By Jim Schutze
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It's the day after Jet's last European show before heading to the States, and drummer Chris Cester is fulfilling his interview quota by cell phone from London. The Australian quartet is crossing the pond for a mini-tour advancing their sophomore CD, Shine On, due to be released in early October.
"It's fucking disastrous here!" he says, laughing amidst an audible cacophony of activity and voices. "Hold on a second, I've got to say goodbye to some people."
Jet's 2003 debut release, Get Born, spawned an impressive four singles ("Are You Gonna Be My Girl," "Cold Hard Bitch," "Look What You've Done" and "Rollover DJ"). The band--which also includes brother Nic Cester (lead vocals/guitar), Mark Wilson (bass) and Cameron Muncey (guitar)--does not disappoint with the follow-up.
Finished with his goodbyes, Cester comes back to the topic of Shine On. "The general idea was to take what we had with Get Born and just build on it but not overthink things too much," he says. "Songs are like little babies: You can listen to them, but you can't tell them what to be."
If that's the case, then the rugrats on Shine On are some tough kiddos. The music is fuller, richer and more commanding than Get Born, though admittedly not a giant step forward lyrically. Highlights include anthem-like, big-balls numbers "Stand Up," "Rip It Up" and the rocking first single "Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is."
Nic Cester has said that the songs on Get Born were written for pubs, while those on Shine On were written for stadiums. Chris clarifies that this statement is not ego-based. "When we were touring the first record, sometimes we'd have between four and 50 people in the audience." Then the group got asked to open for the Rolling Stones and Oasis, both of which draw considerably larger crowds. The experience gave the group a taste of life on the big stage, and they changed their music accordingly. "The music this time had to be more punchy, and it just started to expand. We are now trying to play to the back walls and not just the front rows."