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

Rick Haworth When Audiogram started getting serious about putting out the album, the guys started buckling down and finishing up. The biggest challenge came when they actually had to pick a name for the band, which Haworth says was the "toughest thing in the whole project."

How Magneto got its name has become something of a legend to the band members. It become something of a joke, with several different stories in circulation. "The truth of it is, I wanted something that was the same word in both English and French just so it would translate. Mario came up with a list - he and his son went through the dictionary picking out names. In French, you'll call a tape recorder a magnetophone, or a magneto."

Haworth learned later on that the word also had other associations. For one, Magneto is a comic book character. "We found that out later. We also found out that in the 70's it was a Mexican boy band, kind of along the Menudo lines. I kind of liked that reference; I thought that was pretty cool too. People would mistake us for a Mexican boy band," he says, with a touch of sarcasm.

Until now, when asked by the press about the name, the guys would generally see how far they could pull the interviewer's leg. "At one point I told somebody from some newspaper that Magneto was a 17th century Prussian king that walked around with one bare foot. On CBC radio I told a woman that it was an Aztec god that had a sect that Mario was a priest in," he laughs. (While he got away with it in the first instance, the CBC reporter figured out he was putting her on.)

Guest artists Les Frères Diouf add a touch of Africa to the album. Two percussionists from Senegal, Haworth cannot talk highly enough about their work. "They are just amazing - they are phenomenal musicians, they are phenomenal singers, and they are also phenomenal human beings."

Middle Eastern and Indian influences also appear on the album. "I listen to a lot of music in general, and I do enjoy a lot of stuff from other countries. One of the beauties of touring with Lhasa [with whom Haworth has toured in Europe], World Music in France isn't nearly as marginal as it is here. The stores have huge World Music sections, and when you're doing festivals there's a lot of world music stuff around. I love Mexican music, I love African stuff. I love Arab stuff - the saz is a Turkish lute that isn't really Arab, but has a somewhat Eastern feel to it. A lot of stuff sneaks through."

Photo ©1997 Paula E. Kirman.

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