Scott Eames had not spoken to his brother Jered in six years when he sat down to check his Facebook feed on Friday, November 9. The two had been in a death/black metal band, Saetith, until 2012, when Jered packed up his things and moved to Los Angeles, and they’d been completely out of contact since.
So imagine Scott’s surprise when, scrolling mindlessly though Facebook updates, he spotted his brother’s face in a thumbnail image linked to a story about Threatin, a hard rock artist who conned a sparsely attended European tour for himself and whose empire of fake business entities and paid-for online statistics suddenly came crumbling down around him last week, enrapturing the internet and making it all the way up to the New York Times.
Scott shut off the screen on his phone, took a deep breath, and turned to his girlfriend: “I just found my brother.”
Jered “dropped off the face of the earth” after moving to L.A., Scott tells me, to the point that Jered’s current musical project and personality are unrecognizable. “I’m a pretty level-headed guy, but I’m into the dark stuff and very extreme evil and things like that. That is exactly who he was, too. Bands like Behemoth excited us together. Years ago, he would laugh at what he’s put out now. I don’t even understand the music that he’s tried — it’s not the guy I know. To me, it seems like he’s reaching with an act of desperation of ‘I’m going to L.A. to make it.'”
The news of Jered’s new identity was a lot to take in. “I just sat there for a minute shaking my head because I read the headline obviously, it had his picture,” Scott relays of that shocking moment. “I just shook my head and was like, ‘Man, I don’t even know if I want to read any more of it.’ So of course I read it anyway, and I was like, ‘I’m doing my best to legitimately build a career and he’s completely fabricated one.’
The career Scott references is that of a burgeoning metal guitarist, still with a long way to go (by his own modest admission) but clearly on the up and up. He is currently playing with Thy Antichrist, who are actively touring all over the world, and pushing his own project. Nevalra.
Scott kept quiet at first, hoping the story would blow over without him getting sucked into it. He feared that people would eventually put together the pieces, and when that finally happened earlier this week he issued a statement distancing himself from his brother.
Jered has not spoken to his parents since 2012 either. A post his father, Jerry, left on his Facebook page last year went unanswered. Scott caught up with his parents in the past few days to explain everything that was going on and, unfortunately, they’re sad, but not surprised.
Scott tells me that both he and his brother were always incredibly driven to make music their livelihoods. But at a certain point Jered became too carried away and let his stage persona spill into real life. “As soon as we started to get somewhere his ego inflated enough to where he kind of expected to be treated like something special, even at family events and dumb places like that. It’s part of a public persona. You show up to a gig, you’ve got to put on a little bit of a show for the fans. You have to play that part. I don’t think that part stopped when he walked off the stage once we started to get noticed.”
The behavior that would come to define Jered’s online persona in recent years was one of the reasons Scott left Saetith. “We were known as a brother band. He had a problem with sharing the glory, I guess, is the best way of putting it. I was completely cool with being the brother band and taking a portion of the credit. He seemed like he couldn’t stand the fact that anyone else had gotten any attention – me or the drummer.”
It was at this point that Jered started taking credit for his bandmates parts. “We had released the second album for Saetith and when it came back, he had taken credit for some of the stuff he hadn’t done, just like online it says that he was the sole recording member of Saetith. He tracked bass and some of the keyboards, but the rest of it – the guitars and all the vocals — was me and of course the drums were the drummer. So he kind of twisted it a little bit where it looked like he had recorded all the instruments.”
When I spoke to Scott this past Wednesday he had yet to see Jered’s first tweet since his elaborate scheme was uncovered. “I know him well enough that he’s going to try to turn this into it all being an elaborate hoax, and that he was the mastermind of that too. I know that’s what he’s going to pull.” He was 100% correct.
When Scott left Saetith, Jered retroactively deleted everything that had him on it. He wonders whether old fashioned brotherly jealousy may have played a factor in Jered’s inexplicable ploy: “I’m getting somewhere, finally, and I’m kind of breaking through and still have a long way to go, but a lot of the things that we had discussed as teenagers like ‘We want to go do this. We want to go do that,’ a lot of that I achieved and then some. If he’s watching from afar, like I said, I hate to be a contributing factor, but maybe he hit the panic button because I was getting somewhere he wasn’t.”
Scott tells me that there is no history of mental illness or criminal activity of any kind in his family. “We grew up not needing for anything, but we weren’t super well off or rich or anything either.” Jered’s recent machinations were his alone, borne of a desire to be the Next Big Thing.
Despite all that, Scott has a tremendous amount of respect for his brother as a musician. “I have to give him some credit; he got good real quick. He pushed me because I was going to be damned if my brother was going to be a better guitar player. So as we’re learning instruments and I’m teaching him things, I think that I got pretty good because I was trying to make sure that little shit couldn’t keep up with me. It just sucks because, honestly, there’s not many people I know that would sit down and be able to out-play him, especially on bass. He’s an insanely good bass player. He isn’t just good… I mean, for real. If he sat down and showed you what he could do, Victor Wooten kind of stuff… I just wish he put that much energy into doing it legitimately.”
Scott insists that his brother and his brother’s wife, Kelsey, do not live lavishly or outside their means, nor have they borrowed money from Scott or their parents. “As far as I know, they were just like everybody else just getting by. Nobody is bankrolling him or any of that stuff.” He points out that there are ways international touring bands can “get creative” in cutting costs while traveling such as bringing less gear and buying travel packages. I ask if it’s plausible that Jered had just socked away the money necessary to bankroll such an extensive endeavor bit by bit over time. “That’d be my guess,” he answers, “throw it on a credit card and figure it out later.”
Is there any chance that Scott and Jered could reconcile in the future? Yes, Scott insists, but his brother would need to be the one to initiate. “On my end, absolutely, yeah. I don’t hold a grudge for anything. I just want to make sure that I can make sure that I’m not tied to any of Jered’s stuff, but at the same time, I don’t want to make it worse for him or anybody.” Jered insists that he will welcome his brother back with open arms if Jered is ever willing to bury the hatchet and move on.
In the meantime, Scott isn’t letting the controversy surrounding his brother get him down, looking instead to the future of his own musical projects. “Antichrist has a South American tour coming up in March. Nevalra signed a record deal, actually I signed it today, and we’re going to announce that in the next two weeks, give or take. That band is going to drop an album, and I’m going to have tour dates stacked between both bands for all of 2019. I actually have a third project that I’ve been working on secretly in the background. I’ll just drop all that at once without telling anybody!” he enthuses. Clearly Scott is someone who works hard to succeed, and takes great pride in that. He only wishes the same for his brother.
By Vince Neilstein via MetalSucks