For Australia’s Jet crafting radio-friendly rockers is second nature

Hailing from the humble hedgerows of Melbourne’s Dingley Village Australian rock ’n’ roll sensation Jet has rocketed to stardom since its 2003 inception easily surpassing all expectations in a relatively short period of time. The quartet of schoolmates exploded onto the scene with its ambitious blues-soaked pop-rock debut Get Born . Two sizzling singles “Are You Gonna Be My Girl?” and “Rollover DJ” would ultimately secure platinum status for the album in both Australia and the U.S.

Six years and three albums later Jet’s sleek lines surefire lyrics and ridiculously infectious hooks still prove to be the perfect fit with the beer-drinking blue-jean crowd especially here in Canada something lead guitarist Cameron Muncey is quick to attribute to this country’s thriving market for good old-fashioned rock ’n’ roll.

“We’ve always had really good support in Canada” Muncey says while ordering a pint of Guinness. “I think there are a lot more rock radio stations in Canada. I mean there are plenty in the States too but I get the sense that they are struggling to survive. I think people appreciate the fact that our music is honest it hasn’t been run through a lot of synthesizers or anything like that. We’re a guitar-based band who plays music that inspires us; we like strong melodies and big boisterous drum beats.”

Instant fame and fortune certainly has its advantages but the speed of Jet’s ascent also came with no small amount of pressure to equal or better their last attempt. Fortunately for the friendly foursome (also featuring bassist Mark Wilson singer-guitarist Nic Cester and his brother Chris on drums) their joint love of the craft and mutual respect for each others’ individuality keeps them in the right frame of mind to “Rip It Up” on demand. The band’s subsequent releases Shine On (2006) and Shaka Rock (August 2009) would see the band switch from Warner’s Atlantic record label to Britain’s EMI.

“We’re very democratic in how we go about putting our songs together” Muncey says of the group’s esthetic. “Nic wrote a lot on the first record but Chris has been doing a lot more recently. I get most of my writing done between tours right now. I’m a huge fan of Motown and I love to take catchy things from that era. Some of our melodies get into a pretty pop place but I think that’s about wanting to make the music breathe. It’s not necessarily bubblegum; it’s crystallizing a moment or a feeling instantly. If it happens to be something that’s catchy and marketable too that’s great. We like to experiment with things that take a while to ferment in people’s minds.”

Appealing to the masses seems to be second nature to the diminutive Aussie who’s a bit of a heartthrob in his own right. Although his well-frequented tour blog paints a rather lonely portrait of a young man sentenced to a perpetual twilight in casino hotels and who also desperately misses his wife and barber Muncey pledges that he is still happy to be where he is and doing what he loves. It helps that he gets to sing about his loved ones every night onstage.

“One of our new songs ‘She’s a Genius’ describes that amazing feeling when a guy is so surprised by a girl that he’s set back on his heels. It’s also about the first time I met my wife” he explains. “I was in a bar and I was quite drunk. I had only met her briefly once or twice before and we hadn’t spoken but there was a spark across the room. The next thing I knew she came up behind me and bit me on the neck! And for a moment I was like ‘Wow!’ Obviously it worked!”

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