NEW YORK — Since the release of their self-produced four-song debut “Dirty Sweet EP,” Jet, the roaring rock band from Down Under, has been labeled the Australian version of Oasis, the saviors of rock ’n’ roll and the Rolling Stones reincarnated. Not bad for a band that was just another group of guys thrashing it out in Melbourne nightclubs before the manager of another Aussie success, the Vines, happened by.

On Oct. 7, their album “Get Born” hits shelves, and on Sunday, the hirsute quartet will jam at Mercury Lounge alongside Year of the Rabbit and Via Tania. But it was a gig alongside another band that marked the high point in Jet’s early career: Keith Richards personally picked the band to open for the Australian leg of the Rolling Stones’ “Forty Licks” tour this spring.

This story first appeared in the August 5, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“We grew up on the Stones,” says a jetlagged Chris Cester, just off a plane from Tokyo where Jet played the Fuji Rock Festival. “The best thing about the gig though was watching the Rolling Stones soundcheck in their tracksuit pants. Mick Jagger looked like an absolute geek. The stuff that no one gets to see is the stuff I love.”

At 21, drummer/vocalist Cester is the youngest of the group, which includes his brother, guitarist/vocalist Nic, guitarist Cameron Muncey and bass player Mark Wilson. Though the band has been playing together for seven years, the Stones experience left quite an impression.

“It was like we were royalty or something,” recalls Cester. “They have so much money and can afford to give you a good dressing room and all the alcohol you want. Two months later we were all sitting around saying, ‘F–k, we played with the Stones.’ It was just too much at the time for a bunch of dudes from Dingley.”

With the ever-growing buzz surrounding Jet, Cester and his bandmates are quickly adjusting to life as the Next Big Thing. They recently shot the video for their first single, “Are You Going to Be My Girl?” slated to hit Stateside this month.

“I had this vision of a small little warehouse scene, six people and a handheld camera,” says Cester, who describes their sound as primal. “I don’t know what the hell I was thinking. I walked into this huge warehouse and there were 100 people on the set, a cherry picker, a semitrailer and all this catering. It was really weird.”

Despite the pile of glowing reviews and predictions for greatness, Cester says the band is ignoring the hype and focusing on what they do best — making music. “You can’t really take any stock in that crap,” he says of the accolades. “If you start believing your own bullshit, your head is going to disappear over your own ass. Besides, no matter what we say or do, the media always say we’re crazy.”

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