Cambridge band The Treatment set to release fifth album, ‘Waiting for Good Luck’
Hard-rocking Cambridge quintet The Treatment is set to release its fifth album on April 9. Drummer Dhani Mansworth explains how they recorded it during lockdown.
While there are certainly some talented bands in and around Cambridge, I had just always assumed that there wasn’t one out there catering to my particular rock needs. Then I discovered The Treatment.
From sitting down for breakfast with Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe to seeing Steel Panther without their wigs on, it’s been quite the rock ‘n’ roll journey for the hard rocking Cambridge fivesome, who will launch their fifth album, Waiting for Good Luck, next month.
Since first getting together in 2008, the band has gone through various lineup changes, released four albums – containing some truly outstanding material – and toured the world, supporting the likes of Kiss, Alice Cooper, Thin Lizzy and Status Quo along the way.
The new 12-track offering is its second to feature powerhouse lead singer Tom Rampton, who took over vocal duties from Mitchel Emms in 2017. Mitchel had himself replaced original lead singer Matt Jones in 2015.
The group’s new bassist, Andy Milburn, replaced founding member Rick ‘Swoggle’ Newman in September 2020 so didn’t play on the new album. The Treatment’s first single from the upcoming LP is Rat Race and if you like your rock fist-pumpingly anthemic – and if you’re a fan of Def Leppard to boot – then I guarantee you’ll absolutely love it.
Track three, Lightning in a Bottle, and track seven, Devil in the Detail, are two other tunes my neighbours are probably fed up of hearing.
Speaking to the Cambridge Independent from his home in Barnwell, drummer Dhani Mansworth – one of two original members, along with guitarist Tag Grey – says the pre-production for the album was done during lockdown.
“We own our own little studio, and we were in an isolated bubble during that period,” he explains, “so we did a lot of the pre-production there, and then thankfully when the lockdown rules eased, we managed to get into Rockfield Studios [in Wales] and we spent five days there recording.”
Fans of the band – which also includes Tao Grey, Tag’s younger brother, in its ranks – will be delighted that the band were able to get together. “Everyone’s in the Cambridge area,” notes Dhani, 27. “You’ve got a lot of bands who are from all different areas that don’t live close.
"Thankfully, we all live really close to each other so we could be in a bubble in our own private studio – so it worked out well.”
Waiting for Good Luck was produced by the band’s manager Laurie Mansworth, who is also Dhani’s father. The mixing was done by Kevin Shirley, known for his work with the likes of Aerosmith, Black Country Communion, The Black Crowes and Iron Maiden.
On the album’s standout tracks, Dhani says: “It’s one of those things; when you write a record you’re so close with it, that’s it’s only almost like a year later when you can reflect on it and decide on your favourites...
“It’s always different. A lot of times some songs work better live than others and that sort of thing – so until we get out and tour, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to pick a favourite just yet. But I love Eyes on You [track five], that’s a great track, obviously Rat Race... But I just love the whole album – I think it’s strong from start to finish.”
The Treatment is looking to get back out on the road as soon as possible. “Hopefully...” says Dhani. “We’re not holding our breath just yet because you never know – in five weeks it could be a different situation – but hopefully we’ll definitely start to think of maybe getting a Cambridge gig or something at the end of the year, if all goes to plan and the restrictions are lifted.
“Then from next year we’ll hopefully be touring solid.”
Dhani says he and the others tend to write their songs together, but notes that his father – who has a great deal of experience working with and playing in bands as a member of long-running Cambridge collective, Airrace – is a “massive help” when it comes to defining their musical direction.
He notes: “As far as writing’s concerned, we’re always in a room jamming together and stuff always comes about naturally.”
One would imagine that the title, Waiting for Good Luck, was ‘inspired’ by Covid-19? “Yeah, definitely,” observes Dhani. “I think it was the mindset that we were all in. It was very much like we were up against the ropes, because not a lot of bands in history have ever had to go through a period like this – let alone everyone else.
“So to manage to come through it, and get an amazing-quality album that we’re releasing, is a godsend really. It was an amazing experience because it brought out the best in us. It was such a tough time that it made us more driven to release a good album.”
He continues: “Power Crazy [the first release with Tom Rampton, from 2019] is a great album but it was definitely like the gelling process before this one. Because we’ve had quite a lot of members going through this band, it’s nice now that we’ve finally got a solid line-up.
“It’s taken a few years but it’s just band life. It’s one of the hardest industries in the world so you’ve always got to expect that not everyone is going to be in it for the long run.
“I think especially today, with the way the music industry is, 95 per cent of bands in the world aren’t earning a lot of money so you’ve got to be wanting to do it because you love what you do, before you think about making an income.
“That’s always the approach that we’ve had; we’ve always put the music first and then we’ll make it work around that.”
Speaking again of touring, which are the band’s favourite Cambridge venues to play? “We always love The Portland Arms,” says Dhani. “I think we had 250 people in there one night and it was just disgusting!
"It was just like a sweatbox, but they’re the kind of gigs we absolutely love and I think that’s where our music thrives the most, in those small, packed little venues.”
On getting the chance to open shows for some of their idols, Dhani says that the big rock bands have tended to be more approachable than some of the more “middle-ground bands”.
He recalls: “When we went out on tour with Kiss and Mötley Crüe, they couldn’t have treated us better... We’d be sitting there and eating breakfast with [Crüe] bass player Nikki Sixx and Gene [Simmons of Kiss] would come into our dressing room and hang out and start talking to us about stuff and how much he likes the band...
“And when we went out on tour with Alice Cooper, he took us out for a meal, all expenses paid – just really nice. All these guys are amazing, and I think they very much know that bands like us are going to be the future of the rock scene. I think they want all these bands to break through eventually.”
The Treatment has performed at major rock festivals like Download and Sonisphere, and has also supported ‘glam metal’ act Steel Panther (Michael Starr, Satchel, Lexxi Foxx and Stix Zadinia) on tour.
“We know them by their real names as well,” reveals Dhani, “and when you see them backstage in the mid-transition of getting ready, when they’ve got their spandex and stuff on – with no wigs – it looks hilarious. They’re great guys – so funny to be around.”
The Treatment is proud to be a Cambridge band. The video for the song Luck of the Draw was shot in The Free Press pub near The Grafton, while Hang Them High, also off Power Crazy, was filmed in the now-defunct Fez Club in Market Passage.
“We just like to put Cambridge on the map,” says Dhani. “It’s a great place to come from so it’s always good to have little things in our videos that other people from Cambridge recognise.”
Waiting for Good Luck, The Treatment’s fifth album, is released on April 9 via Frontiers Music Srl. The new single, Wrong Way, is out now.
Follow the band at facebook.com/TheTreatmentOfficial.