Jered Threatin, leader of “fake” band Threatin, said he was planning a new tour and album after the controversial results of his first outing.

The Missouri-born performer made headlines around the world after creating a false fanbase, record label, management company and industry award in order to secure a U.K. tour. It collapsed after a number of shows had gone ahead with almost no one in attendance, despite Threatin’s fake agency having promised hundreds of tickets had been sold for each night. “I turned an empty room into an international headline. If you are reading this, you are part of the illusion,” he said afterwards.

“It’s a publicity stunt, but the music is very real,” 29-year-old Threatin – real name Jered Eames – told Rolling Stone. He added, “You hear people say it all the time: ‘With the Internet, it’s easy for people to get discovered.’ It’s actually the opposite.” He claimed the idea began forming after he’d decided to quit the hometown band he’d formed with his older brother when he suffered a health alert, suddenly coughing up blood. “The impression of mortality drove him to escape to Los Angeles. “If you think you’re halfway to death, you’ll be like, ‘Let’s get this shit going fast,’” he said, saying that the project had been funded with money he’d saved over the years. “I’m not some fucking rich kid… All this is, is good money management.”

Threatin even suggested he’d planned the negative image he’d garnered, citing Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson among his influences. “If you’re the hero, you’re going to get a quarter of the attention of the bad guy,” he said. “A happy story lasts a day, but a tragedy is going to last a lifetime. … Fuck what people think; I’m willing to do what it takes to try to bring rock back into the spotlight.”

He admitted he’d been taken aback by the strength of feeling against him when the stunt was discovered, and appeared to show a touch of remorse that he’d misled his own band about what was going on. “Do I feel bad that they feel bad?” he said. “Yes, I wish they would’ve looked at this from a media standpoint.”

Threatin reported that, along with more live dates and a follow-up to 2017 debut LP Breaking the World, he was working on a documentary about the controversial tour using footage shot by his girlfriend and co-conspirator. He confirmed that more publicity stunts were on the way, saying, “Fake news is easy to manufacture.”

Meanwhile, at least one of the venues duped into booking the band appeared to be open to the idea of a return. Since Threatin paid the venue fees none of them lost out financially, except in terms of bar take in an empty room. Ad Gosling, events manager at Manchester’s Rebellion venue, said he’d be happy to consider another booking, adding, “He’ll probably sell out.” However, Jonthan Minto, a staffer at Bristol’s Exchange club, said, “He’s now spinning it as if this is all part of the plan, but the only illusion is the one he’s pulling on himself. He seems quite deluded and an extreme narcissist.”

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