Last month, the L.A. rock band Threatin captivated the rock world’s attention for about a week, when virtually nobody attended the shows on their European tour, making it apparent that the band had manufactured a following that it didn’t really have. Now, frontman Jered Threatin, real name Jered Eames, has broken his silence in an interview with Rolling Stone.

As a quick recap: Stories started to come out of Europe when Threatin played to empty venues on their “Breaking the World” tour, with it becoming apparent that Threatin had falsely inflated their Facebook and YouTube pages to make it seem like they had a big following, duping venue owners in Europe into booking the band. Soon video would emerge of Threatin playing to empty clubs, and ultimately, the musicians who Jered hired as his backing band started to tell their stories of how they were duped, as well.

Until now, the only comment on the situation from Jered himself was a tweet that read, “What is Fake News? I turned an empty room into an international headline. If you are reading this, you are part of the illusion.”

In the interview with Rolling Stone, Jered admits the whole thing was a “publicity stunt” but added “the music is very real.” He said he modeled his persona after rock “villains” like Marilyn Manson, Alice Cooper and Ozzy Osbourne, and was inspired by the chameleon nature of David Bowie. “If you’re the hero, you’re going to get a quarter of the attention of the bad guy,” Jered explained. “A happy story lasts a day, but a tragedy is going to last a lifetime.”

He also claimed to be a champion for rock music, saying, “Fuck what other people think. I’m willing to do what it takes to try to bring rock back into the spotlight.”

He admitted to creating fake websites for a record label, a PR firm and a booking agency, as well as inflating the numbers of Threatin’s Facebook following. “The fact that people look at these numbers that are so easily fictionalized and hold them as any kind of merit — that shows a huge flaw in the music industry, as well,” declared Jered.

As for his future, he plans to record another album and hit the road again, and turn the footage that his girlfriend shot on the ill-fated European tour into a documentary.

The Rolling Stone feature also delves into Jered’s health problems (he apparently has coughed up large quantities of up blood on multiple occasions), his upbringing, and his estranged relationship with his musician brother, who was once his bandmate in a metal outfit called Saetith. Read the full interview here.

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