The Treatment are a prime example of a band who are going places. They are young and full of fire, they have supported some incredible names such as Alice Cooper, Kiss, Mötley Crüe, Slash, Alter Bridge, Steel Panther, W.A.S.P, and UFO to name a few. They just released an excellent new album Generation Me featuring their new vocalist Mitchell Emms and guitarist Tao Grey and are ready to take on the world again. I talked to guitarist, Tagore Grey – just before his flight to Italy to play Frontiers Fest – about the festival and playing Europe, the album and new members, their upcoming tour and the late great Prince.
Tagore Grey (Guitar): Hi there, you alright mate?
Jack: Hi I’m good, how are you doing?
Tagore: Yeah, not bad thanks.
Jack: You’re about to play Frontiers Fest in Italy, are you looking forward to it?
Tagore: Mate, I’m literally over the moon. We’re sitting in the airport right now which is one of the most grizzly places you can sit but the second we get to Italy I’m going to be a happy man.
Jack: Do you know much about this fest?
Tagore: We’ve never played it before but since we signed to Frontiers we’ve learned a lot about them. They have some great bands on there especially some good up-an-coming bands and we’ve given them a chance alongside more well known and established bands. As for the festival, as I said, it’s the first time I ever played it but I’m looking forward to learning more about it.
Jack: Do any bands stand out for you?
Tagore: I’ve got to say I really want to see Last in Line which is Vivian Campbell’s band, the all star group. I heard a few of the tracks and I thought it was really great and hopefully Inglorious, I want to check them out tomorrow. I’ve heard a lot about Inglorious and they’re quite near to where we’re based being a London band. I’ve heard a lot of good things about them and I kind of want to check them out and see what’s happening. Otherwise just going to do the usual thing of enjoying the festival and get off my face [Laughs].
Jack: A lot of bands say that mainland Europe is very different to the UK, how is it different?
Tagore: Yeah definitely. I think Europe has… I don’t know in Europe we’re given a really good chance and France which has a really good rock scene at the moment. Maybe it’s because they get less bands out there but people really go nuts. While in the UK it takes a lot more to impress fans, but once they’re on your side they go crazy. As a band going to open shows it’s a lot easier in Europe than it is in the UK, but once they follow you; you have loyal fans in the UK.
Jack: Generation Me has been out for a while and it is a really good album.
Tagore: Thank you mate.
Jack: Are you happy with the response?
Tagore: Over the moon with the response, honestly I can’t believe and to remember we went from having no guitarist and vocalist and what felt like no future; to turning around and having people say it’s the best thing we’ve ever done. So for us it has been a really amazing step and a huge step forward, I still can’t believe the response. It’s been top notch.
Jack: This was Mitchell and Tao’s first album with the band, is that the correct?
Tagore: Yeah, that’s right.
Jack: What did they bring to the recording?
Tagore: Well, a lot of the tracks had already been written before the boys joined. We started writing it well before we went to Australia, and then obviously Matt had left before we went to Australia and we were still writing up to that point. So most of the album was already written by the time the boys joined. We didn’t want to say to Mitch, recreate Matt, we wanted to give him the idea of what The Treatment is about and then take his own spin on it. Which I think you can definitely tell from the album, there’s a very different side than to our previous This Might Hurt and Running With The Dogs.
As for Tao he brought a brotherly sort of bond, we always played guitar together. Whenever I used to go home back to my family we’d always be there jamming, we always had that good connection, so in the studio it brought a solid unit to the band. We always record live and then Mitch dropped his vocals on top so the connection in the room was taken to another level. When before, well with Ben (Brookland, Guitar) mainly we never had a good connection with him and the guitarists in between were just standing in until Tao came along, I’m not going to lie. So it’s really good to get into the studio and have a good connection.
Jack: Mitchell was on the show The Voice. A lot of rock and metal fans are in opposition to this show along with other talent shows such as Britain’s Got Talent and The X-Factor. Do you think there was any uncertainty with the fans when he was announced as the singer?
Tagore: I think there was a little bit. I think generally some people were like “you’re fake and stuff if you…” You have to remember four of the new up-and-coming singers were from talent shows, Erik Grönwal from H.E.A.T, Nathan James from Inglorious was on Jesus Christ Superstar, Adam Lambert from Queen was on American Idol and Mitch. The thing is if you haven’t got anything going for you, why would you not try and further your music career, had Mitch not done that we wouldn’t had found him. I think it’s quite harsh that people are slating him, it gave him his ticket to finding us and us finding him. I don’t understand the whole sort of negativity surrounding the show, but I think it’s something that has become more acceptable. There have been some things here and there but as a band we don’t give a shit. We created a great record and that’s all that matters.
Jack: The artwork for the album is quite in your face, what does it represent?
Tagore: First of all, it represents the whole idea behind Generation Me, it’s a whole generation being out for themselves and a computer-obsessed generation. We just wanted to portray that and say there is more out there than living behind social media. You know everyone sits there and tweets and Facebooks and you forget to live your life. The whole idea with the computer tangled round his neck and he hasn’t left there for a month. It’s an idea we wanted to go down, I find we live in a selfish generation and it’s something we wanted to tie to a concept. We’re not really a huge band changing people’s minds and going all political, it’s just a small concept we wanted to tie into the album and it worked out pretty well.
Jack: Social media is a big thing about this generation, some bands say that it’s a double edged sword in that it enables you to interact with your fans and promote your band easier; but at the same time it means you are easier to abuse and to face criticism. Do you think it’s essential for a band?
Tagore: I don’t think it’s essential, bands definitely came along before there was social media and they’ll be here long after social media has gone. It’s definitely a much easier way to get out there and find a band and that’s really good. You could be walking along and hear something and someone says you should check out this band and you go straight on your phone and you’ve got it right there. There’s so much music at the end of your hand which is great, especially for bands who aren’t on TV, haven’t got their arm in the magazines or haven’t got their CDs out so it’s great in that sort of sense. But in another way for me it takes away a lot of the magic and mystery behind bands. My favourite guitarist ever is Angus Young of AC/DC. It’s almost impossible to find anything on him, he’s a mysterious character and it’s really hard to find anything on him except what’s in magazines. You can’t search Angus Young on Facebook and find what he had for breakfast and that’s the kind of mystery I like behind a band, so that the person becomes whatever you want them to be. But obviously in the same sense, it is really great if you are a huge fan of someone and able to message them, and if you get a reply you know that person has actually replied and it’s fucking insane, it’s great. When you’re talking to them there is no mystery behind them if you know what I mean. I take it in two ways, there’s incredible things to take from it and there’s real massive negatives. You can’t really win with it, there’s no point moaning about it and complaining, it’s going to be here to stay and you’ve got to learn how to use it and work with social media. It can be great, you can advertise tours but the negative side is that it’s so accessible it doesn’t make music as special anymore.
Jack: I get what you mean as there is less mystery around the artists because there are just photos of them in the street and going about their lives.
Tagore: Yeah, I remember when I was first getting my first CDs I was going down the shop, I’d get the CD and read the booklet front to back and that was it. You could only listen to the CD at home, because you had no Walkman to put it onto. Now that it’s at the end of your fingertips it’s so easy to get hold of it kind of takes something away from it a little bit. But at the same time it’s really easy to get hold of music so you’re discovering so much more music. You can argue both sides but it’s got its ups and downs.
Jack: You’re touring the UK this month and May aren’t you?
Tagore: Yeah after we play Italy we’ll get back and start a whole UK tour. We’re doing a Generation Me tour all in support of the new album. It’s going to be brilliant being back on the road with the new line-up, we haven’t done a headline tour with this line-up, only support tours. It’s going to be really great doing our own shows, back where we should be.
Jack: You’re being supported by The Amorettes, what do you like about this band?
Tagore: That they’re all girls, I think that’s pretty standard sort of place to start [Laughs]. I think it’s going to be great and it’s a brilliant bill and it’s just something different, how often do you get an all-girl band going about. It’s brilliant and I really enjoy what they do and I think they do it really well. I’ve never seen them play before so I can’t wait to actually see it, it’s going to be good.
Jack: On your setlist will you be playing songs just from Generation Me or will there be some old stuff in there as well?
Tagore: There will definitely be some old stuff. We talked about this a lot in rehearsals, we want to play a lot of old stuff to please the fans, but at the same point the old songs aren’t Mitch and Tao’s and Generation Me is as much as it is ours. It’s something we’ve been wary of doing as we don’t want to recreate The Treatment as it was on the last two albums. So we are playing a few songs from the last two albums, it will be predominantly from the new album. But obviously don’t want to miss out on some classics like ‘The Doctor’, ‘Shake the Mountain’, ‘Running with the Dogs’, you know the classics everyone wants to hear obviously will be in the set. But it was very important to us, it was almost like a fresh start, a fresh band that is new for the boys as well. We didn’t want to do recreate something that had been done before.
Jack: You’ve done a lot of big support tours with some big names. What was the most memorable?
Tagore: I got to say the first big support tour we did which was opening up for Alice Cooper. It was our first break and it wasn’t just for the UK, it was all across Europe. We went to Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Belgium. Oh God it was just great, it was such an insane start. You can imagine us seventeen and eighteen year old kids going from playing tiny little clubs, to all of a sudden on the first date in Rome to playing to around 4000 people. It was such a huge step for us that I’ll never forget, you know from that moment there’s no going back. At that point I knew this is what I was going to do for my life come whatever. It doesn’t matter what I go through, it doesn’t matter if I’m skint, I’m rich, I’m poor, I’m broke, I’ve got one leg, whatever happens I’m going to be doing this! I remember going onto that stage and going this is what I needed to do. It just stuck out for me that tour because I never forgot the moment of it. We’ve had some incredible times since, but that first stepping into the larger place. I suppose I had it again when we went over and did Kiss and Mötley Crüe in America. That was the first time we went into the stadium territory and that was really incredible as well. Every time you step it up a level it leaves this moments in your life where you’re like “wow we actually did that”! It’s an incredible feeling.
Jack: That’s excellent. Do you have day jobs outside of the band or is music your only job?
Tagore: Music is only thing. None of us are born rich, we save and we sell what we can and we gig when we can. It’s a pretty tough life and not full of luxuries, but it’s what we love doing. We all live together so we make it work. One day someone is rich and they’re buying dinner and the next day someone else is, the day after that someone else has sold a guitar and they’re buying dinner so we make it work. It’s been a pretty tough environment for the new boys who’ve not been touring constantly. But no we just make it work, it doesn’t matter as music is the only thing we’re all good at and outside of music we pretty much suck at everything else [Laughs].
Jack: What are your plans after this tour?
Tagore: Well straight away we’re going to Denmark, we’re going out there to do this festival out called Nordic Noise which should be really good. We’d only been to Denmark once before so it will be great to go back. The last time we were there was with Steel Panther I think so it’s been a little while. We get back after that and we have a week or two off and then we go straight to France, at the moment it’s just one French date in Paris. I can’t say anything but I’m pretty sure something else will be happening out there. That is all that is planned at the moment, we’ve got all the festivals coming up and we’re looking at more tours towards the end of the year and getting back out there.
Jack: Finally, the tragic news broke yesterday that Prince had passed away. What did Prince mean to you?
Tagore: It was so weird, we were in rehearsal yesterday and Dan was on his phone scrolling through Facebook and was like “holy shit guys this has just happened”. I couldn’t believe it, I don’t think any of us could. I wouldn’t say I’m a Prince die hard fan but I can appreciate anyone who is that talented. I mean the guy played 37 instruments on his first album (For You) or something ridiculous [Edit: It was actually 27], you’ve got to be so so talented to be able to even do that. I’m in awe of the guy, again I love his hits but I’m not a huge die hard fan. It’s a serious loss to the music industry and he was a mega mega star.
Jack: Well that’s all, thank you very much for your time and I hope Italy and the UK tour go well.
Tagore: Appreciated it dude, thank you very much.
Jack: Okay thank you very much, bye now.
Tagore: Cheers buddy, bye.
“GENERATION ME” UK TOUR
With special guests
The Asylum 2
Friday 29th April 2016
Box Office No: 08444 77 1000
Book Online: seetickets.com
38-43 Hampton St, Birmingham B19 3LS
Cardiff – Clwb Ifor Bach
Saturday 30 April 2016
Tickets: £10 advance
Box Office: 029 2023 2199
Book Online: www.seetickets.com/go/thetreatmentcardiff
11 Womanby Street, Cardiff, CF10 1BR
Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
Wednesday 4 May 2016
Tickets: £10 advance
Box Office: 023 9286 3911
Book Online: www.musicglue.com/the-wedgewood-rooms
147-B Albert Road, Portsmouth, Southsea, PO4 0JW
Wolverhampton Slade Rooms
Friday 6 May 2016
Tickets: £10 advance
Box Office: 0870 320 7000
Book Online: www.wolvescivic.co.uk,
Broad Street, Wolverhampton, West Midlands, WV1 1HP
The Sugarmill – Stoke-On-Trent
Saturday 7 May 2016
Tickets: £10 advance
Box Office: 0115 896 0163
Ticket Link: www.thesugarmill.co.uk/tickets.htm
Brunswick St, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 1DR
O2 Academy2 Newcastle
Monday 9 May 2016
Tickets: £10 advance
Box Office: 0191 260 2020
Book Online: www.ticketweb.co.uk
Westgate Road, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, NE1 1SW
Satan’s Hollow – Manchester
Wednesday 11 May 2016
Tickets: £10 advance
Box Office Phone Number: 0871 220 0260
Book Online: www.seetickets.com
101 Princess Street, Manchester, M1 6DD
Nottingham Rescue Rooms
Thursday 12 May 2016
Ticket Price: £10 advance
Box Office: 0844 871 8819, 0115 896 4456
Book Online: www.alt-tickets.co.uk
25 Goldsmith Street, Nottingham, NG1 5LB
London O2 Academy Islington
Friday 13 May 2016
Tickets: £14 advance
Box Office: 08444 771 000
Book Online: www.academymusicgroup.com/o2academyislington/events/music
N1 Centre, 16 Parkfield Street, Islington, London, N1 0PS www.academymusicgroup.com/o2academyislington