I’ve never really been big on April Fools day to be honest. In the past, I’ve tended to shy away from pulling pranks on other people for fear of getting myself noticed or whatever.
Last night I received a message from the fellow I run Daily Dischord, one Liam Spencer, who said he was planning on a few April Fools jokes and asked me to think of some. I came up with the usual stuff – spoof interview from Robert Plant saying that Led Zeppelin were getting back together, Omar from The Mars Volta reforming At The Drive-In etc. Nothing drastic or anything but it seemed pretty pedestrian. So I gave up.
This morning I was awoken by a message on my phone asking me for other ideas as he’d just done a mock review of the Rebecca Black “smash hit” ‘Friday’ which I thought was pretty humours. In my half awake state, I thought it might be quite funny to have a news story talking about how Take That and Pendulum were teaming up for a new single. The result was rather…alarming.
At 11:39AM we received this email from Richard Dawes, Take That’s publicist:
Who knew that the contacts we work with for the site worked in the same circles as Take That’s management?
In reality, we didn’t expect many more than our regular readership to read our jokes, laugh, then move on with their lives. Loath were we for people to assume that we were just whoring for attention or whatever. Don’t get me wrong, we have a decent sized fanbase and readership, and we were delighted that a lot of people were digging it on facebook and twitter, sharing it with their friends.
It seems they shared it with some influential friends who were in remarkably good spirits. No lawsuits, just a friendly nudge. All seemed rosy.
At the same time, we also posted a few more articles. The first one that went “viral” as it were, was one regarding the Foo Fighters. Namely that Dave Grohl had fallen pregnant and decided to cancel all of the bands summer shows. We got rather a good reception to that one.
Alongside this we pulled the prank of saying that Timbaland would be producing the next Napalm Death record (this is my favourite, I think) which I thought was pretty good.
But the worst, or the best depending on how you look at it, was yet to come.
By 2pm today our hits for the week tripled. We’d received over 1500 brand new, completely unique visitors who had never heard of Daily Dischord before. Why?
Because we had come up with the best prank of all – Jared Leto was hospitalised and needed surgery to have his head removed from his ass.
Before we knew it twitter was on fire. We were getting tweets from fans who hated us, thought we were arseholes, figured we were jealous, were losers, as well as those who some how actually believed it and this was before America had even woken up yet.
By 4pm it’d had 300 likes on facebook.
When I came home at 9pm it now has over 400 and climbing and tweets just keep on coming.
So yeah, today has been pretty eventful on the April Fools front. This is the first time we’ve ever done something like this and apparently we’ve set the twitterverse alight. Ok, so we’ve retweeted a bunch of other tweets there and such like but the amount of abuse we’ve had is pretty spectacular.
I’m actually surprised at how useful and powerful a tool twitter is. Especially in the hands of obsessive fans.
But the most interesting thing? It’s the way these fans are reacting. Acting like they some how have a person connection to a man who will probably never know of their existence and are fans of a band that was started by an extremely rich, mediocre actor who wanted to pursue his passion for U2-esque pop rock drivel.
What I find most worrying is that a lot of people didn’t realise it was a joke, or will now hold a personal vendetta against us because they can’t take a joke or see the funny side of it.
Granted, it might seem like a pretty mean thing to say about the guy but I’m sure he’s been called a lot worse in his time. If a band get as far as touring and getting signed they are automatically opening themselves up for attack. We hold no vendetta against the band. We honestly couldn’t care less about them or their music. We’re not fans, but this is because we think the music is poor, not because the people in the band are dicks or whatever.