Threatin ‘Scam’ Tour Drummer Explains How He Was Fooled
The drummer for Threatin – the band that apparently faked an entire industry profile in order to secure a European tour – has spoken out about how he was fooled by frontman Jered Threatin.
Threatin was recently accused of having bought social media likes and created a false record label, management company, booking agent, promoter and industry award to persuade venues to accept bookings for shows across the U.K. and elsewhere.
Bewildered as to why only a handful of people attended each show, after having been promised that hundreds of tickets had been sold for every date, drummer Dane Davis and colleagues Joe Prunera and Gavin Carney quit the band in Ireland last week, forcing the remaining tour dates to be canceled.
“It’s surreal and I’m trying to wrap my head around it,” Davis told Classic Rock in a new interview. “Originally the tour was supposed to be U.S. and Canada, and then it got changed to Europe, or that’s what we were told at least. As far as everything being faked and all that, I didn't have any suspicion of that whatsoever. But it soon as I as I heard that, a lot of stuff started to make sense.”
He said the band had covered the costs of pre-tour rehearsals in Los Angeles themselves; they included round trips from Las Vegas for Davis. Band members were told they’d be paid only $300 each for the entire road trip, although their expenses would be covered. Venues were booked and paid for in advance, proving that Threatin had access to some funds, regardless of his intentions.
“It seemed very exciting,” Davis said. “We heard initially that he had hits over in Germany and a couple of different other places in Europe. So I was thinking, ‘Maybe he's not really big in the States,’ because most people that I knew in Vegas hadn't heard of him, but maybe in Europe it's a different story.”
Suspicions began to grow when each concert was sparsely attended, but the band accepted Threatin’s explanation that an agency was to blame for having failed to promote the shows.
“It only really got weird when we played and there was no one there,” Davis recalled. “I thought to myself, ‘This is very odd. This is supposed to be a sold-out show. What’s going on?’ The whole time as the show went on, Jered kept saying, ‘This is sort of strange. I'm used to more people being here.’ … So we were suspicious about why this was occurring, but we just kept thinking, ‘The promotion company really just screwed up and someone is going to get fired for this.’”
He described his relationship with Threatin as “difficult” but that he didn’t want to break his word by walking off the tour. That changed when he started getting messages from friends who’d read about the alleged fakery. The three hired bandmates decided to quit in Ireland, because members of Davis’ family were there and could help.
“[Threatin] started saying, ‘We've seen the articles and everything, we might cancel the tour, but we're not sure,’" Davis recalled. "After a little bit of talking, I said to him, ‘I’m getting a little bit of backlash over this from people messaging me on Facebook, and it’s damaging to my career as well, so I need to get out of here. I’m not enjoying it.’ … He was in denial in a way, but no one had directly said, ‘Is this true or not?’”
Asked if the entire escapade could have been a well-meaning publicity stunt, Davis replied, “Well, it seems to have made the whole thing end up the wrong way. I have no idea what the motivation was. I can just say that neither Joe, Gavin or myself were trying to use any kind of deception to get famous from this. … I do think that [Threatin] wanted this tour to be successful. Whether it was just him, or whether there were people behind him organizing all this, he wanted the tour to be successful and to promote his band and his music. I think he genuinely thought it could happen and that there wouldn’t be any backlash if he did orchestrate a lot of this stuff. But that’s just speculation. I can’t say for sure.”
Stefanos Karantonis, frontman of the English band Tales of Autumn, said they’d been fooled into supporting Threatin at their London show, and had been told 291 tickets were sold in advance.
“The venue closed its doors half an hour before he was due to finish because our friends went home and there was literally nobody watching,” Karantonis told the Argus. “It’s a bit of a shame because I actually thought he was quite good, but here we can clearly see a bit of narcissism.”
Drummer Jordan Dann added, “When the venue started packing up, the musicians that Threatin had paid to accompany his performance were really confused. He clearly hadn’t told anyone about this plan of his. We had no idea what was really going on until we saw in the news that the same had happened to other venues in the country.”