Last month, Jered Threatin became the talk of the rock and metal world thanks to his UK and European tour.
The tour turned into a chaotic mess when he played to empty halls, with it later emerging that he faked a publicist to entice venues to book him and his band, while the dubious websites associated with the vocalist and guitarist were all registered at the same domain registrar around the same time.
With the music world scratching its head at the bizarre situation, Threatin, aka Jered Eames, then issued a short statement on Twitter to say that the joke was on us and that he had “turned an empty room into an international headline” (opens in new tab) adding: “If you are reading this, you are part of the illusion.”
He soon disappeared off the radar, but he’s now surfaced in an interview with the BBC (opens in new tab) and reports that, in an effort to generate publicity, he attempted to tip off the media to his scheme by sending an anonymous email ahead of the tour.
The email read: “The musician going by the name Threatin is a total fake. He faked a record label, booking agent, Facebook likes and an online fanbase to book a European tour.
“Zero people are coming to the shows and it is clear that his entire operation is fake. Please don’t let this man fake his way to fame. Please expose him.”
Eames tells the BBC: “I manufactured my own destruction. My idea was, ‘How am I going to fill these empty rooms? I’m going to fill them with eyes from the digital world.’ That was the objective from the beginning.”
As for his decision to fake a publicist, he says: “If a band approaches a venue and says, ‘Hey, we wanna play this venue’ you’re going to get ignored.
“All it has to do is look like it’s coming from a booking agency – doesn’t even matter what booking agency, even a fake one – and then you’ll get talked to and you can get things booked. Simple as that.”
Eames subsequently cancelled the remaining shows on the tour, a move he says he now regrets as the hullabaloo around it could have generated an audience – and he would have liked to face the crowd but refuse to play for them.
He explains: “I just would have gotten booed off stage, or bottled, and it would have been a beautiful piece of stage art. It’s like, I show up and I play for no-one. And then when there’s an audience, I don’t play for anyone.”
And has the experience ruined his fledgling career? Not according to Eames, who claims he “came home to literally thousands and thousands of CD sales,” adding: “I have a cult following.”
He also reports that he’s been in meetings with film producers who want to turn the whole thing into a movie, while labels have been in touch to talk about his next album.