I’m guessing that most reader’s will know of The Treatment from Cambridge in the UK – a band who play good old fashioned hard rock full of energy and passion. Their new album ‘Waiting for Good Luck’ out on April 9th might just be their finest moment yet and was recorded with the band live in their lockdown ‘bubble’ in the studio. That approach and the touch of the legendary Kevin Shirley have made this ‘album from lockdown’ absolutely essential listening! We caught up with Dhani and Tag to talk all about it and if that leaves you still wanting more head over the next months podcast to find out about visiting Mark Evans, getting tattoos in Melbourne and so much more… ‘Waiting for Good Luck’ may just be a serious contender for album of the year…
Mark: Hey guys how are you?
Tag: All good.
Mark: I didn’t expect two of you!
Tag: Yeah it’s two for the price of one with the Treatment (laughs)
Mark: I’ve been listening to the album all week – sounds great five albums in! Shame you can’t tour!
Tag: Yeah, thanks mate, (laughs) a slight little problem.
Mark: Lockdown sees The Treatment are sounding at the top of their game, I’ll bet there’s a story behind it all – how hard or easy was it to put it all together?
Dhani: I think the actual making of the album was quite easy but the process of being able to make it was hard (laughs). We were all in a bubble together during the first lockdown. We weren’t even thinking of making an album last year because we were meant to be flat-out touring for the whole of 2020. So we played our first gig in February and a week later everything got cancelled. So we were like “What do we do?” we had a whole year with nothing planned so we naturally thought we’d start jamming and from there the songs started coming together and it was a natural progression from there. Within the first four months we had it all locked down and done, and then by the summer we managed to get into Rockfield studios.
Mark: I guess no one at the start knew how long this thing was gonna last and now here we are a year later and we still have no gigs. We’re lucky down under in that local live music is back, but no one is coming to see us. The last show I saw was a year ago tomorrow when I saw Kip Winger, but nothing international since. It’s horrible.
Tag: (laughs) that’s so cool!
Mark: So when it all does come back, what are your plans? Are you ready to snap back into it again?
Dhani: Hopefully if everything goes to plan through the Government guidelines we’ll be out of this by July so we’ve got a few Festivals booked in. But this year is mainly about doing the rescheduled shows and not doing a proper tour until 2022 because we just don’t want to keep letting people down in case something does happen. So we’d rather get this year out of the way, make sure we know where we are for 2022 and then start looking at it then.
Mark: It was horrible to just read that Download had been cancelled again so two years without Download.
Dhani: People just don’t want to take the risk of the potentials, you know what I mean.
Mark: Exactly. The first thing we heard down here of the record was ‘Rat Race’ which was a great introduction. What was the first thing you wrote that made it onto the album?
Dhani: I think that was ‘Take it or Leave It’. It was quite a natural process really. We were just in a room together with our producer and manager – my Dad Laurie, and we started jamming together and we took it from there. We got all the music done then took it to Rockfield and got all the music done, then we recorded the vocals at my Dad’s little production studio afterwards.
Tag: It was a really natural process.
Mark: It’s a great record in that there’s no let up and not a bad track one there. Any particular favorites that you can’t wait to test out on the road?
Dhani: ‘Vampress’ is a great one.
Tag: ‘Eyes on You’
Dhani: I love the fast aggressive ones, they’re always fun to play and see the crowd reactions.
Mark: You’ve done some wonderful stuff over the years, everything from ‘This Might Hurt’ to ‘Power Crazy’ the last one, but this one just seems like maybe we should be locked down all the time, it’s another level!
Tag: (laughs) we’re so happy, it’s an incredible record. It all just came together.
Dhani: It was the way we recorded it as well I think because we’d never recorded live before, the songs come to life live and even though albums can sound great in the studio, it’s not like when you hear them live, it brings so much more out in the songs. So we thought we wanted to try and catch that on record. So we attempted to play it all completely live and to our luck it all worked out amazing. I don’t think we’ll ever go back to not doing the record that way again.
Mark: It really has made a difference and it’s interesting to hear as for a lot of bands it’s been a case of doing things the other way – sending in their parts and stitching the record together. It doesn’t hurt the sound either when your album is mixed by someone like Kevin Shirley does it?
Dhani: That was amazing. It’s the first time when we’ve actually got really lucky getting a real high end guy like that.
Tag: We struck a bit of luck as Kevin is a really old friend of Laurie, Dan’s dad. He actually mixed some albums in the past for Laurie. But it was stroke of luck, he heard one of the tunes and he came on board. A lot of different things have come together on this record. That was a huge step forward on the mixing front. Then having the production time where Laurie actually got to work with us, you know normally it’s a rushed production. This time we had months (laughs) because we weren’t going anywhere, you know what I mean, you’re not allowed out of your bedroom in the UK at the moment.
Tag: So to have that time to work together where we were all in the same bubble was great because we all live really locally. So to have the time to work the songs and then play it live – all these ingredients came together and I think that is where you can feel it all on ‘Waiting for Good Luck’ – the difference between this and ‘Power Crazy’. The songs were still really good on ‘Power Crazy’ but it was missing that last little ingredient that I think we’ve now nailed.
Mark: Listening to it you’re right, people will be amazed, it’s all come together and I’m listening to it as a whole too, no skipping tracks, which is always a good sign. A lot of people as well are talking about the cover art – talk us through the concept!
Dhani: We were just having a conversation and the idea and the idea came from my Dad our manager. Why don’t we get Dave – he’s our roadie – the most useless roadie in the world – we pay him fifty quid to make us laugh, you know what I mean? (laughs)
Dhani: So we thought why don’t we just get Dave in an armchair, pissed? (laughs) And we thought about it and thought it might actually work! So we got him dressed in a rank old vest and gave him a pack of fags and few beers so we had him sit there have a Chinese and dribble it all over himself and we took a photo of it. But we kind of thought that’s how everyone is feeling at the moment, everyone in the UK is in that exact position.
Mark: But maybe without a banjo?
Tag: It was definitely very tongue-in-cheek. I remember the night before we released the artwork we weren’t 100% sure how it was gonna go down!
Dhani: They’ll either love it or hate it! (laughs)
Tag: But the response from that was incredible, and that was before anyone had even heard any music from the album. And we were like “Wow, people get this” and then right after that the first music was ‘Rat Race’ the first single and since then it’s really come alive for us. We’ve got such an amazing community of fans and loyal fans who are really supporting us at this time and showing their appreciation. Something has really changed since Covid – a lot of people are really checking out music and really supporting the up-and-coming bands.
Mark: It’s great to see that support and doubly sad that in the modern day when streaming is cutting revenues and the money is in live a lot of bands are really struggling, especially the smaller ones so it’s great that all that music is being heard and hopefully when we open people will be out in force.
Tag: It’s not just the smaller bands, it’s every band. It’s brutal. But the good thing about it is that it means people who are serious will find a way to make it happen. You’ll always find a way. If it’s what you’ve got to do, it’s what you have to do. That’s it, and I think it’s really selecting the bands who are serious about it and the bands who are posing about it and that’s a really good thing. Here in the UK there’s a really good new scene of ‘The New Wave of Classic Rock’ and a lot of really great bands are pushing forward on that and its great to be at the forefront of that with the new record. And people are really turning their heads towards UK music because that’s all we’re really going to have for the foreseeable future – whether that’s a few months or however long it goes on. So it’s great to see people supporting the younger bands here and giving them a chance. Whereas in the past that maybe hasn’t really happened.
Mark: And long may that happen even after restrictions are lifted.
Tag: I think it will last because I think people now realise what’s out there locally that’s good. We were talking about this in another interview about the passing of the torch from these headlining giants, mega bands who won’t be around forever and handing on the torch to the younger guys and people responding to that and actually giving them a chance. Because making great new music is all well and good but at the end of the day it’s all down to the fans.
Mark: You’re right I think a lot of us wonder what’s going to happen when certain bands hang up their boots – when AC/DC are gone, Maiden are gone, Kiss are gone – whose going to fill the gap?
Dhani: I’ll be very surprised like, and it will be a very sad day, but I’d be surprised if bands like AC/DC have another 5, 6 years left before they decide they want to retire from touring. I think it’s a very bright future for the up and coming bands, people realise the legends won’t be around together and they need to start following the newer bands.
Mark: The album comes out on April 9th, any new singles to be released in the lead-up?
Tag: I think there’s potentially one more – we already have ‘Rat Race’ and ‘Wrong Way’ came out last week and that’s been brilliant, so I think there’s one more single to come out and then the big day comes on April 9th.
Mark: A lot of bands write their songs from real life experience – I can’t imagine a song like ‘Barman’ comes from a real life situation?
Tag: Yeah we’ve never been to a pub (laughs).
Mark: (laughs) On an album with so many great songs I must admit it was interesting when you picked out ‘Vampress’ and ‘Eyes on You’ because I think they’re two of my favorites on there.
Dhani: ‘Vampress’ was actually one of the later ones to go on the record. We had a riff and we started to play it and we literally started to jam along, then we thought of a cool title, it’s a song about a nightmare bird, and it was one of those really cool moments when it all just came together ‘spur of the moment’ and it had such a great energy about it. I can’t wait to play it live because it was so fun to do it in the studio.
Mark: 12 great tracks, I can’t wait for it to come out so everyone can hear it. Now just to close we’ve got a couple of questions we ask all our first time interviewees
Tag: Sounds good.
Mark: If you could have been a fly on the wall for the creation of any great album in Rock, what are you going to choose? What would you have liked to have seen being made in the studio?
Dhani: For me it always reverts back to the same three bands (laughs)
Tag: (laughs) well obviously an AC/DC album, but for me I’d love to have been in Abbey Road when the Beatles were in there and doing that album, that would be a pretty serious album to be a part of even if I was just on the wall!
Dhani: Maybe ‘High Voltage’.
Tag: What about ‘Powerage’?
Dhani: ‘High Voltage’ was the one that properly broke the in England though. They were big in Australia but it wasn’t until ‘High Voltage’ come out across the UK that people started to go mad over them.
Mark: Great band, always good live and a band I’ve seen so many times over the years. Angus is saying there’s one last tour in them but let’s hope there’s a few more! Having the Treatment along with them would go down pretty well I think!
Tag: I hope they’ve got a few more tours – we’d love to open up for them!
Mark: And the final question and one we always ask. We’ve been going eleven years now and this is the one we ask everyone – What is the meaning of life?
Dhani: Just to go out and enjoy yourself and do what you want to do. (laughs) You know what I mean? Don’t put yourself in a box – take a few risks and enjoy life.
Mark: Great answer and I think after we get through all this we’ve been dealing with this last year plenty of people will be going out and doing just that. ‘Waiting for Good Luck’ is a great title for an album in these strange times and when people get a hold of this I’m sure they’re gonna love it. What’s the best way fans can support the Treatment in the lead up to release?
Dhani: Keep in touch on social media.
Tag: I think one of the big things is if you can pre-order the album it really helps we’d really love to be in the national charts and top what we did last time. And buying a physical copy really goes a very long way for us. So if fans can help us chart you’d make a few lads from Cambridge seriously happy!
Mark: Thanks so much guys it’s been great talking to you, and when all this craziness blows over I’ll be back to see you at Rock City and help you polish off that rider!
Tag: Mate you’ve got to come back to Nottingham it’s gonna be a good thing back here bro!
Mark: I’ll be there when it all kicks off!
Tag: It’s still just as grubby as when you left! (laughs)
Mark: I’ve got a framed piece of the old sticky floor over the desk so I know they’re replaced that!
Mark: All the best with the album guys – this is a big one I can feel it!
Dhani: Cheers mate!
Tag: Stay safe.
Mark: You too guys – cheers!