It can be tough trying to make it as a professional musician, and the story of the Los Angeles band Threatin is proof of that.
Social media is one of the most powerful tools for any artist to promote themselves, their work, and where people can see them live. And like many new artists, using it to create the illusion that you're a lot more popular than you really are to book yourself a gig can be both a blessing and a curse. That is what happened with the band's frontman, Jered Threatin.
By buying "likes" on Facebook, editing live footage of the band playing to packed crowds in Los Angeles, exaggerating YouTube views, falsifying ticket sales numbers, filming fake interviews, creating a fake record label, and posing as a booking agent, Jered was able to book an entire Eurpean tour. Just check out Threatin's video for "Living is Dying" where it appears that Jered is the only member of the band.
So after building a fan base on a foundation of lies, how did Threatin's European tour go? Not well.
The first show on the tour was held at The Underworld in London, England where 291 tickets were allegedly sold in advance. Only three people showed up.
The next stop on Threatin's European disaster tour was at The Exchange in Bristol where the very same thing happened. Even though Threatin's promoter (aka Jered) claimed that there were 180 tickets sold, only a few people showed up. Except they were there to see the opening act. It turns out that the 100 RSVPs from Threatin's event page promoting the show had come from Brazil. According to The Echange's Facebook page, "instead of playing to expected crowd of 180, they play to the Sound Engineer, the TM and two members of the support band who feel sorry for them."
This story has since made Threatin viral sensations, except not for the reasons they hoped. Jered Threatin has since deleted his Facebook page and the band's Facebook page.
In the middle of their empty European tour, both the drummer and guitarist of Threatin quit, leaving Jered Threatin and bassist Gavin Carney to wrap up the rest of their dates.
Following the band's swindling scandal, they announced that they would be canceling their show at Belfast Empire. The venue announced that even though Threatin would not be present, they will remain open to show support for the two supporting acts Periapt and Red House for free!
While this story certainly has taken the concept of "fake it until you make it" to an entirely different level, let's sit back and watch as Threatin struggles to find their identity. Speaking of identity, check out their video for "Identity" where, you guessed it, Jered is playing every instrument again.