There have been a number of new developments since this initial story was first published, including the revelation that Threatin created a fake record label, phony press outlet, nonexistent award and more to promote his band, two band members quitting mid-tour, live footage surfacing and more. Keep up to date on everything HERE.
Talking up your own band a little bit to make it appear that you’re more popular than you are is a rite of passage for young acts. We’ve heard of plenty of bands that’ve exaggerated sales or live show numbers to land a gig or two, or talked themselves up to national media for some press attention. It comes with the territory, and it’s usually harmless.
But the Los Angeles band Threatin have taken that idea to a level previously thought unimaginable: the band was able to book an entire tour of Europe despite having no fanbase whatsoever, and it’s all in the process of crashing down around them.
To do it, the band’s frontman and leader, Jered Threatin, posed as a nonexistent booking agent / promoter to land the gigs, used faked live footage of allegedly packed shows in L.A., bought Facebook likes, event RSVPs and YouTube views and lied about ticket sales numbers to swindle venue owners and talent buyers into taking on the shows.
Posts started making the rounds on social media when the tour kicked off on November 1st in London. A post by the venue The Underworld, which hosted the show, alleged that the band’s agent claimed the band had sold 291 tickets in advance but only three people turned up:
Things didn’t get any better from there. The Exchange in Bristol realized they’d had a similar hoax pulled on them a few days later, with the “promoter” saying 180 tickets had been sold in advance only to have no one show up but a few people from the opening band’s guest list. The venue did a little digging and discovered that Threatin’s online numbers had been faked, with all 100 of the people marked as “attending” the Facebook event page living in Brazil, according to their profiles, and a number of phony comments on YouTube:
A bit more about those YouTube videos, because this is where shit starts to get REALLY weird. Threatin’s YouTube channel has a number of videos on it and they’re all bizarre in a number of different ways. To start, there are a couple of live clips designed to give the impression that the band has a room packed full of fans, but all of them either show only the band on stage or only the crowd — never both in the same video. What’s more, although there’s no way to prove this, one gets the sense from the audio on these videos that they’ve been overdubbed with the sounds of screaming fans (the performance videos) or music by Threatin (the crowd videos). Here are a couple of those videos, one of which appears on a different YouTube channel with a laughable description that attempts to explain away why the band isn’t even pictured (“Live video of Threatin. Got this video last june. i could only get a few seconds here and there the crowd was pretty wild. i kept almost dropping my phone..great show though.”):
Weird, right? But the deception continues. Jered Threatin, the band’s frontman and, it seems, only member, filmed some fake interviews with himself in which he is seen talking to a non-existent person off camera (or perhaps just a buddy) cut in with vanity footage of himself headbanging while playing all the different instruments:
This seems like a good time to point out that while YouTube shenanigans such as interviewing yourself or posting dubious live footage are ridiculous, they aren’t inherently harmful. It’s when they’re packaged with lies about ticket sales and leveraged in a way that swindles venues out of money and hoodwinks opening bands into driving long distances that it becomes a problem.
Which bring us back to the tour.
MetalSucks caught up with Adam Gostick, whose band The Unresolved had been tapped to open for Threatin at The Asylum in Birmingham last night, November 8th. Gostick gave us a first-hand account of last night’s show and explained the lead-up to how it came together:
“So my band The Unresolved played last night at Asylum 2 in Birmingham. The day before (7th Nov) we got a message from Ghost Of Machines explaining there was nobody at their Bristol show with Threatin. They thought he’d been ripped of by band booking. We spoke with Asylum who told us they’s been told it was sell out but they checked ticket sales and were at zero. Asylum made it free entry.
“We got the gig from an email titled ‘Show Offer’ from somebody called Casey from StageRight Bookings. He offered the show and bigged up Threatin massively. I just thought they were flexing from overseas and thought nothing of it.
“From what we can tell Threatin is the guy not the band. His name is Jered Threatin and he says he’s a solo artist with a hired band. They were sound checking when we got there. Throughout the whole night Threatin didn’t approach anybody or talk to anyone but his own people. I heard him speak twice. Once when Robannas Studios showed up because Threatin hadn’t payed backline hire. And once again was a quiet ‘thanks’ cos I held a door open for him. Overall everyone involved with him are very rude and ignorant.
“There were 13 people in the room when we played. The sound engineer, bartender, 10 people we brought and 1 who actually got a ticket.”
The Asylum’s staff is none too pleased with the situation, publicly putting Threatin on blast:
And that brings us up to the present day. Threatin’s next scheduled show is November 11th in Belfast, followed by dates in France, Italy and Germany, but it’s hard to imagine the venues in those places won’t cancel the shows once they get wind of the conniving, shameful scheme being perpetrated by Jered Threatin (if that is even his real name). His personal Facebook page has been deleted in recent days, indicating he’s ducking for cover while this shitstorm unfolds around him. The band Facebook page is still active with the most recent update being a quick video shot outside the venue in Manchester on November 7th. There are also reports that allegedly StageRight Bookings even approached online companies for sponsorships in some countries. StageRight contacted Nestingdolls.co, a site that sells Russian nesting dolls, to ask them to produce merchandise to drum up support for a planned gig in St. Petersburg.
It’s beyond remarkable that Threatin was able to fool so many venues into working with him. It seems as if StageRight Bookings is a fake entity — a quick Google search turns up only pages that concern Threatin’s European tour — yet venues promoters/bookers took him on his word, and to book a band they’d never heard of, no less, with 43 monthly listeners on Spotify! His boasts of advance ticket sales counts could’ve easily been measured against actual box office receipts, yet no venues bothered to check (perhaps wooed by the impressive number of fake RSVPs to the Facebook event pages).
What’s most baffling of all is that Threatin thought he could get away with this. What did he think would happen when 291 nonexistent people didn’t show up to the Underworld in Camden? Was he banking on the opening bands to bring in a crowd that would cover up his exaggerations? Did he like betting on Slotsadviser.com? Did he not give a shit about any of that, simply content to live out his dream of “touring” Europe? How many thousands (tens of thousands!) of dollars has he lost on this venture?
The mind boggles. Whatever the case, here’s what this guy — whatever his name is — looks like. Venues, bands, promoters, agents, labels, everyone reading this: stare at this photo hard right now, and stay the fuck away if you ever see him cross your screen.
Update, November 10th, 7:22pm EST: New details of this story have emerged including a fake record label, a fake press outlet, fake award and more. Click here to read the latest.
A ripper of a tune "about having the worst psychedelic trip of your life."
We discuss the band's new album The Great War and the World War I anniversary that inspired it, the concept…
Knitting is the latest subculture to crossover with metal.
Featuring Black Sabbath, Slayer, System of a Down, Fear Factory, Static-X, and more.
Still dunno what the heck the movie is about.