Aleks Krotoski explores the story of the Threatin European tour, and what happens when an online illusion meets with offline reality.
In November 2018 and LA based band Threatin landed in the UK to begin their first European tour. Their promoter had booked venues in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, new band members had been signed up with the promise of venues that could hold over 1000 people, the online audience was huge and passionately vocal on social media about their love of this brilliant upcoming band.
But when they took to the stage, there was no audience to greet them. The illusion of rockstardom burst when it crossed over from online into the offline world. The reality was that the agency, the managers, the fan club, the youtube interviews - all had been manufactured by the band’s frontman Jered Threatin.
When all was revealed the story went viral across the globe. Jered later claimed that the whole thing a deliberate performance that exposed the problems of fake news in the digital world, and that anyone who had participated was part of the ‘illusion’.
Aleks digs into the strange story of a fake tour that ended up with real fame, or at least infamy - asking why we trust what we see online, where the line is drawn between performance, trolling or lies, and finds out the real life consequences for people swept up in an online illusion.
He explains why it’s impossible to diagnose delusional thinking from what we see online, despite the term being casually thrown about in popular culture.
The Sunny Devils
They tell us what it was like opening for Threatin at the Ivory Blacks gig in Glasgow, and explain the new pressures facing bands in the age of social media.
Vocals/Guitar: Steven Warnock Bass: John Howell Drums: Anton Lafferty
He tells us about one of his most famous and controversial projects ‘Brick’, where he smashed the window of an art Gallery using the media as his medium, and then breaks down the Threatin tour as if it were an arts project.
She tells us how Threatin hired the Underworld to be the first stop on the European tour, what it was like to be dragged into ‘the illusion’ and
He tells us how he came to be the guitarist for Threatin’s European tour, what happened when the online illusion met reality, and the personal cost of being conned.
He tells us how he broke the story of the Threatin European tour, and unravelled all the layers that made up the online illusion.