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Jet vocalist reveals he auditioned for AC/DC after Johnson was out

Photos from Chiara Fossati and AC/DC's social media

Classic Rock

Jet vocalist reveals he auditioned for AC/DC after Johnson was out

The singer and guitarist Nic Cester was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1979 and started his musical career in 2001 when he helped to form the band Jet which two years later released their debut album. Called “Get Born”, the record had their biggest hit “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” which performed well in the charts all over the world. Although the band has been active on and off over the decades, they only released two more albums: “Shine On” (2006) and “Shaka Rock” (2009).


In an interview with Triple M (Transcribed by Consequence), the musician revealed that he was invited to audition for AC/DC back in 2016 when Brian Johnson had to leave the band due to hearing problems. According to him, he flew to Atlanta, Georgia and spent two days jamming with AC/DC at the Black Crowes rehearsing studio.

Jet vocalist reveals he auditioned for AC/DC after Johnson was out

“I spent two days as their singer, unofficially. I had been living overseas for a long time and I’d come back to visit my family and staying with my in-laws. (Then) I got up in the morning and read the paper, and it said (Brian Johnson) was not in the band anymore. I remember saying to my father-in-law, ‘Holy shit, you would not want to step into those shoes’. Literally 20 minutes later my phone rang and they’re saying, ‘Would you be interested to going to Atlanta, Georgia to audition to potentially fill in for this next round of dates they’ve got.'”

“(So) I was just like, ‘Oh my God… I think I’ll say yes for the life experience’ but I wasn’t expecting to get the gig, to be honest. They were in the Black Crowes’ rehearsal studio, and it was a tiny place. But they were set up there with the enormous backline. I remember watching AC/DC and thinking, ‘There’s no way all of those amps are on.’ Let me tell you, they were all fucking on! It was the loudest thing I’d ever heard in my entire life.”

He continued:

Angus put me through my paces. Everything was a test to see how I’d handle it. The volume and him going, ‘OK, let’s do this song.’ I didn’t know [some of them] off the top of my head. So he’d just go, ‘Go over there and learn it’. The whole band would be waiting there for ten minutes. I’m just going, ‘Oh fuck.’ It was pretty intense. But I realize now Angus was a super professional guy. He wanted to push me to my absolute limit to see how I would react.”

“It’s a very unusual way of singing. And someone told me, ‘You’re making the mistake of thinking (Johnson is) pushing out an enormous amount of volume, which is how I sing. But he’s not, he’s whispering directly into a microphone with this enormous volume behind him. So it sounds like the loudest thing in the world but it’s not at all. He’s barely pushing out,” Nic Cester said.

Jet vocalist curiously covered “Back In Black” in 2010 with the British group Muse at the Big Day Out festival which happened in Australia. Maybe it was something that made AC/DC recall his name when they were looking for a new singer to help them to play the final shows of the “Rock Or Bust” tour.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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