Strap in for this one, folks. It’s an absolutely wild ride.
Los Angeles-based rock band Threatin are currently in the middle of a debut European tour that is currently crashing in spectacular flames around them, purely because venues across Europe have all cottoned on to the fact that, well… the band kinda doesn’t really exist.
If that sounds weird enough as is, trust us: It’s far beyond that.
The story initially broke over the weekend and detailed how Threatin presented to European bookers and venue operators with a seemingly solid online following; the band’s Facebook page had scores of follows, their YouTube videos had racked up an impressive amount of views, and RSVP’s to gigs numbered in the hundreds. And so quickly, the band had tour dates across Europe filling up the diary. Observe the ~extremely legit-looking~ tour poster.
But come November 1st, when the first date on the tour took place in London, it all went to shit.
The Underworld club in Camden was the first to notice something was awry, after the band told the venue that 291 tickets for the show had sold in advance, but only three people in total rocked up when doors opened.
The Exchange in Bristol were the next to cop the extremely weird goings-on, with Threatin promising 180 pre-sales for the show. But, much like in London, when doors opened, no one showed up. In fact, only a few people from the opening band’s guest list actually arrived for the gig.
From there, the entire thing started unravelling. Fast.
Staff at The Exchange began digging into Threatin’s online presence, and found that – for all intents and purposes – the band kinda… doesn’t exist.
The group, they found, had one permanent member; a deeply weird unit by the name of Jered Threatin. The group’s 38,000-odd Facebook likes all appear to have been bought. The Facebook event page for the Bristol gig sported 100-odd people listed as “attending,” but every single one of them based in Brazil. The hundreds of thousands of YouTube views also appear to have been purchased, as well as the litany of weirdly-worded comments from women professing a desire to “lick sweat” off Jered Threatin’s body.
And yet somehow, it all keeps getting weirder.
Threatin’s YouTube account sports a handful of “official” music videos. All of which are of dirt-poor quality, feature only Jered Threatin (playing every instrument), and have absurdly high view counts.
A handful of “live” videos of the band supposedly performing are intensely strange as well; the videos either show a heaving crowd, or Jered performing on stage in close up. Never both in the same clip. What’s more, the audio in them appears to have been severely doctored, with distorted versions of “album” recordings layered in to make it sound live.
Threatin also appears to have conducted fake video interviews with himself, in a string of clips that have since been wiped from the internet in the days following the story breaking.
The band, much like the limit, does not exist.
But back to the tour.
With word spreading across venues, Threatin’s tour has subsequently hit the skids. One venue manager forced Jered Threatin to withdraw the money to pay his bar, security, and sound staff before allowing the group to take the stage. Which he did. To an audience of zero.
It’s since emerged that Threatin also appears to have created fake PR companies, fake management companies, fake booking agents, fake awards, fake record labels, and fake press for himself, which allowed him to dupe venues in Europe into taking the tour dates.
Threatin’s hired session musicians that filled out his backing band were also apparently duped; guitarist Joe Prunera and drummer Dane Davis abruptly quit upon learning of the entire scheme and promptly returned to America. Bassist Gavin Carney, oddly enough, remained with Threatin with the intent of finishing the tour.
But as this frankly mind-boggling story continued to spread, Threatin began the process of retreat. His online presence, save for his YouTube channel, has been scrubbed, and he began pulling out of his planned remaining shows, abandoning unrefundable room deposits and leaving venues scratching their heads.
Here’s the real kicker: The “band”, despite all of this, reportedly didn’t actually suck. In front of zero payers on multiple nights, support acts have almost universally described Threatin’s performances as “energetic,” and his backing band as “very good.” Which only raises several more questions: Where is he getting the money for this? What’s the endgame here? How does someone with rudimentary video editing skills, a decent amount of musical talent, and a seemingly unlimited bank account manage to pull the wool over virtually the entire European underground music industry? Why spend so much money just to dunk on yourself in this glorious a fashion?
As completely fucking cooked as the whole thing is, when Jered Threatin eventually re-emerges, this has potential to take on some Tommy Wiseau-like mystique.
This is metal’s The Room, folks. Make absolutely no mistake about it.