In my first interview on VampireFreaks it was fitting that I get to start with an up and coming band that is about to take the world by storm. Hailing from Cambridge, UK is a group of kids who are reviving the 1970’s sound that bands like AC/DC, Thin Lizzy and Judas Priest laid the groundwork for once upon a time. The band is The Treatment, so get to know them now because they will be around for a long time to come. Lead singer Matt Jones was kind enough to sit down and answer some questions for me:
JG: It looks like you’re bringing back the good old fashioned rock ‘n roll sound, what kind of bands did you grow up listening to that influence your sound?
Matt Jones: We are lucky enough to have so much great music come before us. All of our parents have handed down their record collections to us so we have all grown up with bands like AC/DC, Judas Priest, Thin Lizzy, Sex Pistols and so many more.
JG: Is this sound more prominent in the UK than in the states or do fans there just appreciate live music more when it comes their way? It seems like the 80’s bands that can still pack stadiums there are often happy filling up a 5,000 seat club here.
MJ: The music scene is strong in the UK. When a band comes to town it is always a big event. I think because we are such a small country we appreciate any music that comes into the country. We are lucky to have a lot of great bands come here so there is always a show to go to if you want to go out one night.
JG: You also have the luxury of playing festivals there such as Sonisphere that introduce tens of thousands of fans to you everyday that might not have ever heard of you otherwise, why can’t such a great concept catch on in the U.S.? Sure we have Coachella, Lollapalooza and a handful of annual shows but they aren’t targeted directly at rock or metal and they don’t do much for newer acts.
MJ: The music festival is almost a summer tradition now here in the UK. We have so many such as Download, Sonisphere, Reading and Leads, Isle of White. They are great exposure for new bands. I don’t know why it doesn't catch on in The States.
JG: You’ve already got to open for Alice Cooper, Steel Panther, Neurosis, and many others. Are there any bands you hope to get a chance to play with?
MJ: The bands we have supported have all been great and treated us so nicely. There are so many bands that we would love to play with. AC/DC I think would be a dream come true for all of us. However, Kiss and Motley Crue are two bands we have all grown up listening to so we are so honored and excited to be playing with them.
JG: How did you manage to get the opening slot for the Motley Crue and KISS tour? These are two of the most important bands of an entire generation, so obviously they wouldn’t hand it to anybody. Is it great management, a bit of luck, or something else?
MJ: We have absolutely amazing management. Dhani's dad Laurie manages us and he has been in the business for a long time and knows exactly what he is doing. Our label Spinefarm Records is great too.
JG: I’ve heard bands complain about how uncomfortable touring with Motley Crue was due to the celebrity factor that is always present. However, I also saw that Nikki Sixx has sung your praise publicly already; does that help to ease any potential tension or anxiety in opening for such heavyweights?
MJ: Yeah, Nikki Sixx has been a big supporter of ours ever since he stumbled onto a video of ours for a track called Drink Rock Fight. He's been great so far. I'm sure all the guys will be great and we just can't wait to get out to the USA and play.
JG: Do you have any plans for the shows? Are you one of those bands we can look forward to being out with the fans doing signings after your set or does the amphitheater environment make that difficult?
MJ: We always go out to the merch stands after the shows. We love meeting the fans and talking to them, it’s a vital part of being in a band. It’s the fans that buy your music and come to the shows so we feel a need to connect with them.
JG: In a two month tour, you are covering most of the country. Is there anywhere you want to visit or see while you are here?
MJ: There are so many sights to see in America. We'd love to see The Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls. Maybe stop off in a few places on Route 66. We are tourists at heart haha.
JG: Is there a U.S. club tour in your near future? In all of my selfishness I would love to see you guys tour with a band like Black Stone Cherry where you fit nicely on the bill and get the exposure you deserved here.
MJ: We're not sure just yet. I'm sure once we have completed the Kiss/Crue tour we will want to be back as soon as possible, so fingers crossed we will be able to come back again.
JG: How did you catch the eye of Spinefarm Records? Any label that can release albums by some of the best acts in metal (Children of Bodom, Amorphis, Nightwish, Rammstein, etc.) has a special place in my heart for sure, so I’m sure you were doing something pretty spectacular.
MJ: We were on a record label before Spinefarm called Powerage Records. This gave us a good step up and got our name out there into the industry. Laurie, our manager, set up a showcase show in London and we were lucky enough to be seen by Spinefarm and they decided to sign us.
JG: You had the honor of working at The Barnyard Studio, which is owned by Steve Harris of Iron Maiden fame, who also happens to be one of the greatest bassists of all time. Did he ever drop in and give any advice?
MJ: Yeah it’s actually a barn in the grounds of his house. It had such a good vibe. He came up and listened while we were mixing the record and he gave us his seal of approval which was amazing for us.
JG: This Might Hurt has been very well received thus far from all of the reviews I’ve seen. Are there already plans on hitting the studio for the follow up or is the focus mainly on promoting the current album?
MJ: We are always writing and recording. We are actually trying out a few new tunes live right now. I think the plan is to try and promote This Might Hurt for the next year; it only came out here in September so we want to get out there and play it as much as possible.
JG: Since you are still a newer band how does the never ending internet piracy/downloading saga affect you? While a band like Metallica can argue that three million people just stole their album and it just cost them millions, does an up and coming band who would sell a fraction of that hope that there is infinitely more exposure in the computer era?
MJ: Its one of those things that we can’t change. It's just the way it is now. So we have to embrace it and make the best of it, so we try to do as much as possible on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and so on. Ultimately it helps out new bands.
JG: There have been bands like Airbourne, Black Tide, etc. that burst onto the scene but never regains the momentum that they did when they were making a name for themselves. What do you feel is the key to establishing and maintaining relevance in such a cutthroat industry?
MJ: I think we have to be driven and excited about our music. We all love playing; it’s the best thing in the world so as long as your heart is in it you have to keep going. It is such a cut throat business so it’s important to get caught up in it and get swallowed up.
JG: Finally, judging by your videos for ‘The Doctor’ and ‘Drink, Fuck, Fight’, you guys have a surplus of hot nurses there. What are we doing wrong? Is that what a civilized healthcare program does for you?
MJ: Haha trust me that is NOT what nurses look like on the NHS! We are lucky enough to know some girls who are willing to put on a skimpy nurses outfit to get the guys excited. It makes video shoots a lot nicer for us too!