Four years since the iconic Melbourne rockers split, it’s great to finally reach out to Chris Cester. Jet are playing their first shows in six years in February, yet the drummer first catches us up on just what life’s been like without the group.

“I have a band that I started with Jet’s touring keyboard player Louis Macklin, and this is pretty funny,” Cester begins. “When my last band DamnDogs broke up, he and I wanted to continue writing. But we had to change the name. So I texted Noel Gallagher and asked him if he had any ideas, and his first response was Mystic Knights of Amnesia,” Chris laughs. “That’s the mainstay, and anything new I write goes towards that.

“But I’ve been producing young singers and bands, and over the past few years done a couple things in TV. This guy Jason Hill’s (Louis XIV frontman) composing all the music for David Fincher’s new show (MINDHUNTER), so I’ve been collaborating on that with him. But mostly Mystic Knights of Amnesia.

“The plan is to get something out early next year, and it’s pretty off the wall. Anyone who’s expecting it to be like Jet is going to be surprised. Our first song is a mad piece of music that goes all over the place. It’s almost prog in a way but not rock.”

The four-piece kick off their headline shows at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo, and Cester confirms that the band start rehearsing in late January here at home.

“I can’t imagine it’s going to be anything but an awesome time, because it’s been six years since we’ve played any of those songs,” he contemplates eagerly. “They’re not super difficult, it’s more about getting your head in the right space rather than your chops up. None of us have stopped playing music, just Jet songs. It’s like flicking on a switch, and there are going be a lot of laughs. The hardest thing will be to stay on the task of getting it back together,” he chuckles, “rather than just being down at the pub and catching up.”

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Fun is certainly at the core, with the band unveiling no plans to permanently get back together and make records. Rather than the desire to catch up being a recent spur of the moment, Cester admits “I’ve been thinking that for a couple of years.”

“I really miss the live thing that we had, and it definitely took a while to get used to not doing that every day. So I wanted to for a long time, but I suppose Nic (Cester, vocalist) just hasn’t been in a place where he did too… I basically got a call from my manager saying ‘Hey don’t get excited, it’s not confirmed yet, but there’s a possibility that we could go on tour with Bruce Springsteen in February’. My first question was ‘Does Nic know about this?’ and to my surprise, he was into it.

“That was about a month ago, and I’d given up thinking that there was a possibility we might play a show again.”

That reality extends to joining Springsteen and main backing group The E Street Band in Melbourne, Hanging Rock and Hunter Valley. Cester starts thinking about US rock ‘n’ roll legends he’s previously toured with, and Oasis instantly springs to mind as an unforgettable one.

“We did two or three months with them in the States in like 2008. Oasis were one of my favourite bands, I wasn’t really a Nirvana fan. They were my heroes, and just to hang out with and see those mad legends play every day was really surreal in the beginning, but soon it felt normal… Noel hired a bunch of dwarves to carry in beers or a cake for his brother’s birthday at Red Rock in Colorado. Then just the crazy conversations with Liam (Gallagher)… He’s out of his mind, but in a good way.”

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Then the mood instantly shifts as the drummer considers the turbulent headspace Jet were in from sophomore effort Shine On. Their first two albums are being reissued this week on CD, vinyl and digitally, harking back to unprecedented success, relentless touring and internal fractures.

“There was a lot of emotional stuff surrounding the death of my father,” Cester says sombrely. “He was so young and it was so unexpected, and we didn’t really know what to do.”

“So we just put our foot on the gas in all ways, and went straight back into writing. Maybe that’s one thing I might do differently ” if I could go back in time. We might have decided to really go away and deal with that emotionally before we went back to work,” he confesses. “But the machine had already started rolling, so we just kept going, and that’s when cracks started to appear. When you don’t deal with something, it’s going to come out one way or the other, right?

“It didn’t feel like that at the time, only now. We felt like we were doing the right thing… My girlfriend said something really funny about a friend of ours, she was like, ‘You’re not even a real person when you’re 25’” Chris chuckles, “and that’s kind of true. You can operate anything, but if you don’t think a few steps ahead then the train is going to come off the tracks, and it certainly did for a minute.

“But it was a long time ago, and there’s definitely none of that left. Everybody’s just really excited to get back and play these shows without any of the weird bullshit.”

Hitting global success yet never making a record back home, losing sight of their roots certainly hung around the band. Reflecting on being Melbourne boys, Cester says with a laugh, “We were that, and then we became something else, and our egos probably changed proportionately. Or not. Maybe it just got a little too crazy.”

“It’s a fine line you have to walk, because you don’t forget where you came from, but you can’t pretend that you’re the same person. When people who you never thought would take you seriously are asking you questions, and you’re out making decisions affecting other people’s futures, that’s going to change you. You walk into a bar and someone’s flattering you or trying to tear you down… That’s going to change you, and it did.”

As he’s saying all of this, his six-year-old daughter tries to ask him a question, and laughing heartily Cester points out how much things really have transformed.

“I live here (in LA) and she has an American accent, and that just all happened somehow.”

As for personal milestones over his 10 years in Jet, they speak to Cester constantly improving as an artist, rather than music being a means to an end.

“I’ve put a lot of time into my studio and producing. Even when I wasn’t a real person in my early twenties (laughs), I was always fascinated by the process of making a record. I have achieved that now, and can make something on my own that is worth listening to. It’s not even that weird because these days that’s how all kids make music. But to me that was a big achievement, because when we started I didn’t know how to do anything except play the drums,” he laughs.

“I probably wouldn’t have been able to do it if the band hadn’t broken up. The last six years, I had to find something to fill the hole that not being in Jet had left behind. So in a funny way, it helped me get to that goal. It was time to add another arrow to the quiver.”

Catch Jet on their first headline shows in six years on the dates below, as well as on Bruce Springsteen’s Summer ’17 tour.


Thursday, 16th February 2017– SOLD OUT
Jet with Special Guests

Taronga Zoo, Mosman, NSW

Sunday, 19th February 2017
Jet with Special Guests

Taronga Zoo, Mosman, NSW

Tickets: Twilight At Taronga


Thursday, 2nd February 2017
AAMI Park, Melbourne, VIC
Tickets: Ticketek | 132 849

Saturday, 11th February 2017
Mt Macedon, Hanging Rock, VIC
Tickets: Ticketmaster | 136 100

Saturday, 18th February 2017
Hope Estate, Hunter Valley, NSW
Tickets: Ticketmaster | 136 100

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