As new information comes in, we wouldn’t be surprised if the unbelievable story of Threatin eventually comes to a movie theater near you. Now, word comes directly from the band’s touring drummer that the hired members of Threatin quit the band after stories emerged Friday about the L.A. based act playing to empty venues on their European tour.
A quick recap: Threatin seemed to have convinced European venues that they had a big following, and even mentioned pre-selling hundreds of tickets going into the shows on their “Breaking the World Tour”, only to play to a few people each night, and those fans were likely brought in by the opening acts. Stories emerged Friday of Threatin’ fabricating their Facebook and YouTube following through purchased likes and illegitimate video views. And yesterday, video emerged of Threatin playing to an empty house at a show in Manchester, England, on November 7th.
Now, drummer Dane Davis, who was hired to play the tour by the band’s only permanent member, frontman Jered Davis, has spoken out to the UK’s Classic Rock magazine about the entire ordeal. He says he is a Las Vegas-based musician who was approached by a woman named Lisa who saw him performing on YouTube and invited him to try out for the band Threatin.
“There were no exact details at that point, just that there’s a touring act that’s had some hits overseas that would like to have me audition for them for a tour,” he explained. “I saw it as this great opportunity.”
He says he checked out Threatin’s social sites and YouTube page, and while he thought the band’s marketing was a bit “odd”, there was nothing that particularly stood out as particularly worrisome.
As for first meeting Jered Threatin, Davis revealed, “There was a practice studio that we met up at to do the audition in Los Angeles, down by Hollywood. I didn’t know what to really expect from seeing his videos and stuff like that, but I was pleasantly surprised that he seemed very down-to-earth the first time I met him.”
He said the only other person at his audition was Jered’s wife, Kelsea, whom he figured was part of Threatin’s management team at the time.
After a successful audition, he and guitarist Joe Prunera began to travel down from Las Vegas to Los Angeles on a monthly basis to rehearse with Jered Threatin, beginning in June. The touring lineup was rounded out by bassist Gavin Carney.
Davis said they got along with Jered for the most part, but when they asked about the pay for the tour, the first red flag popped up, as they were told they’d only be paid $300 each for the entire tour.
“I was disappointed when I heard that right because I make a little bit more than that at my other job,” said Davis. “It was $300 for essentially a month out of Vegas. But I thought, ‘It’s all expenses paid, so at the very least I can think of it as an opportunity to tour, have a bit of a vacation and I get $300. So that’s pretty cool for like the first tour I’m doing’.”
He then found out that the $300 included food and other incidental expenses.
Davis went on to explain that Jered had told him that the tour was selling well, and that his mother and brother bought airline tickets to fly to Northern Ireland to watch the band’s scheduled show there.
When the band played the first show at The Underworld in London, and there was hardly anyone there, Davis began to wonder what was going on. “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.'” Jered told them at the time it must have been a promotional mistake by the venue.
It was only when stories began to surface on music websites about the Threatin playing empty venues on the first few dates of the tour that Davis realized he’d been duped. Friends started texting him articles on Friday, the same day he was heading to Northern Ireland to meet up with his mother and brother, who had flown out to see him play.
“It was shocking,” admitted Davis. “I just thought, ‘What do you mean this is a scam?’ I had no idea. I read the first article – you know, the whole tour is fake, the fans were faked, the views were fake, the comments were fake.”
It was at that time he and the rest of the touring members decided to quit the band. Instead of quitting right away, he made sure to get his equipment to where his mother and brother were staying in Northern Ireland.
Once he had most of his equipment in his possession, he and the other touring members confronted Jered, who admitted he had seen the articles, too, and debated about whether to cancel the tour. It was at that time Davis told Jered he could no longer do this, and went to stay with his mother and brother in Northern Ireland, where he was at the time of the interview.
Davis revealed that financially he has taken a hit, saying, “Travelling back and forth from Vegas to L.A. for practice, that was all on me. The $300 basically lasted two weeks, so I started using a credit card to pay for food. Then I’m getting my own ticket back home.”
As for what he’d say to Jered now that he is aware of everything that went on with the band Threatin, Davis remarked, “Right now, I don’t really want to speak to him and be involved in that situation. I just want clear this up. We had no idea about any of this.”
When he gets back to Vegas, Davis hopes to continue recording an album under his own name, and then hit the road on a legitimate tour.
For much more from Dane Davis about the Threatin ordeal, read the entire in-depth interview with Classic Rock magazine here, and see a video message Davis posted to Facebook below, where he reveals that Joe has flown home to Vegas, while Gavin is still staying with Jered until he can take his original return flight home:
Update: Guitarist Joe Prunera has given his own tell-all interview to MetalSucks, detailing a very similar account as the one Dane Davis relayed to Classic Rock magazine. The MetalSucks piece also, offers a deeper look into the social media accounts of Jered and his wife. In Prunera’s interview, he revealed that bassist Gavin Carney did not quit the tour yet, mostly because he didn’t have the funds to buy a new plane ticket. However, it’s unclear whether the band will be honoring any of the remaining dates.