Avalanching into ARIA history

THREE Maryborough musicians took their final steps to stardom last night, taking out four awards as part of The Avalanches at the Australian Record Industry Association night of nights.

The band, which includes former Maryborough students Gordon McQuilten, Tony Diblasi and Robbie Charter, was nominated in nine categories and took out awards for best new artist for both the album, Since I Left You, and the single, Frontier Psychiatrist, as well as the best dance artist award.

Bobbydazzler, the name used by two members of the band, was last month announced by ARIA as producer of the year.

Gordon's mother Rosa said the band had no expectations going into the awards.

''They (the band) were playing it very low key, it's all in a day's work for them,'' she said.

Rosa and husband John - MLC for Ballarat Province - have become ``groupies'', watching their son and his friends become international stars.

Mr McQuilten said it was indicative of what country children could achieve, no matter what the barriers were.

The unassuming group - including Robbie, Dex, Tony, James, Peter and Gordy - let their frontman, Darren Seltmann, do the talking at the ceremony.

Seltmann said the fame came a distant second to making music, but it was a part of the business that could not be avoided.

''We're naturally driven to work and not really feel famous - that's not really one of the dreams behind making music, we do this for the album,'' he told reporters.

''You would be stupid to say it's a bad thing _ there's nothing worse than seeing people complain about fame. We don't feel famous and we certainly don't dress famous.''

He said the worldwide response to Since I Left You ''all has been quite amazing''.

''The timing is right; in a lot of ways, it feels like this album has had a really charmed sort of existence,'' he said.

The band was due to perform live at the ARIAs, but cancelled because Seltmann's broken ankle had not healed.

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