Simon Rushworth caught up with frontman Matt Jones in the midst of a big year for the Cambridgeshire quintet.
RUSHONROCK: Running With The Dogs has provided plenty of new material for the current tour – is it the record you hoped it would be?
Matt Jones: We’re very proud of Running With The Dogs and how it turned out. It’s a record that people still need to hear and we’re not finished with it yet! So many of those songs could have been released as a single but we’re happy that The Outlaw has been chosen. It’s high energy and we shot a good video for it. It’s one of those songs that fans have really taken to their hearts during live shows and that’s always a great sign. People want to hear it everywhere we go and in that respect it’s the most obvious choice as the new single.
RUSHONROCK: Is there already new material in the can or do you feel there’s still a big audience out there who need to hear Running With The Dogs?
MJ: There are always people who haven’t heard The Treatment. It’s just a case of finding out where they are! Like any band we want to play our very best music to as many people as possible. Anything we can do to promote our work we will do and that’s why we jumped at the chance to get out on the road again. We all live and work together at our manager’s house and studio so it’s relatively easy for us to jump in the van and do some dates whenever we feel the time is right. We’re writing all the time so there’s no need to take a huge amount of time out from touring. There are always new songs ready to go.
RUSHONROCK: You’ve been fortunate enough to support many of the biggest names in rock – do you aspire to co-headline one day?
MJ: We’ve been really, really lucky with the tours that we’ve had. It’s massive for a band that’s just starting out to share a stage with the likes of Alice Cooper, Thin Lizzy, Kiss, Motley Crue and Status Quo. That’s like a ‘Who’s Who’ of rock right there. We did 52 shows wit Kiss and the Crue across America – that’s a lot of time with two massive rock bands. I suppose what it does is challenge you to be as good as that. We want The Treatment to reach that level one day and opening up for those bands drives us on to realise our goals. We want to have that massive backdrop, the huge stage show and the army of screaming fans. Who wouldn’t? So every time we play with a big band we soak it up and learn from the experience.
RUSHONROCK: Is the US market a big deal for The Treatment?
MJ: It’s the same for US bands coming over here but for us the US is the promised land in terms of making a name for ourselves. We were so well received by the bands and their fans on the Kiss/Crue tour that it gave us a huge amount of confidence for the future. It gave us a glimpse of what could be if we continue to work hard and make good rock music.
RUSHONROCK: What have you learned from the grizzled rock stars you’ve shared a stage with in the last four years?
MJ: There weren’t many times when any of the bands were actually in a position to sit down and have a word with us about what we should and shouldn’t be doing. Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue was always chatting to us but not necessarily offering advice. I think they all realised that we have great management, some good songs and a good attitude and that’s going to give us a head start. I think all of those bands knew from early on that we’re very serious about what we’re doing.
RUSHONROCK: Your Download set this summer went down incredibly well – was it a career highlight?
MJ: It was brilliant playing to a packed tent at the Download Festival this year. The crowd was so good that day. Festival crowds are always up for it but that doesn’t mean we can be complacent. The first time we played Download was great but this summer was different – it was obvious from the start that more people wanted to get involved. I think it was a sign that we are progressing and in our own way we’re doing well right now. I think we knew that day that we’re doing the right things. We came off the stage buzzing. We just had a great day.
RUSHONROCK: What does the future hold?
MJ: We’re always writing and trying out new stuff and that won’t change. Whenever we’re back home we’ll be writing and recording. The biggest thing on the horizon right now is a tour to Australia in February. That will be our first time over there and it’s one of those countries we always talked about playing. It will be another milestone for us and we can’t wait.
RUSHONROCK: Is Gene Simmons right when he says rock is dead?
MJ: Some of what Gene Simmons says is right. It s hard for young bands these days. People just aren’t buying records anymore. But I don’t think rock is dead. So many bands are playing rock music right now and they’re doing it because they love it – not because they’re selling millions of records. To me that say rock is alive and well.