Nic and Chris Cester of Jet
|Genres||Garage rock revival, hard rock, alternative rock, pop rock|
|Years active||2001 – present|
EMI Music Group
Jet (commonly typeset as JET) are a rock band from Melbourne, Australia composed of Cameron Muncey, Mark Wilson, and brothers Nic and Chris Cester. The group has sold 4 million records worldwide; with their debut album Get Born, released in 2003, accounting for about 3.5 million of that figure.
Brothers Nic Cester and Chris Cester grew up in Dingley Village, a suburb just out Melbourne, Victoria, listening to classic rock from the 1960s and 1970s such as The Who, AC/DC, The Easybeats, Faces, The Loved Ones and particularly The Rolling Stones and The Beatles; these were their father's records. In an interview for the documentary "Take It Or Leave It", which was on the band's Right! Right! Right! live DVD,
"It's always interpreted that our father had a great record collection, but that's not true. It was actually a really shit collection that Nic managed to find the gems in."
However, according to Nic, it was Australian band You Am I who had the biggest influence on Jet's developing musical tastes:
"Hi Fi Way was the most important album of my generation ... I think everyone our age, who played guitar, played You Am I songs for the first time in front of their school (St Bede's) assembly ... That was the record that made you realise you could be in an Australian band, you didn't have to be a gay band and you didn't have to be influenced by American bands. It changed everything."
They decided to form a band with Cameron Muncey, Nic's friend from school and with whom he had been in a band, and with bassist Doug Armstrong whom Nic and Chris met whilst working together at their Dad's spice factory.
During 2001 an old high school friend of Chris' joined the band on keyboard, and it was at this time that the band took their current name. They wanted a short name so when it shows up on festival advertisements, it's large and bold in print. "Radio Song", from their album Get Born, was written about the troubles that the band had getting recognition at this time. Jet got their big break when seminal Melbourne Punk rock band The Specimens took Jet under their wing and put them on as an opening act at The Duke of Windsor. This is where Dave Major first saw the band perform and went on to sign them to his management firm Majorbox.
The new band met Mark Wilson one night in 2002 at a concert and, despite already having a bass player, asked him to play with them. Wilson was then the bassist in a band called The Ca$inos, so he initially declined. However, a few days later he called the band and said he would like to join them instead.
In 2002 the band, consisting of its current members, released the Dirty Sweet EP, which drew its name from the T.Rex song "Bang a Gong (Get It On)". While the band only pressed 1,000 copies, there was such a demand that they pressed 1,000 more. The timing of this record coincided with the breakthrough of The Vines, meaning that international interest in Australian rock bands was high. NME obtained a copy of the single from Dirty Sweet, "Take It or Leave It", and praised it. Elektra Records offered the band a contract and re-released Dirty Sweet in 2003.
Jet entered the Sunset Sound Studios in Los Angeles with Dave Sardy to produce their debut album Get Born. Sardy had previously produced records for Marilyn Manson and The Dandy Warhols. They also enlisted the services of keyboard maestro Billy Preston for two of the songs. The album derived its name from a line in the Bob Dylan song "Subterranean Homesick Blues" from Bringing It All Back Home. Halfway through recording, the band received a call from The Rolling Stones offering them a support slot on the Australian leg of their 2003 tour. Jet played more than 200 shows in 2003.
Their singles "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" and "Rollover DJ" were voted number one and number nineteen respectively on the 2003 Triple J Hottest 100. "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" appeared on the soundtracks for the video games Madden NFL 2004, Guitar Hero: On Tour and Rock Band, the 2006 animated film Flushed Away, and the 2008 film What Happens in Vegas. It was also part of two major worldwide advertising campaigns for Apple's iPod and Vodafone. "Rollover DJ features on the soundtrack to PlayStation 2 game Gran Turismo 4. Get Born also includes the song "Timothy", dedicated to deceased brother of vocalist/guitarist Cameron Muncey, who died before Cameron was born. Due to the sensitive nature of the song, the band rarely plays "Timothy" live. 
In early 2004, Jet teamed up with The Vines and The Living End on "the Aussie invasion" tour of US cities. A new Jet song not included on Get Born, called "Hold On", was featured on the Spider-Man 2 soundtrack that year. TV/film producer J. J. Abrams - whose credits include Lost and Felicity - contacted Jet to record a song for the Season 4 premiere to his show Alias. "Cold Hard Bitch" from Get Born was used, and became the soundtrack to a frenetic scene of two CIA agents sprinting down a Hong Kong street, giving Jet further US exposure.
Later the same year, Jet received nominations for the annual Radio Music Awards, including 'Artist of the Year: Rock Radio', 'Artist of the Year: Rock Alternative Radio', and 'Song of the Year: Rock Radio' (for "Cold Hard Bitch"). Still in the U.S. Jet received the 32nd Annual American Music Awards nomination as 'Favorite Artist - Alternative Music', as well as three nominations for the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards, held in Miami in August. "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" was nominationed for Best Rock Video, Best New Artist and Best Editing in a video. Jet performed "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" live at the ceremony and picked up the award for Best Rock Video, dedicating the award to Chris and Nic's late father John Cester. Following their success in Miami, back home in Australia the band was nominated in seven categories at the 2004 ARIA (Australian Record Industry Association) Music Awards, receiving nominations in a stunning seven categories; 'Album of the Year', 'Single of the Year' (for "Are You Gonna Be My Girl"), 'Best Group', 'Best Rock Album', 'Breakthrough Artist - Album', 'Breakthrough Artist - Single' (for "Are You Gonna Be My Girl"), and 'Highest Selling Album'. At the awards ceremony on the 17 October 2004, Jet dominated the ceremony receiving six awards out of the seven nominations. Nic Cester also performed as part of supergroup The Wrights, featuring members of other Australian rock bands Spiderbait (Kram, drums), The Living End (Chris Cheney, guitar), Dallas Crane (Pat Bourke, bass) and You Am I/The Pictures (Davey Lane, guitar).
The debut single from the band's second album Shine On, titled "Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is", was released to radio on 7 August 2006. Shine On was released on 30 September 2006 (2 October in the UK, 3 October in the US) with a final track listing of 15 songs. It debuted at #3 on the Australian charts but failed to match the success of Get Born. Critical reaction to the album was mixed; British music magazine NME called the record "another joyfully old-fashioned rock'n'roll album immersed in the classics," while the American review site Pitchfork Media posted a totally anomalous review containing only a video clip of a chimpanzee urinating in its own mouth. The song also appeared on NME's compilation CD, NME: The Essential Bands - Festival Edition.
Jet played at the MTV Europe Awards in Copenhagen. It was their first live performance since Nic Cester's laryngitis halted their World Tour. In November 2006 they flew back to Australia to perform at the Make Poverty History Concert in Melbourne at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl; upon their return they also held a secret show on a barge floating on the Yarra River. The second singles from the album, "Bring It on Back" (in the UK) and "Rip It Up" (in Australia) were released in November 2006. The album also spawned an EP, the Shine On EP released December 2006.
The title track, "Shine On", was released on various dates in March 2007 around the world as the third single (second single in some countries). The song is a tribute to Nic and Chris Cester's father, who died from cancer in 2004. It was written by Nic Cester from the perspective of his father encouraging those who survive him to "shine on" Many songs on the album ("Come On Come On", "Bring It on Back", "Stand Up", "Holiday", "All You Have to Do") are primarily about overcoming adversity and challenge.
Jet headlined a series of shows during the Big Day Out festival in Australia and New Zealand, with opening acts Tool, Muse, The Killers, and My Chemical Romance. The band played their Rip It Up Oz tour in late May and June 2007, which was supported by Channel V. Also in 2007, they released a new song for the Spider-Man 3 soundtrack titled "Falling Star". In addition, their song "Rip It Up" appeared on the TMNT soundtrack. In August, the band was again asked to support The Rolling Stones on the European leg of their World Tour. Jet played multiple support slots for the Stones in both Spain and London's O2 Arena.
In October 2007, the band returned to Australia to perform at the AFL Grand Final and to finish the rest of their world tour. They announced on their website that they would begin production on their third studio album, due for a 2008 release. However in November, the band announced they would take "some time off". They stated that after touring for Shine On they needed some "down time". On the 24th October Chris and Mark produced a song, under the name "The Vice Lords" for the Japanese former duo Superfly titled "I Spy I Spy".
In a new video on their website, the band talks about writing and recording songs at Atlantic Sound Studios in New York City. Chris Cester joked: "We've got to stop writing; we got fucking too many songs." They have also collaborated with Iggy Pop to release a cover of the Johnny O'Keefe single "Wild One". Jet returned to Australia to play a secret show in Melbourne on 17 December to debut new material, including new songs titled "Goodbye Hollywood", "Walk", "Start The Show", "Black Hearts", "She's a Genius", "Seventeen", and "Beat On Repeat". Guitarist Cameron Muncey has particularly expressed that he "really, really loves the song 'Seventeen'." Says Cameron of the song, "I think is sort of a step forward for us songwriting-wise. It's sorta got everything wrapped into one, a storyline, and sad to say melancholy. It's rock and roll, it's rocking, it's got all these other albums to it, you know, so I find it really interesting.
Jet played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and the Sydney Cricket Ground on 14 March 2009 for Sound Relief, which was a multi-venue rock music concert in support of relief for the Victorian Bushfire Crisis. The event was held simultaneously with a concert at the Sydney Cricket Ground. All the proceeds from the Melbourne Concert went to the Red Cross Victorian Bushfire relief. Artists who appeared with Jet in Melbourne were, Augie March, Bliss n Eso with Paris Wells, Gabriella Cilmi, Hunters & Collectors, Jack Johnson, Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson with Troy Cassar-Daley, Kings of Leon, Liam Finn, Midnight Oil, Paul Kelly, Split Enz and Wolfmother. Half the proceeds from the Sydney concert went to the Victorian Bushfire relief and the other half for Queensland Flood relief. Appearing with Jet at the Sydney concert were Coldplay (performing an acoustic set), Eskimo Joe, Hoodoo Gurus, Icehouse, Josh Pyke, Little Birdy, The Presets, Wolfmother, You Am I and additional artists. Jet and Wolfmother were the only bands to perform at both venues.
Jet's song, "She's a Genius" from this album, appeared on a NCIS episode; Season 7 Episode 2 - "Reunion". In April 2009, a song titled "K.I.A (Killed in Action)" was made available to listen to on the bands official website. "Killed in Action" was the 5th most added song to radio in Australia. "She's a Genius" was the first single released from the album on June 19, 2009. The new album is titled Shaka Rock and was released in Australia on August 21, 2009.
"Black Hearts (On Fire)" was released as the second single from the album on November 2 with a music video filmed for the single. On November 8, She's a Genius was certified Gold by the Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) for selling more than 35,000 shipments. Furthermore, Jet has recently announced they will be supporting Green Day on their 2009 tour of Australia. Jet is featured on the album Shock Value II by American record producer Timbaland. The title of the song has been called "Timothy (Where Have You Been)".
The band have recently filmed a video for "Seventeen" which will be released as the third single from Shaka Rock in early 2010.
|Year||Album Details||Peak chart positions||Certifications
||1||26||AUS: 8× Platinum
|Year||Album Details||Peak chart positions|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart
or were not released in that territory.
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Album|
|US||US Alt.||US Main.||Canada|
|2003||"Are You Gonna Be My Girl"||20||23||29||3||7||—||Get Born|
|2004||"Look What You've Done"||12||28||37||3||33||—|
|"Are You Gonna Be My Girl" (re-issue)||—||16||—||—||—||—|
|"Cold Hard Bitch"||33||34||55||1||1||—|
|"Get Me Outta Here" (UK single)||—||37||—||—||—||—|
|2006||"Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is"||14||23||61||7||14||57||Shine On|
|"Bring It on Back"||—||51||—||—||—||—|
|"Rip It Up"||49||—||—||—||—||—|
|2008||"The Wild One"||66||—||—||—||—||—||Non-album single|
|2009||"She's a Genius"||20||124||—||18||18||59||Shaka Rock|
|"Black Hearts (On Fire)"||—||—||—||—||32||—|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.|
|2004||Right! Right! Right!
In May 2008, Jet released a video clip on YouTube paying tribute to the work of the late Fred Hollows. Lead singer Nic Cester says he wanted to highlight that Professor Hollow's work to restore sight to the cataract blind in developing countries was ongoing 15 years after his death. "Fred Hollows was such a big figure in Australia and he had a huge impact, but he passed away when there was still work to do," Cester said in a statement. "This clip is a bit of a reminder, hopefully it encourages people to make a donation to keep Fred's work going." The video tribute features Jet's hit song "Shine On" along with images compiled by The Fred Hollows Foundation.
In 2007, Jet signed a petition which called for an end to Canada's annual seal hunt..