From the Sidelines to Front and Center
 More of this Feature
• Magneto: Part One
• Magneto: Part Two
• Magneto: Part Three
  Related Resources
• Quebec
• World Fusion
 Elsewhere on the Web
• The Magneto Page (official site)
• Rick Haworth . . . à la guitare (official site)
• Les Disques Audiogram

Magneto - Album Cover The names Rick Haworth, Mario Légaré, and Sylvain Clavette are not well known outside of Quebec. However, in that large Canadian province, these guys are some of the most sought-after sidemen for major musical acts like political singer-songwriter Paul Piché, Mexican fusion artist Lhasa de Sela, and Louisiana-by-way-of-Montreal Acadian performer Zachary Richard.

Together, Rick, Mario, and Sylvain come out from the sidelines and move front and center as the band Magneto. Released on the major Quebec independent label Les Disques Audiogram, known for signing both influential Quebecois musicians as well as experimental World Music albums, the band's self-titled debut contains 11 instrumental pieces featuring unusual soundscapes of bass, percussion, guitar, and a host of other instruments. The songs are laced with World influences and transcend boundaries of jazz, folk, pop, bluegrass, and techno.

The album came together over a process of four years, as guitarist and producer extraordinaire Rick Haworth hung out with musical friends Légaré, a bass player noted for his work in the 70's progressive rock band Octobre, and drummer Clavette in Clavette's home studio. "We could only get together every now and then," explains Rick from his home in Montreal. "We were all touring and doing other projects. It took basically about three years of serious recording. We did a quick demo for Audiogram and they accepted it. Literally a year passed and they kind of said to us, 'How's the album coming along?' Then we really buckled down, and it only took another three years to work on it," he adds, with a laugh.

Bring three of the busiest session players in the Montreal music industry definitely added to the delay. "It was just finding a day here and there. I think the most extended time we ever worked on it was about four days in a row."

The process of getting the songs together came about through jamming together. "There were just kind of made up in the studio. There wasn't actually any writing process at all," Haworth says. As a result, many of the album's songs have a free-flowing, improvisational feel. "For me, the whole thing was just approached as if we were just doing more demos. I never really thought, 'OK, now we're making the record.' None of us did - we were just goofing around."

Album cover courtesy of Les Disques Audiogram.

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