L.A. Band, “Threatin”, Gets Exposed For Faking Their Following to Land European Tour – Podcast Episode #31

Comments: 113

UPDATE 11/14/2018: In an interesting development, early this morning Jared Threatin’s social media profiles came back online, revealing a post that simply states “Jared Threatin to make “fake” official statement tomorrow”. Have his accounts been hacked? Has this all been an elaborate ruse? Or is he simply attempting to make the best of a bad situation by claiming that he meant to do this the whole time? Stay tuned for developments.

UPDATE 11/15/2018: Still more developments in this bizarre story. Jared Threatin (now revealed to be Jered Eames), or at least someone pretending to be him has made the following cryptic statement on his Facebook page: “What is Fake News? I turned an empty room into an international headline. If you are reading this, you are part of the illusion.” However, most (including his brother) have expressed the belief that he did not do what he did as part of a preconceived ruse, but rather he is trying to claim that it was done intentionally to save face. Additionally, the person claiming to be Jared Threatin has begun regularly replying to comments in an overtly arrogant, and crass nature, leaving many to wonder if this is actually Jared Threatin, or if someone has hijacked is social accounts. Though, this becomes less likely as time goes on with no changes. If it is in fact Jared Threatin, then it is a rather underwhelming end to a story that could have been so much more.


In Episode #31 of the Music Marketing Manifesto Podcast we will discuss the L.A. metal band “Threatin” who is currently in a bit of hot water over their failed attempts at self-promotion.

The band (who’s only full-time member is Jared Threatin) has reportedly gone to great lengths to create a fake record label, booking agent, fan videos, Youtube video views and comments, Facebook followers and event RSVPs, all so that they could land themselves a European tour that no one has attended.

This deception was recently uncovered by MetalSucks and the story has gone viral, as the internet turns it’s fury on Jared Threatin. Half of the band has quit and come home from Europe, the band’s Facebook page has come down, their Twitter profile set to private, and many of the more egregiously fake pieces of content have been removed from the web.

In this episode I am joined by Eyvindur Karlsson from One Bad Day, to discuss the situation, the ethical questions that it raises about faking aspects of your story, and to talk a bit about just how rampant this kind of activity is amongst independent musicians.

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So what do you think?

Is Jared Threatin a Fraud who deserves the thrashing he is receiving, or a kid that just wanted to be a rock star and made a few really bad choices in pursuit of fame? Let me know what you think in the comments below…


  • Well, Jay Z got caught faking sales through soundscan. Kanye and Beyoncé was caught with fake streams…. I say give the guy a pass, he’s doing all he can with what he has… I’m sure he was hoping with all the hype people would show up…

  • SelfXplanatory says:

    I understand why he did it but the reasoning is missing. If you don’t have the fans then they are not there. They don’t exist. He could of just directed his real fans to a online or real world place to connect with them. Fans always respect those who keep it real 100%.

  • Thanks for sharing this story, John. It really makes a person think. I too think there is a story here for a book, or at least a song. What would be a good title? hmm…

  • James says:

    This is like the exact opposite of Milli Vanilli! The music & artist is real, but the label, promotions, booking, & everything else is fake.

    And here I thought the biggest fakery these days was seeing all these local bands I’ve never heard of, with no CD’s, listing all the big legendary act’s they’ve opened for…just to find out that many local promoters are using these local bands to “presale” tickets, which is basically just “pay to play”, & in a nutshell, putting bands with no credibility on stages they have no business being on! Reminds me of a meme I recently saw on Facebook that said something like- being famous on the internet, is like being rich in monopoly…it isn’t real!

    Apparently ‘almost’ anything goes nowadays, eh?

  • A story I heard: Robert Kulp ( famous actor- perhaps even now passed on)
    rented a tuxedo went to a Hollywood party full of movers and shakers.
    Pretending to be on the guest list he gained admittance and that night,
    gained his first opportunities in a successful acting career. I don’t know
    but – at least we must keep “thinking outside the box” or be fearlessly
    creative in our pursuit of opportunities to be heard.

    • John Oszajca says:

      Hey Stephen,

      There is no question that many people have faked it ’till they made it. But there is something about going to the length of faking concert footage and fan videos, faking a record label and booking agent (with fake bands on the roster), and worst of all, lying to the venues about ticket sales that make this case a bit extreme. It’s sort of become the cautionary tale of the modern music business. But your point about how others that we celebrate have used ruses in their careers is valid. It’s been an interesting one for sure.

  • Obviously, the guy could make a great living just doing promo and even writing and producing songs. He’s a superable guy. And it’s a bummer that he didn’t get that telling clubs that he’s got people booked when he didn’t just wouldn’t fly.

    The weird thing in this story is that the guy could totally do it all honestly and with a real following if he really did understand economics and exchange and basics of commerce, marketing etc…

    It isn’t all smoke and mirrors. Sure you have to sell the gig before you can do it. There is always sales before delivery but you can’t lie.

    The band has to be able to play and for clubs if you say you’ll have a crowd you better have one.

    There are some real rightnesses in the guy’s artistic abilities and productions and even his sales…but crossing the line..whoa! Not good.

    Pissing off and lying to people who are counting on you for their livings…bad career choice.

    I’m curious if he’ll try to turn this whole notoriety into a big career boost.

    If he actually could go back and fill those clubs somehow–with good real marketing…he could redeem himself.

    Reminds me of that High school singer who had that big hit Friday. 10 Years ago.

    Any way the moral, at least for me…really know how to market and your sales have to be real sales to real people and you have to have real relationships and you have to find real people who like your music and talk to them. And give them value!

    Shortcuts don’t really work.

    And then this applies to club owners. You have to give value to people who you are using their club. And don’t tell them you’re going to fill their club and not fill it.

    I think the guy could totally handle it but he’d have to actually get fans…Not just fake it.

    And he could!

    Why not. We’ve all tried the shortcuts and had to come back the hard way.

    I hope he can get it all straight and find redemption!!

    And I hope all of us find a way to deliver value to people who want it and exchange it and live happily ever after!

    Let’s do this!! : )

    • John Oszajca says:

      These are all great points. It is amazing to think what he could have done if he took his drive, and budget, and invested into an actual marketing campaign where the focus was on building fans instead of just a brand.

  • Mack says:

    Hype is everything these days. Isn’t Threatin just playing around with the new rules ? He may have crossed a few lines, but putting a “positive” spin on everything that we do is now weirdly part of our brain wiring. It’s almost a trigger response. At least we can assume he’s put in a good few years hard graft to become a legit musician.

    Far worse are those who’ve short-cut the system, and yet somehow achieved celebrity, even artistic credibility, for doing the unremarkable..playing other musician’s tunes on a record-player, (ok DJ turntable), twiddling knobs on an mp3 player, grunting bullshit rhymes etc..Threatin’s fraud is nothing by comparison. So the public get fooled again.

    • John Oszajca says:

      Thanks for the comment Mack. I guess that’s what makes this story so compelling. There are clearly some ethics violations here, but it also cuts close to the bone as most musicians have at least flirted with many of the same tactics. It’s an interesting story, to be sure.

    • Young Will says:

      It’s All Publicity, what it a do to his Career? All depends on his Next Move.

  • Lawrence says:

    A lot of things happening here. One of them is not music. This is why there is a structure behind artists before now. A promo agency whose job is to hype and are there to take the blame; forgotten as instantly as it’s made when publicity goes awry. Everyone expects those that will hype and lie will do just that. But if a 3rd party – the promo agency – does this it creates it’s own buzz. It is coming from somewhere. If the gigs fail they can take the fall.

    He did everything himself except be the audience which he just about was.

    People focus on the artist. He knows that people only listen to someone because the artist is famous – then the rest will listen. Otherwise not.

    Lying to get an audience will not be taken lying down and certainly not by metal fans. Whether it was Kingdom Clone telling the world they had no Zeppelin influence (prompting the Led Clone collab between Ozzy and Gary Moore) or the Milli Vanilli fake or ’50s payola DJs people are not going to fooled in these ultra cynical times.

    But back to the agency; the reason why people listen to someone is an Authority has told them to. Radio, net playlists, badges, stickers, posters, someone famous dropping your name the old ways still work.

    So much music, people want to know why they should listen and be treated as demographic is all very well. But the artist must be seen to be independent of this. He needed someone to blame in case all went wrong – some one else, not him. It’s not like glaring at the bass player when your solo is out of tune… he made the public directly complicit in a deceit.

    Despite being cynical times I think people really want to hear good music in whatever genre and it’s up to the record companies to do what they do best. They have lots of potential sales with indie artists and are not capitalizing in them. Oh and it helps not dumbing people down (idiot TV). That just reduces potential; artistic and audience.

    Jared Threatin should capitalize on this with a single release – a good one. Carry on regardless and use the publicity. Stopping now will make things look worse. It’s a skulduggery industry and it’s not too late to spread blame, I mean, direct responsibility. Call it “bringing awareness”.

    • John Oszajca says:

      Thanks for the perspective Lawrence. I agree that the fact that stopping in his tracks and ducking for cover has made this all so much worse for him. One can only imagine that he hadn’t realized the potential backlash that could come from this.

  • Pat Bryant says:

    Makes me think of Ricky Gervais’ film DAVID BRENT: LIFE ON THE ROAD, in which his character from THE OFFICE (UK) tries to live his dream, hires a tour bus and some musicians and goes out on tour. It’s on Netflix. Cheers, John!

    • D.W.McDonald says:

      Well this incident tells me one thing and that Jared Threatin is a liar at heart. That doesn’t make him a bad guy, you know a liar has to keep telling lies to support the previous lies until it all builds up and collapse under its own weight and this is what happen to Jared. You can’t fake being a Rock star you have to have lived and believed and practice the basics, Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll! Now that doesn’t make you rich or famous but what it does is give you that Rock star attitude. When you perform you automatically make people like you. If Jared had put the same effort into promotion and marketing (which does cost money!) he would have been better off and would have keep his respect. With out respect you are just an empty shell of a person and no matter how good you are it is almost impossible to accomplish what you really want. Remember Milli Vanlli? They faked their singing and could not even sing decently and they lost it all as a result. Oh well we all burn while we learn!

  • Russell Alexander says:

    I’m old enough to remember Peter Lemongello, who did almost the same thing. The only difference was he had partners, who invested heavily. He tried to become the first “made from TV commercials pop star”.

    It didn’t work out very well.


    But, as was pointed out, doing over the top stuff is what has catapulted many stars to fame. Had Threaten followed up with a heavy street team to promote the shows, bought ads in fanzines (and requested subsequent interviews) or just hired a competent promoter, this might have ended differently. But I suppose he didn’t have the money for all of that after his other costs.

    • John Oszajca says:

      Great reference Russell. You touch on what strikes me as the most surprising aspect of all of this… He seems to have been solely aware of branding and hype. If he had only put half as much energy into an actual marketing campaign, it may have all worked for him.

  • Kelly Belanger says:

    He made some mistakes, but seriously, he was conscious of his decisions. There is simply no excuse for unethical behaviour. This guy can spin it any way he wants, but at the end of the day he has lost all credibility and doesn’t deserve a following, or sales or a tour. He has painted himself a loser. He needs to apologize and start at the begin to create something genuine. Whatever comes of his honest efforts will be what he truly deserves. To all the people who posted in support of this guy’s efforts, I say you are losers as well and you need to rethink your values. And to everyone reading this: Don’t be afraid. Go out and create something of true value. Promote it honestly through real relationships with your audience. This is the only way you will be able to have real success and live with yourself.

    • John Oszajca says:

      Hey Kelly,

      I don’t think there is any question that the guy has committed some ethical violations and is in the wrong.

      But while I can’t speak for everyone else, my impression is not that anyone is actually speaking out in support of the behavior, but rather that people are extending a bit of compassion because many realize how the state of the music industry might drive a rudderless kid to go about things the wrong way.

      But there is no question that the only way out is through.

  • I reckon he tried and failed. That’s all there is. the fact that he couldn’t get away with it when it translated into the ‘real world’ speaks volumes. However, it wouldn’t be the first time, so heaping any moral or ethical outrage onto him is somewhat hypocritical- if it worked, people would be celebrating his success.

  • Jean says:

    I really don’t get why the venues in question would put out these numbers. I mean, here you have well known music venues booking a band that has supposedly sold 150 tickets in advance. Then on the night only three people rock up. All this illustrates to me is the lack of effort these so called renowned venues are actually putting into their own shows. On top of that they often take 50% or more from door sales that these hardworking artists have sold themselves. F***ing leeches! There would have to be something seriously wrong with a band to ever book a show at one of these venues again considering the now very real risk of exploitation and defamation. I don’t understand why musicians aren’t crucifying these venues instead of a fellow artist who is actually putting money and a ton of work ethic into a campaign, albeit in a deceitful way. Musicians really get the raw end of every deal these days. No wonder we’re all a bunch of cynical bastards.

    • John Oszajca says:

      These are some good points Jean. It is interesting to note that (at least it seems like), no one would have noticed this if one venue had not posted the negative comment about the bad turnout. That seems to have been the domino that started the chain reaction. I believe he paid to play, so technically the room was his, whatever he decided to do with it. That said, there are certainly better choices he could have made. Imagine if he had some actual marketing behind all the branding hype.

      • Jean says:

        Haha if it was a “pay to play” that makes both parties look even worse. I’ve had tours where no one came to any of my shows as well. Sometimes three nights in a row where there would be absolutely no one. So I know the pain to playing to an empty room. As you say that was one of the biggest lessons you could learn, if you don’t have a strategic marketing plan behind you, its just not worth the time and money honestly.

  • Ryan says:

    I applaud the effort honestly.

    And how much you want to bet that this will get his music listened to? President Trump survived Pussygate I am thinking if it is good it could launch his career.

    • John Oszajca says:

      Trump’s survival of so many issues came to my mind as well. He seems to be ducking for cover, but it would have been really interesting to see what happened if he apologetically kept going.

  • Tony says:

    Honestly, I have no respect for anyone who fakes anything. Do it organically or go home. Just my humble opinion. I don’t have many plays on my band’s first and only single since 2017, and I have 12 likes and 8 dislikes, but I got them honestly.

  • NEVER once was it mentioned whether his music was actually any *GOOD* or not, and it most certainly *WAS* mentioned — and has been before in other places and is an accepted truth — that venue owners ONLY care about butts in seats, especially butts that get off the seats and order drinks. Lady Gaga did a lot of similar stuff to pump herself before she got big, though I don’t think she quite crossed the line as blatantly as he did, but now she IS a big star so that validates whatever she did, huh? If he had been able to close the deal and bootstrap himself from fake into a little real buzz that would have validated what he did too. Shame on those venue owners for falling for the ruse, I suspect there were red flags lurking in practically every corner of it…. never heard of him, any of his fake bands, his fake people were all in Indonesia or the Phillipines, his fake record label, promoters, bla bla bla. Backing out to a bigger perspective, here’s my problem: Chasing those kind of clubs even if you do have fans and get legitimate turnout warps you in the direction of “but will this sell booze?” I can’t authentically express myself musically if selling booze and trying to appeal to the demographic who buy the most of it is my primary motivation. I never wanted to be a T-shirt salesman and although I enjoy a glass of wine or beer here and there, I most definitely don’t want be a glorified liquor salesman nor to have booze be the driving force behind the whole biz. If people want to be alcoholics that’s their business but I’d like to see a piece on how to reach people who aren’t big drinkers. Surely that crowd enjoy listening to music too!

    • John Oszajca says:

      Great perspective C.R. If you listen to the podcast you’ll hear that we do actually discuss his music and it’s merits. And in terms of strategies that allow you to find an audience without playing the industry game, or being a “booze or t shirt salesmen”, well… that’s what Music Marketing Manifesto is all about.

      Thanks for the comment.

  • I actually think there was the potential for some awesome satire here, that could have been spun into something successful in a Spinal Tap kind of way…but this kid and his ‘management’ sort of missed the boat (I mean…who did they think was going to come to these gigs?)

    Having said that…here we all are talking about it, and his videos have a few hundred thousand more hits than mine do. 😀

    • Johhn says:

      I’m now wondering if this was a publicity stunt to get this kind of reaction and press?
      If he’s going to play to empty clubs anyhow maybe this was the end goal to get press?
      The BBC has an article on this kid and it was so well crafted I almost have to scratch my head and wonder if this was the “end game”………far better than a packed house in Bristol as these articles will live forever out here in net land.

      • John Oszajca says:

        Many (including me) have wondered about whether or not this could have all been intentional, however the fact that most of his videos have been taken down, and his social media profiles have been taken down makes it look like this is a kid who is really freaking out.

        I could definitely see a movie in the theme of the Disaster Artist coming out of this.

        • John says:

          For sure John! This would make a great movie…..Out of all the funny stuff and dirty tricks that go down daily in entertainment this young kid’s sin was not on any major level comparatively speaking when looking at showbiz history…….Kind of like the english kid that bet his life savings on the roulette wheel in vegas some years back (event very cloths on his back)…….but that kid won the spin!

  • John says:

    Epstein got the Beatles to chart cause he bought their records himself to get charted……this kind of stuff has been going on since the early days of rock n roll, no new thing under the sun…..kinda glad the kid went for broke as that’s really what rock n roll was all about and at least he did it in “spirit”

    There’s more to the social phenomena of this type of thing taking place a few thoughts come to my mind. We all understand the ethics of this but what’s done is done so let’s at least examine it in the light of this current era.

    1. Hollywood/Sunset Strip clubs went pay for play about 30 years ago, bands have been paying for gigs for a long time at prime name venues.
    2. With the massive amount of music coming out everyday I guess he went for broke knowing he couldn’t cut through the amount of noise out there (this is an ongoing problem because there’s too much music for a consumer to even discover new music via traditional methods)
    3. The audacity of youth is a beautiful thing especially since most youth these days don’t dream big this kid went for it…….kind of a 1980’s dream big type of thing which does bring a smile to my face.

    All in all it’s the most interesting music story I’ve seen in years…..If the kid could get a producer and score a hit he could parlay this into something if he moved fast enough but that’s hard to pull off.

    He definitely chose the wrong genre…hip hop or pop would of opened this up to a broader appeal but metal fans are the most loyal rock music fans out there.

  • John says:

    The fact that this guy did it all himself as a one man shop…….most Rock n Roll thing I’ve seen yet this century

  • Emo LeBlanc says:

    I think that 50% of indie bands/Artist do this and this guy got caught by going too big. He was trying to get to the promiseland without working for it !

  • Garrett says:

    I haven’t listened to the podcast yet but, in general, trust is like a precious vase, whether it’s parent-child, husband-wife…or artist/band-fan. Break it and you’ve lost something priceless. You may be able to glue it back together and it may hold water but it will never be the same as the original.

    I come from the old school. If I say something I want you to be able to bet the baby’s milk money on it.

  • Well you have to admire his initiative but the scheme / scam didn’t work. While posting that there were over 200 tickets sold for a gig in Bristol, Uk the other night , to create a mass momentum, no tickets had actually been sold.
    If hundreds more had turned up to see what all the fuss was about, then great. The actuality was that no one turned up to see him. One support band walked out . The other brought 13 fans who left after their performance leaving the guy to play to his tour manager and the sound engineer. Because it became apparent to the venue that there was foul play at large , the door split was cancelled and he had to pay for total hire before they allowed him to play.
    My first instinct is to condemn him as a crook but we’ve all tried to create illusions to an extent . In this case he took it too far. The biggest victim of the scam was himself . He’s lost a lot of money and credibility- or has he? They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity as long as they spell your name right . He might yet benefit from his notoriety ?

  • Phil Michaels says:

    The lengths that some will go to in the quest for stardom. Some bad choices for sure and I feel for him in a way. Live by with a roll of the dice is a tough sentence. A cautionary tale to be sure.

  • Honestly, if he were doing hip hop or a more relevant music form and had quality of product and proper promotion of the event, people would have probably showed up and he would have come out on top. I can’t understand people doing generic metal in the modern era.

    • John Oszajca says:

      To be honest, metal has a real following out there. It’s niche, but there are a lot of die hard fans out there. Unfortunately for Jared, the BS detector is very sensitive with metal fans and he is paying the price now. But you bring up good points about how things might have gone differently in a different genre. Thanks for commenting.

      • I agree with John. Metal is a genre with fans that have a BS detector. You can’t fool them easily, if at all. I’m a metal fan and musician myself, and after years of going to shows and chatting with fans, I’m proud to say it’s an audience that can see through fakery. Metal fans are the most loyal and passionate fans in the world, but also are brutally honest. I honestly don’t know what his brain was thinking. That people would just show up not even knowing who he was? It’s a shame to think that he had the smarts to fool everyone to a certain degree, and didn’t use that same cleverness to really market himself the right way.

  • Good for him for going for it. The music business is full of predators to the Independent musicians.
    I wish all Independent musicians success.

  • j4ckm00n says:

    We all have ups and downs in the music industry. As long as he keeps on persisting then his music career will prosper one day. It shouldn’t matter How many fans he has if you like his stuff regardless of if the other people do… that’s your fault for believing the hype and not believing the art. Or how many fans he has. if you like his stuff then you like it. It’s your fault for believing the hype and not believing in the art.

  • Greg D says:

    I think we have a mix of good and bad ideas coupled with the zeal of youth. I understand his enthusiasm and want to be ‘out there’.

    There is however, no substitute for going the distance. You are either an amazing musician, who pays his dues by sleeping in a van along I-5 when on tour with Robin Trower and eventually your talent and drive will get you where you want to be or you are a fantastic promoter and mediocre musician in which case you’ll probably still make it.

    If you are a weak musician and weak promoter who sets up a fake premise, you will be found out and it will cost you.

    Hopefully Jared will eventually find dedicated band members who share his enthusiasm and love for his particular style and sound and people will flock to see them. Here’s a hint: If you’re not drawing a crowd, change your tune.

  • Nikola says:

    Personally I believe Threatin may have some mental health issues, as why would you go to all these lengths to book these venues knowing no one would turn up? Alice Cooper did a similar thing in the 70’s (early years), when he booked a huge venue in London, 80,000, not knowing how he would fill it up….. so a huge placard was made made of him naked with a python wrapped around which was driven through Piccadilly Circus….Guess what, it worked, full house!!

    So perhaps Threatin, could have pushed it further with more creative advertising in the cities he was going to perform, and if that worked, all the stuff we are talking about wouldn’t even matter…

    • Steve says:

      The only difference with Alice is that he was signed to Warner Bros and had already released a few records. He had management. He had a band. They were a known band that pulled a publicity stunt. But they could deliver on their promise and, obviously, they did.

    • John Oszajca says:

      I used to work with someone in the industry that was famous for being late. In every instance, you would be sitting in the office, waiting for the meeting to start, and he would call in and say he was only 5 minutes away, when in reality we knew he was more like 30 minutes away. I always wondered why he would lie, when he knew full well that the lie (as minor as it was) would be exposed in 30 minutes. It’s a peculiar thing for sure, and the question is the same in this case. How could he have thought it would end well? I can’t help but wonder if Alice Cooper’s story was exactly what was motivating him. Valid points and I appreciate the comment.

  • Mike Fev says:

    He’s absolutely a fraud, too narcissistic to be a real musician, he makes Axl Rose and Billy Corgan look like humble wallflowers, what a shmuck.

  • If he had succeeded in getting himself a well-attended European tour, he would be a rock hero, a sassy star, the new hip. Any competent examination of his strategy might have revealed its weakness. Fake buzz does not equal real buzz. But, apparently he is now in the public stocks, prensented for shaming, if not scapegoating. To complete the metaphor: I would not go to the public commons to pillory him.

  • dannyroberts says:

    I think not being honest with what you are trying to accomplish and bringing others along with you down that road is really despicable and Karma will get ya in the end. Truth matters. Music is Life and Life is music, Stay Happy Healthy [ Honest ] and Keep it in Tune.

  • I mean, it’s pretty obvious that shit music that no one likes can sell like crazy in the industry today if you pump enough money into it or market it wisely… he just didn’t have the right backing or to get the right assholes behind his project.. so he tried to do it himself. But the reality is that real actual followers, record deals, and media attention are at least as superficial. Honestly I’d rather someone pop up who faked his own bullshit than just spent enough money to buy the real ones like all successful artists do now (I think Taylor Swifts self promo and campaigning was somewhere between 500,000-1,000,000 $ before she was “discovered”???)

    IMO it sucks that that is the law of the land now, because what suffers is the music. Since the quality of the music plays no role in success anymore, all the best bands with the most potential aren’t able to get off the ground, because the industry becomes saturated with people with financial backing and business savvy and the ones who spent their whole lives and all their energy actually developing their artform are lost in the mix. These are my thoughts on the cause, but the results are all confirmed by computer technology that tests different aspects of popular music over the last 60 years and finds that the quality, in all ways, has suffered greatly- as many of us have suspected for years. It doesn’t take much imagination to figure out that our most cherished bands in rock- like The Beatles, Zeppelin, Hendrix, Stones, Dylan- the guys who won the hearts of the public and made it possible for an industry to exist at all- wouldn’t be able to succeed or exist today because of the virtues that the industry now caters to.

    So to me the most disgusting aspect of this is when we point our fingers at him and say he’s the bad guy, when we’re falling for crap right and left and too lazy to think hard enough about it to figure out that we’re no better. To me that’s actually worse. Like for instance, I respect porn stars and prostitutes more than pop star vocalists who suck but sell themselves on their sex appeal, because the sex workers are at least direct about what they are selling and you know what you get. Or in the same light a drug dealer over a club owner, who likes to imagine himself a successful businessman when he’s selling a legal drug (that sells itself) to college kids at an 80% markup, in an industry that doesn’t get studied in business because it’s known to be a complete fluke shot and that there is no actual method to study.

    And that’s not to say I don’t think he’s a narcissistic little fuck.. just who that’s actually succeeding in playing today isn’t? Your music should be the only determining factor in your level of success as a musician, and who cares what tactics you had to use to get there otherwise? Beyond that.. music fans are idiots also because they’re falling for a huge charade and then they poke their nose at someone who makes his shady tactics a little more obvious. It’s comical. And a little too close to home for me.

    • John Oszajca says:

      Hey Ryan,

      Your comment reminds me of one of my favorite Fugazi lyrics. “Never mind what’s been selling. It’s what you’re buying. And receiving undefiled”. Good stuff. Thanks for the perspective.

  • Derek says:

    Hey the music biz has always been full of lies and deception.
    This guy went for it with smoke and mirrors tactic and why not? He believed in his dream.
    If he has enough ingenuity to get as far as he did, I bet he’ll do something else with success at some point.

    • John Oszajca says:

      That’s certainly the other side of the coin in this situation. While I don’t think he went about things the right way at all, it’s impossible to overlook the incredible amount of work and drive that surely went into this. It will be interesting to see how the dust ultimately settles.

  • Yaya says:

    Idk. This is what every major musician, actor, actress, producer, promoter, etc does. Its what these kids have been raised to believe they should do. Not his fault. Its the business these days. Buying your way in is the only way to get a deal. On that note talented artists, stay independent

  • This guys lyrics must be really worth listening to:
    He has stumbled on the secret of how to get rich while losing all integrity. I don’t think this is the new normal, it’s a new take on greed bolted onto an old story.

    • John Oszajca says:

      Thanks for the comment Dave. It certainly is interesting. And you’re right, the fundamentals of what he did are not particularly new. But he does seem to represent an extreme collisions of a few old tactics combined with all of the new tools at our disposal. I don’t believe that any single transgression of Jared’s has never been done before (in some cases by many, if not most, musicians), however, put together, and to the degree that he went about it, it’s all one spectacular mess. It will be interesting to see how the dust settles for him.

  • Hal Camplin says:

    from a punk perspective there can be no moral high ground on self promotion- he went for broke into fantasy world -which is creative and a bit punk driven in itself – isn’t there actually quite a lot of ‘fake it till you make it’ going on in an industry so competitive some might sell their own mother to make it- he didn’t try to do that.. He’s not exactly G G Allin- that takes real balls.

  • Don Diego says:

    Interesting story. I mean, there are many who actually pull PR stunts as such with vanity followers, etc. However, as with everything else, there’s a marketing plan and mathematical formula that goes along with the inflated celebrity campaigns. Its genius of him to have done that all on his own. Only if he had a team that knew what to do with what was created maybe would had made a difference

  • Jay says:

    Every band that has ever paid for ads on social media is guilty of falsification, every band will post videos that their significant other shot and claim it as fan footage, but it’s normal and acceptable to do those things. Seems to me that this person took those band norms and ran with them. Let’s be honest, he almost got the gold with it before his legs gave out.

    Sure a bunch of people lost money on it, but everybody who is involved with music, especially on the lower rungs of the ladder, lose money constantly. On shows, on pressing, on equipment and travel, etc. So it’s hard to feel like he did this terrible thing to all these poor promoters when really the promoters have assuredly gotten over on tons of bands before his arrival to the spotlight.

    The ideas and the application are common, he just let it get way out of hand, in my opinion.

    • John Oszajca says:

      Great points. I think this is why the story is really striking a nerve. Most musicians know they are guilty of many of the same tactics. Imagine if he had an actual marketing strategy behind all of this 🙂

  • Stan says:

    This isnt the fundamentals of true music business but rather a scam wrongly incorporated into music .

  • Pete says:

    Hi John,
    First of all he’s succeeded in people knowing his name,but he’s let himself down by trying to be clever. He’s lied 100% to gain his fans and audience so it’s the famous adage i’m afraid and that is. If he’s got no respect for anyone, how then can anyone have respect for him? One thing everyone should know and that’s to follow the golden rule. Be true to one’s own self and people will like you for who you are.

  • Jade says:

    I think he is a fake myself

    • Robin Schell says:

      I just wonder what his goal was. Did he think people would actually show up by osmosis, the opening acts etc. Or was the whole idea just to be able to say ‘we did a European tour’ and if anyone says ‘yeah but no one showed up’ just continue to lie and say they were sold out.

  • Martin says:

    I think the lad is a marketing genius. Just on the back of this story, there are people trying to find out more about him, some of whom will turn up at his next gig(s)

    • John Oszajca says:

      Judging by the fact that he has shut down his social media pages and much of his contact, I’d say the poor guy is pretty traumatized by all of this. Otherwise, I’d say you’re right. It’s sort of a shame he didn’t just carry on and ride it out. The circus of the whole thing would surely attract some people. I wouldn’t be shocked if he could actually sell out a venue if he was to announce a show right now.

  • Peter says:

    Well, these clubs are not the smartest, it’s over a year since many professionals left the method “just go by numbers”. Actually the same happened too many European festivals around Chainsmokers two summers ago. They didn’t fake it, but the numbers showed one thing, reality another. If you look at the numbers Chainsmokers should be able to draw arenas, they can only draw small clubs in many cases. Several festivals booked them and then lost a lot of money and some of them even had to shut down.

    I have been to several industry conferences the past six months and you already see that no one is discussing Spotify numbers or even get Spotify, Deezer, Apple to even speak, since their numbers are not that relevant for the live scene.

    I guess though that Threatin has their fifteen minutes of fame. The story is like a wildfire and people will check out his music. So in PR standpoint “All PR is good PR”. I can tell that yesterday he had 43 monthly listeners on Spotify, today he has 1846 and the first song has jumped a thousand listings. And if the algorithms on Spotify is correct they will start to add him to playlists since the name is mention online so many times.

    • John Oszajca says:

      That jump in Spotify streams is definitely an interesting Stat. I don’t know that I agree that all PR is good PR from a longevity standpoint. But then again, these are strange time.

  • Dougy says:

    Assuming this isn’t some incredibly elaborate hoax that they’re all in on (including all these UK venues, support bands etc) I feel worst for the ‘backing band’ – it seems like he’s completely conned these 3 lads into going along with this ridiculous scheme.

    We can all have a bit of a chuckle at a deluded fantasist getting some sort of comeuppance, but narcissists like this inevitably drag a whole load of other people into the mess they create and often run away at the first opportunity leaving others to deal with the consequences…

    • John Oszajca says:

      Hey Doug, the possibility of a hoax is hard not to wonder about. But given the fact that he has pulled down his social profiles and much of his content, it looks pretty legit.

      I don’t know the details about the back up band, but I assume they were getting paid and would have had to have known what was going on. It’s sort of a shame that they quit on him. Ironically, the guy probably would have sold out the last few shows because of the media storm.

  • Gary says:

    Trust and credibility is fundamental to any working relationship.

    Musicians attract interest on the basis of being credible artists. Over time they engender a relationship of trust creating ‘fans’.

    It’s human nature to be wanted. We’ve all massaged the truth at times to gain attention but it’s plain foolish at the least to think such a ploy would not be detected.

    Trust is easily given but when lost, takes a long time to regain, if at all.

    It pays to be wise, humble and honest and walk the journey…

  • Daryl S says:

    Honestly if A&R reps and booking agents are relying on how many Facebook / Instagram likes (real or not) and YouTube views in order to sign a band then what do we expect to happen?! The business itself has turned generic so this is a natural progression. Musicians will never make a living streaming their product so desperate times call for desperate measures. Too bad the kid possibly messed it up for some more deserving artists but can you blame him ?

  • John, I’m tempted to get all high and mighty and say “If we’re seriously discussing whether grossly lying about your following….including made-up people…is deserving of bashing….that’s what’s wrong with this country”….or something like that….also get off my lawn……but seriously, while we know that some of the reaction is holier-than-thou…and some is jealousy (“He almost got away with it”!)….there are a couple of salient facts: Some people undoubtedly lost money behind this….and became MUCH more reluctant to take a chance on a band next time…..and Secondly: Other bands will want to copycat this, thinking “That’s how the big guys do it”…..is that the new normal? If so, where are we headed?

    • John Oszajca says:

      Great points about people losing money and being less willing to take a chance.

      However, I can’t see a lot of people copying this. The guy has been blasted beyond belief. Frankly, it looks incredibly painful. I personally think this will make most artists stop and take stock of the fact that they are doing many of the same things (on a smaller scale) and probably pull back for fear of being exposed in a similar manner. But perhaps I’m wrong.

      Thanks for the comment.

  • Nick108 aka Nandalal108 says:

    I have a guy tell me there is no money in music anymore, no use to even try. Then on FB he has adds, our new album is out this week. I guess try any tactic. Like say we do not have any music released, BUT if you see that there is, then it is holograms only.

  • Sarah C. says:

    This story is crazy. I find it all pretty gross, but I find your compassion for the guy refreshing. He’s probably not having the greatest time right now 🙁 And few of us are perfect when it comes to “hyping” up our music careers.

    This definitely is one of those moments that make you stop and think about your own actions.

    Thanks for sharing your perspective on this story.

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