By Jim Schutze
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And what with the Dow dropping, Saddam's offing in the, well, offing and near-weekly announcements of imminent bio-terror apocalypse, The Avalanches' footloose-and-fancy-free fun is as necessary as ever. Thank goodness, then, that the band is setting sail for these beleaguered shores: Chater promises that The Avalanches' live shows offer the same ecstatic good time as the record, only more so.
"We like to think of it as a party," Chater says, "rather than a regular gig. We go out and play records for a couple hours before our 'set' starts, and it's not, like, a warm-up for the band. People know that it's just, like, a party that we happen to play live at.
"We do different kinds of shows, too," he continues. "Some primarily turntable-based, others where we actually play as a band, with instruments--which is what we all enjoy most, just lots of energy and it doesn't matter if it's messy, that's just part of it. Unfortunately, with six members and massive amounts of equipment, it's hard to get that on the road."
Alas, the full Avalanches crew will not be in the van alongside Chater and Fabay as they trek across America this summer (though Seltmann will be tagging along on his broken leg). But Chater vows that U.S. audiences won't be disappointed:
"The DJ shows have just gotten better and better," he asserts. "We did some dates in Australia recently, and there was such amazing energy--Dexter jumping up and down next to his turntables, you know...We get really excited, because we're just out there playing records we love, something different every night. It's not like some big scratch-a-thon. Actually, it felt more like a rock gig than anything else."