Former THREATIN Members Had No Idea About Fake Fanbase Until Reading About It Online During Tour
This story just gets more and more and more insane. So let's recap what we know so far about Threatin. They are the talk of the metal town because of the con "mastermind" Jered Threatin tried to pull that went incredibly sour. If you are already caught up, skip ahead a few paragraphs.
Jered created an online presence for his project Threatin with fake, inflated views on Youtube clips, fake websites, bought Facebook likes to give the impression of having a fan base. Then, under the guise of a fake booking agency, he contacted European venues to book a tour, convincing the venues to let him rent to the rooms, offering the venues a "hire fee" and promising the band would be responsible for selling tickets. The Facebook event pages were full of RSVPs. Then, the first two shows happened, and nobody actually showed up.
That's just the first part of the story. The metal world then began digging through his archives to see this entire lie he made up, going so far as to create fake press outlets that covered other metal stories to give their glowing reviews of Threatin more credibility. Once word got around, some of his session band members quit.
Footage surfaced of the empty venue gig and it was brutal. We found Threatin's old Wikipedia page, which was so full of lies that the Wiki moderators immediately flagged it. Jered began scrubbing social media but then a "fan club" account popped up accusing the media of making it all up. Of course!
Threatin gigs have all been great actually. Only fake haters are spreading illegal gossip trying to ruin the tour.
— JERED THREATIN FANCLUB (@ThreatinFanClub) November 11, 2018
They even reposted our story from yesterday, thanking us for the free publicity.
Free publicity for the Threaters..,The real Threatin fans. #rockingtheworld
— JERED THREATIN FANCLUB (@ThreatinFanClub) November 12, 2018
Today, we finally hear from these sessions musicians who quit the tour. Guitarist Joe Prunera and drummer Dane Davis, two unknowns, quit the band on Friday, when the news broke.
Davis was the first to issue a statement via Facebook video, noting that they had no idea about the fake fanbase or anything until news started to spread online:
“None of this should have happened. I just wanted first and foremost to let everyone know that Joe and Gavin and I had no idea. We were blindsided by everything that came up on Friday. Joe and Gavin are great people, very talented musicians. It’s shocking and we’re trying to wrap our heads around what happened.”
Following this, MetalSucks posted a very in-depth interview with ex-guitarist Joe Prunera, who explained the whole process.
Prunera, who at the time he was contacted had a Youtube page with five followers and no more than 100 cumulative views, was contacted by a representative at Aligned Artist Management named Lisa Golding with the following message:
“My name is Lisa Golding. I am an artist manager at Aligned Artist Management in Beverly Hills, CA. We have a signed hard rock artist on our roster that is looking for a new rhythm guitarist for their upcoming tour in Europe this November. After seeing some videos of your playing I believe you would be a good fit. If you are interested I would like to set you up with an audition/meeting with the band in Los Angeles. Let me know if you are available and I’ll send you the details.
Aligned Artist Management
Aligned Artist Management: www.alignedartist.com"
Joe eventually got on the phone with Lisa, who said the band wanted to fly him out to audition. Oddly, Lisa never made it to the audition. The name "Lisa Golding" was the same name of the person trying to edit the Threatin Wikipedia page that was taken down. It was just Jered and Jered's wife, Kelsey. He auditioned with two other guitarists and got the gig, and met the other members of the band. Rehearsals were no joke:
“Basically, I went down there to L.A. the following two weekends. The first weekend I went down, it was just him and I going over guitar parts. The weekend after was a full band practice. Essentially we rehearsed every two weeks down there. We would show up on a Friday evening, run through some songs, maybe learn a new song, spend the night, Saturday we’d rehearse for about six or seven hours and then go home Saturday night or Sunday. We had about six weekend rehearsals and the week before we flew out to London, we were there the entire week and rehearsed the set four times every single day.”
Joe noted there was nothing out of the ordinary at this time about Jered's behavior. Joe spent weeks with Jered but knew very little about his upbringing, other than he came from the Midwest. Joe noted that Jered's home with Kelsey, where the entire band stayed, did not seem extravagant or anything. “It’s just a typical house for a young couple and everything. I never got the impression that he was really wealthy,” he told MetalSucks.
Everybody's flights were paid for and when they got to Europe, they traveled in a rented nine-seat Mercedes Sprinter, and stayed at apartment-like hotels, all paid for. Joe notes the first shred of concern came when arriving at the first venue of the tour, The Underworld in Camden.
“We were under the impression that all of the venues were going to be a 1,000 to 1,500 seat venues and then as soon as we showed up to the Underworld in London and walked in the back door, it was very apparent that this was not going to be the case. Jered said that these venues were going to be 1,000 to 1,500 seat venues.”
Jared, and his wife Kelsey, kept to themselves on the tour. Joe noted neither drank, did drugs or did any partying. However, the duo always wanted the band members within reach, according to Joe:
“They wanted to keep us close by and under wraps. One morning the three of us went down to breakfast and then went next door to get groceries, and when we returned we got yelled at for not knowing where we were and straying from the group. We were expected to keep close and for them to know where we were at all times. In London, we went to the shops in Camden, and we stuck together as a group. It would’ve been nice to be treated as an adult — ‘Be back here by a certain time.'”
While all the accommodations were paid for, daily expenses were not. The band members were promised to be paid $300 for the entirety of their tour, which is a meager sum, but they figured it would be a free European vacation. What they were not told was that the $300 would be going towards them paying for their own food.
It wasn't until they arrived at their place in Belfast, when they saw the news blowing up online. At which pointed, they confronted Jered.
Jered placed special emphasis on blaming the promoter and his manager, who he insisted had screwed up. Joe tells us, “I asked him if he’d tried calling them, and he said, ‘Well, I emailed them.’ I’m thinking, ‘Dude, this an emergency, you need to get on the phone and call them!'” By this time Davis had returned to the house and pressed Jered for the promoter’s phone number. Jered skirted around the issue by saying they had only ever been in contact by email, and he offered the promoter’s email address to his distressed bandmates.
Prunera continued, “We told Jered, ‘We should not be playing and should not continue on. We don’t want to be part of the media backlash until we can get to the bottom of this. There’s no reason to continue on.’ At that point, too, [the news] was all still brand new. We’re still trying to process everything and figure out what’s real and what’s not real, what’s true and what’s not true. The articles that we’d seen with more people digging up information, researching everything and doing research on my own, it became more and more clear that I needed to get out of there and that I didn’t want to be a part of this anymore.”
Prunera and Davis decided to quit then and there. “I decided that there is no point in traveling over to Germany. I had a nasty, nasty cold. I felt like utter shit, so I told them that I was going to be leaving from Belfast as soon as I can.” He would board a plane the next day, while Davis went to stay with family in Belfast, where he’ll remain until he can utilize the return flight home that had already been purchased for him by Jered. Gavin Carney, unwilling or unable to muster funds to book a new flight home and without the good fortune of family in the area, decided to ride out the remainder of the tour.
Joe noted that Kelsey was "not happy" and was " upset about the media backlash, the personal attacks and everything." Perhaps it's her that is running the fan club Twitter after all. Joe noted that she was upfront at both gigs filming, which can be seen in the live footage that has surfaced.
If you're as into this story as we are, you can read the entire interview over at MetalSucks.
Meanwhile, Jered has reactivated his accounts and noted in a tweet, in which he tagged us, that he would be making a statement today, attempting to poke fun at the "fakeness" of it all.
Jered Threatin to make “fake” official statement tomorrow :)
— Threatin (@JeredThreatin) November 13, 2018
Never change, Jered!