A cautionary tale: The band that apparently never was

alparrott

Platinum Member
A friend of mine Facebooked me a link to this article last night, and I found myself unable to stop clicking through the succession of articles documenting the European tour of a metal band that apparently only ever existed in its namesake's head.

http://www.metalsucks.net/2018/11/09/l-a-band-threatin-faked-a-fanbase-to-land-a-european-tour-no-one-attended/

Excerpt from the lead article (essentially the TL:DR of the whole thing): "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."

This sounds kind of similar to a thread someone posted a while back about being asked to go on a European tour out of the blue - and considering the utter car wreck this has turned into, I hope he said no.

I keep thinking if this guy had worked as hard on his music as he apparently did on his con game, he'd be way ahead...
 
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J-Boogie

Gold Member
Its a bit confusing. Either the band never was or wasn't not. Why would there be a question over the authenticity of its non-ness or whatever the 'apparently' infers in this situation. And why would I need to be cautioned about a non-band and its 'apparent' lack of existence? Should I avoid not being something that Im not. This is all very painful and Im not clever enough to see my way thru it all. Why would you do this to us Al, why are you punishing us?
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Its a bit confusing. Either the band never was or wasn't not. Why would there be a question over the authenticity of its non-ness or whatever the 'apparently' infers in this situation. And why would I need to be cautioned about a non-band and its 'apparent' lack of existence? Should I avoid not being something that Im not. This is all very painful and Im not clever enough to see my way thru it all. Why would you do this to us Al, why are you punishing us?
I think we're talking about Schrødinger's band here. It was a figment of this guy's imagination up until it got booked for the tour, at which point he actually assembled a band (not the one he alleged was selling out shows or anything) and they spent some weeks working on his songs. Once the whole deal started falling apart his band is now just him and his bass player, who apparently is sticking with the tour because he can't afford a plane ride out of there by himself and has to wait until the date on the ticket he has. So the band wasn't, then was, and now isn't.

Sorry to break your brain dude :)
 

J-Boogie

Gold Member
I think we're talking about Schrødinger's band here. It was a figment of this guy's imagination up until it got booked for the tour, at which point he actually assembled a band (not the one he alleged was selling out shows or anything) and they spent some weeks working on his songs. Once the whole deal started falling apart his band is now just him and his bass player, who apparently is sticking with the tour because he can't afford a plane ride out of there by himself and has to wait until the date on the ticket he has. So the band wasn't, then was, and now isn't.

Sorry to break your brain dude :)
Well you fixed it in the end, so its all good, and Im not writing your name on some list while listening to ELO Telephone Line while applying dark red lipstick...

edit: gosh that was a random weird reference out of nowhere....I was joking about the Steve Buscemi scene in Billy Madison but then just realized how obscure that reference is. Ill leave humor to the experts. Good day sirs
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Pretty funny.

Many of the elements here are not unique.

Making up a record label for your band goes back to the late 70's.

Buying fake youtube views has been discussed before on this forum a few times.

Exaggerating press to make it sound like you're bigger than you are is nothing new.

And, well, I know of many bands who've gone on tour despite not having any real fan base to play for.

My friends got hired to do a tour a few years ago for a band (singer solo project) where they opened up for name bands across the US, but the band had no actual record deal or following, or anything, other than the singer was rich enough (from non musical sources) to pay off the promoters to let him open for these massive shows and pay the band for their time.

But certainly, the length to which this person in this article went to is beyond over the top. And to think they could headline venues with no actual following is just plain dumb.

Though there is a narrative out there, routinely played out on VH-1 Behind the music about how bands did back in the 70's, 80', etc, that if a band tours, the audience will eventually come. But of course, ask any of those bands, and it wasn't quite that simple.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I saw this a few days ago, and it seems that there is a band, at least in terms of there being people onstage for the gigs described.

It's hardly unusual for someone to 'pad' their status and accomplishments, and easy enough - and essentially free - to promote that online. It seems like it would also be easy enough for a club to do a little more research on the people they're dealing with.

I wonder who flew them to Europe? :O

Bermuda
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
Slightly off the topic but similiar enough I hope.
In my neck of the woods an annual festival started up a few years back at which several less well known but not completely forgotten bands from a specific genreof Heavy Metal appeared at, some of who reformed specially. A great idea, fantastic nostalgia and maybe some belated recognition and stage time for bands I remembered the names of from Sounds the weekly Rock newspaper of the late 70s and early 80s.
However, very quickly a degree of “padding” (to be polite) took hold. Bands that weren’t part of the genre but came years later and admired those bands started to appear, bands who had released a single that no one had bought (euphimistically referred to as “rare”, “sought after”, “hard to find”) and eventually even someone less cynical as me could read the clues. I kid not when I say that “played a few legendary gigs around *insert name of town*” or even “had a cassette of their live gig” appeared in band biographies!!
On a smaller scale than the one the OP describes are the bands who still get regular pub gigs despite low attendances and YouTube evidence suggesting they shouldn’t be approached with barge poles. Like The Band That Never Was, effort on Social Media and time spent ringing, texting and emailing venues gets a more measurable output than getting an audience by actually being good!
 

eclipseownzu

Gold Member
But in the world of "any press is good press" Threatin was trending on twitter yesterday. My guess is this guy will use this to propell himself into some sort of noteriety (or infamy). Soemwhere there is a music compnay exec who sees all of this publicity as a way to make money. He will get signed to some kind of deal and get the chance to make an album, I would bet on it. They will strike while the iron is hot and he will have a legit song and video on youtube in the next month.
 

Ghostin one

Senior Member
This reminds me of a guy in my high school who somehow managed to get our school's football results in a major newspaper.

The thing was, there was no football team!
 

DrPsyche

Junior Member

Excerpt from the lead article (essentially the TL:DR of the whole thing): "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 free essay 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."



A strange decision to create a band that actually does not exist. News are always fake to some extent. And I never believe anything (sometimes even my own eyes, cause they deceive me all the time (not only myopia) and the perception of things and phenomena is rather a blur than a steady image).
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Sometimes being a long-haired pretty boy just isn't enough. Now he needs to change his name and cut his hair short.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
LOL reminds me of my early college days-I made an album cover "Bodai Gunch and the Baja Carimbe Band"-did the art work and made up lyrics for "supposed" songs. It was a hilarious and a standing joke with my roommates.
 
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PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I think what we are seeing here is simply a side-effect of a more-deeply-rooted mental issue. I've been around a couple of musicians who used to talk a big game but what they said was pretty far moved from reality. I think that both of these guys lied so much and so frequently that they began to genuinely believe some of their own stories, and I wonder if the same thing is going on in the story posted by the OP.

The first guy I knew was a drummer who was a pathological liar. He would start talking to you about your day, music gear, gigs, etc., then he would just trail off into la-la land about things he was up to, developing, etc., and you just knew it was all lies. It would be like me saying something like, "Well yeah, it's been fun talking to you, but I need to go home and pack. Since Neal Peart retired, the other guys in Rush are trying to put together a project, and I'm auditioning for them tomorrow. My flight leaves in a few hours, and I need to get ready. It's been good seeing you!" He never said this, but I wouldn't have put it past him. He ended up killing himself about 10 years ago.

Another guy was a lead singer in a band I was in. He swore he had all of these connections to Nashville, and that we were on the cusp of getting a major deal with a great label. Lies. All lies. Lied about so many other things. Long story short, he ended up pretty much ruining his sibling's and parents' financial lives by asking for investments for his business. It was a scam, and he went to prison for 5 years. I've not seen him in well over a decade.

Here's the thing - both of these guys were so much fun to be around. They were super-talented (they were actually in a band together years ago), and their charisma and personalities made you want to be around them. Most of my memories of them include lots of laughing and great music. Unfortunately, both of these guys unraveled at their own hands.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
I think what we are seeing here is simply a side-effect of a more-deeply-rooted mental issue. I've been around a couple of musicians who used to talk a big game but what they said was pretty far moved from reality. I think that both of these guys lied so much and so frequently that they began to genuinely believe some of their own stories, and I wonder if the same thing is going on in the story posted by the OP.
I'm not a psychologist by any means, but I'm a keen observer of the human condition. I think that the state of current technology and media has made it possible for the deluded, the narcissists, the pathological liars and the "all of the aboves" to manipulate relative reality about them in a way that wasn't imaginable even twenty years ago. And it stands to reason that there's a healthy amount of those folks in show business, with the emphasis on style over substance and the dog-eat-dog nature of the business.

Ultimately, fame and recognition are the most sought-after drugs on the market. Look at the constant trend of military fakers, some of whom even tried to run for office on fraudulent claims of service or heroism.

I'll stick to my previous statement, that it might have been easier in the long run to actually put a band together, get good, and do the tour legitimately than what he ended up doing through chicanery.
 
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