In the spirit of the year of the scam, last month it was revealed that heavy metal musician Jered Eames, who goes by the stage name Jered Threatin, ran an elaborate ruse across Europe, tricking concert venues into thinking he had actual fans. Eames’s con was (briefly) really effective: He posed as his own fake booking agent, faked live concert footage of fans at his shows, invented a record label, management, and PR people, bought fake fans on Facebook to fake RSVPs to his shows, and made his own fake press. All told, he booked ten venues with hundred-plus capacities … only to play to about three people a night before the venues caught onto the deception and his tour was canceled. So what gives, man? Eames is keeping the scam alive with his first interview, with Rolling Stone, about why he did this.
“There was no way that I was going to get enough attention being a rock artist in 2018,” he explained, “unless I did something to get people to pay attention.” But, really, it was never about the music (which he still claims was “very real”). When Eames’s scam went viral, he tweeted, “What is Fake News? I turned an empty room into an international headline. If you are reading this, you are part of the illusion.” He’s now sticking to his story that scamming done right is its own kind of performance art. He claims he was inspired by Andy Warhol, Andy Kaufman, and a villainous desire to use marketing to manipulate the media as well as to expose the music industry. Oh yeah, and also because he was battling a potentially life-threatening illness.
“I’m just trying to manufacture the bandwagon effect,” he continued. “I’m not some fucking rich kid. All this is, is good money management.” As for his backing band, whom he also duped, Eames feels bad that they feel bad but also “wish[es] they would’ve looked at this from a media standpoint.” And not, you know, that pesky human perspective. The nerve!