The Treatment / “Touring with KISS and Mötley Crüe were some of the best memories”
8 April 2021
Yesterday, we heard from The Treatment guitarist Tagore Grey as the band were jamming as they write more fresh material and keep themselves honed for forthcoming shows on the horizon once venues re-open again.
We heard about the processes for completing their fantastic new album ‘Waiting For Good Luck’, which is released 9 April 2021 through Frontiers Music Srl. In part two, we learn more about the bands touring experiences with stadium superstars and more.
Interview: Paul Monkhouse
Whilst The Treatments 2012 trek across the States opening for KISS and Mötley Crüe might have been a mammoth undertaking, their lives have been a constant cycle of recording and being out on the road, the band doing things the hard way and never afraid to get dirt under their fingernails.
MetalTalk: You guys are constantly touring and when it is not headline shows, you are performing support slots with Alice Cooper, Slash, Status Quo, WASP, Motörhead, Thin Lizzy and Steel Panther.
Looking back at those experiences, one of the main ones was the KISS and Mötley Crüe tour. What memories do you have of those tours and doing those huge shows?
Tagore Grey: “I have got some of the best memories I will ever have and ones that I will never forget. I have got stories that I will be able to tell my grandkids one day when I’ve got them! I think for us, yes, we are known as road warriors because we love playing live. I think I always feel like we don’t play enough shows, but that’s just because of the industry we are in.
“You know what I mean? You can not tour 24/7 certainly, but if we could as a band, we would because this is what we live for. We have had an incredible load of luck with the bands we have supported, with the stories and memories we have made on the road. I mean, for us KISS and Mötley Crüe was huge and it was by far the biggest thing we have ever done. To be honest, pretty much ever since we have not played at all quite that scale…I do not even know if there has been a tour that scale since.
“We were there for four months and it was massive. I mean, we don’t quite get it here in the UK. The Americans just do things bigger than us…the stage shows and the length of the tours as well. It was amazing. And we made some incredible memories.
“I remember, we were doing things like playing mini golf with Gene [Simmonds] and it was Matt’s 21st birthday and Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx came in and they were pouring vodka down him. They hired two strippers for him and he was afraid of clowns, so they got them to dress up as clowns and just things like that.
“But when I was sitting in school thinking and just dreaming about playing guitar, you don’t really think that anything like that could happen. I think as well, you know, we kind of look back and go “wow, how big was that!” but at the time, you do not really quite take in exactly what is going on.
“With hindsight, God, if I could do it again, I would do it in a heartbeat because it was some of the best days of my life. You know, as a young kid, we were not even old enough to drink at that point. It was just insane for us.
“That was an amazing tour, but we have done some legendary stuff too since…the Quo tour was absolutely unreal. I mean, seeing those guys get back together and the magic in them! They just know how to rock man, it was so weird. They had not been together or playing together in I don’t know how many years and it was just incredible…and the loyalty of the fans was, I think that was one of the things that I loved seeing the most, just what those records meant to people, you know, and you see them coming up after the show.
“I really hope that our music does that for someone one day. People have so many memories of listening to these songs when they were doing certain parts of their lives and just seeing the way they would come up afterwards…it was amazing.
“The Slash shows were really great as well. I am a really massive fan of his and it is quite bizarre meeting him because you always picture this guy who is gonna be really tall but when he takes off the top hat he must be about like, five and a half feet.
“He is this larger than life figure and then you meet him and think “Whoa! Okay!”. He was amazing and the band was absolutely spot on. Really, really great band. Another one was the Aerosmith shows…they were fantastic. I mean, Tyler’s just such a fantastic frontman.”
Having heard some stories about Blackie Lawless it must have been interesting touring with WASP and I was wondering if he has got this stage persona that is separate from the man himself, similarly to Alice Cooper…
“Alice is something else because you wouldd picture this quite rebellious kind of guy and he is just so not. He is a true gentleman. I remember, we were talking to him one night, and we were like, you know, what do you do to unwind and he goes, “well, I can’t drink anymore, you know, what I do now is sometimes I get a bag of crisps and I
stamp on them on the floor, and that is me releasing my energy”.
“He was amazing, really, really great, because that was our first real big support kind of shows and they really treated us very well on that tour. It gave us a lot of
tips watching how a professional band works because we got into this thinking it was sex, drugs and Rock ‘N’ Roll. It is really not quite like that out on the road sometimes and it was it was good to see how that all worked…it was a real big eye opener for us and we learned a lot on that that show.
“Going back to the WASP tour, with the reputation of Blackie Lawless we were a little bit on eggshells first walking in. I really can not fault him at all and they were really good guys. I would not say they spoke to us much, but apart from that there was not anything too bad to report on. They treated us fairly. We had fair amount of sound, we had a fair amount of lights and even we even had a fair amount of room on the stage…so what more can you ask for?
“We were ready to just do whatever it was going to take to make the shows great and it was a fantastic tour, really, really great. Great fans who are up for a seriously good time and were very receptive as well. It was really good for us to know that some bands have a really hardcore fan base who you are irritating 30 minutes before the band they want to see, but it was not like that for us.”
I know Laurie toured with both AC/DC in More and for Queen with Airrace so he has his own memories too. To be able to say that the Airrace album title ‘Shaft of Light’ led to Freddie writing that line in ‘It’s A Kind Of Magic’ must be incredible…
“Yeah, absolutely. What was really amazing for us was when he got Airrace back together, just seeing their fans turn up to shows what their music had done. I mean, because Airrace had been off the scene for 20 years or something? These fans coming out were so loyal and I think that was made me realise that this is what your music means to people and that is so important…and that is the reason why we do it.
“He is amazing and has toured with everyone in the business.”
I seem to remember reading that he re-mortgaged his house to be able to finance the opportunity for you to go to the States to do the KISS and Mötley Crüe tour…
“He took on the debt of that and without him there was no chance we would have been able to get out there. There was some hair-raising moments initially, because there was a lot of upfront costs…there were all of our visas and flights and the tour bus. He took a real gamble because we could have gone over there and sold ten t-shirts per night.
“If we had have done that we would have been coming home a lot sooner than planned. Luckily, we didn’t but it was all down to him. I remember we read some online stuff when we were out there with people saying ”Oh, we bought on the tour and we paid fifty grand to get on there”.
“And I said…mate, you have no idea. Like, we are all just just normal guys who live round the corner. None of us have millionaire dads or anything.
“You know, it was Lol who put the funds out for that one and that is why we have such an amazing relationship with him. He really is the sixth member of the band because he bleeds, Rock ‘N’ Roll and he is just as much a part of The Treatment, because he has put everything in from day one.
“He has been there even since before I joined and that is something amazing. You do not find many people who will be there from every moment and he has really taught us a lot.
“When I first joined, I was 16…I was a young lad and to have a father figure like that help you through the industry is really amazing…I am a lucky guy. I would no t be here if it was not for him.”
You have all been there together, no matter the circumstances. I recall hearing that at times you were practically living off the rider on the KISS/Crüe tour and using that to get you through the rest of the day because things were tight…
“We have had many occasions where that has gone on…but I will say on that tour we were treated like gods! Honestly, it was the first time I think I had ever had full catering in my life. I do not think I have ever eaten like that before! Normally it is just Meal Deals and whatever…this, though, was the first time there was a chef who was cooking whatever you wanted. It was unbelievable.
“There have been other times where it was not very good. One time in Brixton, we actually we went in and our rider was eight bottles of water…and then the tour manager came in and said “sorry, I need to nick few of those” and we ended up with four bottles of water between the nine of us on tour.
“Sometimes we are broke when we go on these tours…sometimes you make money, sometimes you don’t. It is like I told you, we are not millionaires and when my bank account goes dry, well, that is when I scrounge wherever I can. Sometimes we have had times where we are going through Europe, where it’s like, petrol, tolls or food…and sadly, we want to get home, so we go without…but it is all part of what comes with it.
“With the Aerosmith tour it was Alter Bridge, Aerosmith and we were the opening act and we were also hopping on to Alter Bridge, because they were doing headline shows as well. Additionally we had our own shows worked in while we were going across Europe. We were getting paid very minimal amounts and we spent 31 days on the van floor, no hotels.
“But you know, Laurie came to us before and said “look boys, this is the budget, this is what we have to do to make it”…and that is the amazing thing about being in a band is if you love doing it, you will do whatever it takes. The Darkness had the same when they were trying to break thorough…it was a case of sleep in the van or don’t do the tour…and that’s what you have got to do.”
You can read Part One of the interview here. Watch out for Part Three tomorrow.