Losing their singer could have proved terminal for The Treatment. But with new album Generation Me winning rave reviews the bullish Brits are in rude health. RUSHONROCK Editor Simon Rushworth caught up with Dhani Mansworth.
RUSHONROCK: In spite of a period of change The Treatment have still found time to come up with a belting new record- how?
DHANI MANSWORTH: First of all half of Generation Me was already written before Mitch joined the band so we had a head start. The Treatment has always been a band that’s constantly writing so the change in singers didn’t affect that side of things too much. It was a smooth transition in terms of making the new record – we’ve never lacked material and it was just a case of Mitch learning it. Our philosophy is that we’re always happier when we’re ahead of ourselves and in this case that approach paid off.
RUSHONROCK: So was Matt’s [Jones, former lead singer] departure expected or unexpected?
DM: Both I suppose. Looking back at the old line-up I think we’d reached a point where we couldn’t progress from the position we’d found ourselves in. The new line-up has given The Treatment the shot of adrenaline that it needed.
RUSHONROCK: Did the new line-up change the overall sound of Generation Me and put a new slant on the material you’d already written?
DM: Mitch came in and immediately put his own stamp on things. That’s what we wanted. That said Generation Me is still the record that we always wanted. It’s still The Treatment but with a slight twist.
RUSHONROCK: What’s Mitch’s story – how did he get the gig?
DM: before we went out to Soundwave Festival in Australia Matt admitted he didn’t want to do this anymore. As usual we decided we wanted to get ahead of the game and give ourselves a good chance to move forward without too much disruption. We started coming up with ideas straight away in terms of who we could audition and I ended up stumbling across Mitch’s audition on The Voice. I thought I’d try and track him down and see what he was doing. I sent him a message on Facebook and he replied by saying he knew all about The Treatment and he liked our material. That was that!
RUSHONROCK: Are you confident this is now the right line-up to take The Treatment forward?
DM: Definitely. This is the strongest that the band has ever been as far as I’m concerned. It certainly feels that way. This is the line-up that people will eventually recognise as being the classic Treatment line-up. I’m confident about that. We’ve matured so much. When we first started we were all teenagers feeling our way. These days we’ve done the high profile tours, gelled as a unit and we’re focused on the future.
RUSHONROCK: What’s the story behind the Generation Me album title?
DM: We always had a concept for this album. We’re sick of our generation’s take on music and how they look at it. A lot of people our age would rather sit indoors and flick through Facebook than get out to a gig and meet friends in the flesh. We need to change that and get back to the way it was in the 70s and the 80s when people would actually follow bands. Essentially we need one or two bands who can spark things off again. I don’t think our generation has found that classic band they can hang their hat on – they don’t have an AC/DC or a Motley Crue. They don’t have bands they can look up to. But all it takes is a couple of bands to make the breakthrough and people will flock to rock again.
RUSHONROCK: Have you earmarked a couple of new songs most likely to fit into the definitive Treatment love set?
DM: Generation Me kicks off with Let It Begin and The Devil for a reason – we think they’re the best two songs and right now they look like the best fit for the live show. When you listen to the new record it’s pretty clear they’re the strongest two songs. Now we can pick from three albums the quality and the consistency of the live set is on a different level. It’s a case of figuring out what the crowds want – or expect – us to play. We need to strike the right balance but the great thing about Mitch is that he’s comfortable with a variety of genres. We’re in a position where we can do more acoustic stuff now so that might influence this month’s gigs.
RUSHONROCK: Are you ready to unleash the new line-up on your UK fans?
DM: We did a couple of shows with Mitch under a false name when he was first recruited and that was some time ago. We performed at last summer’s Steelhouse Festival and since then we’ve been out on the road with WASP. Having said that there are still a lot of people out there who won’t have seen the new line-up in action and need some convincing. A lot of people didn’t realise we did that tour with WASP so in many ways this is our first chance to get out there and show the fans what we’re made of.
RUSHONROCK: You’re bringing The Amorettes along for the ride. Are you good mates?
DM: We’ve been bumping into them on the live circuit for years. We first met them when they brought out their first EP and we’ve been following them ever since. Their name always comes up in conversation and finally we’ve got this tour arranged. It’s a great package. Both bands play the same type of high-energy rock and it’s a no-brainer having them opening up for us.
RUSHONROCK: What are your plans once the UK headline tour is over?
DM: There’s nothing set in concrete just yet. We’re always talking to our agent and there’s a chance we could be heading straight out to Europe to play a few shows. This is almost like our debut all over again though – so we have to play it carefully. Nobody has really seen this line-up string together a number of shows yet and the priority is getting out in front of as many people as possible as quickly as possible. We need to remind our loyal fans that we’re here to stay and we need to try and persuade people who didn’t like s in the past that we’re worth a punt now. I’m positive a lot of people will change their mind about the band in the next few weeks and months – in a good way. A lot of people are going to be very surprised. It was good to be off the radar for a while but now it’s all about getting the new line-up out there and making the point that this is an exciting fresh start for The Treatment.