Reunited Asia Readies New Album, Tour
Asia has wrapped recording on its next album, "Phoenix" -- due out in April and the first to feature the group's original all-star lineup since "Alpha" in 1983.Asia has wrapped recording on its next album, "Phoenix" -- due out in April and the first to feature the group's original all-star lineup since "Alpha" in 1983.
"The album's pretty adult," drummer Carl Palmer reports to Billboard.com. "It's not super proggy. Melody-wise it's unbelievably strong. We're not trying to say how great we are as players; this is, 'Look, this is how great we sound as a band.' I would like it to be a little more aggressive, but Asia isn't an aggressive band except for that first album (1982's 'Asia'), which had stuff like 'Time Again' and 'Wildest Dreams.' There's nothing quite like that here, but it's got many other facets to it."
Palmer says Asia -- which also includes Yes guitarist Steve Howe, former Buggles and Yes keyboardist Geoff Downes and well-credentialed singer-bassist John Wetton -- produced the 64-minute, 12-track effort itself. Wetton, who underwent heart surgery in August, wrote the lyrics, which Palmer -- who's having angioplasty of his own next week in Britain -- says are "quite somber ... and obviously quite introspective. It's all about what's been going on in his life over the past few years."
Asia plans to hit the road on March 1 in the U.K. before coming to North America in early April and then hit Japan and Europe in May. Palmer plans to tour Europe with his own band in the summer and possibly play a few U.S. dates.
His previous band, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, will be remembered with the April 8 release of "Come and See the Show: The Best of Emerson, Lake & Palmer," a 14-track single-disc collection that's part of Shout! Factory's continuing reissue series of the band's material. But Palmer, who plays lots of ELP material with his band, says reunion of the trio is unlikely.
"We've had some talks," he says, "but I don't really see the reason to do anything unless it was absolutely something one couldn't turn down on a financial basis, to be honest with you. I don't think it would be just money driven; people would have to want to do it, anyway. If it happens naturally, without too much confusion or too much bother, then, yes, I think it would be a great idea. But it's not something which I try to provoke."