Guitar legend Steve Howe has been doing double duty in two bands – Yes and Asia – for years, ever since Asia reunited with the original lineup in 2006. But he’s decided to slow down a bit, and stick with Yes, along with his solo projects. In a statement, Howe announced that he is “retiring” from Asia: “Myself and the band wish to thank their fans for the enthusiasm shown during the original members’ reunion. I will continue with Yes, and with my trio and solo guitar work. I wish my friends continued success.”
The band’s official website says that they’ve replaced Howe with guitarist Sam Coulson, and that their first performance with him will be at the Sweden Rock 2013 festival. They also report that they will work on their first album with the new lineup, Valkyrie, this year.
Singer/bass player John Wetton said, “Asia is ready to take its next steps along this remarkable road. We cannot wait to perform again for the fans and also to unveil some of the new material, of which we are very proud”. Keyboardist Geoff Downes (who is still Howe’s bandmate in Yes) said, “We look forward to writing another chapter in Asia’s history”.
Meanwhile, Howe, Downes and Yes (featuring new singer Jon Davison) recently announced a spring tour, where they will be playing three albums in their entirety: 1971’s The Yes Album, 1972’s Close To The Edge and 1977’s Going For The One.
— Brian Ives, Radio.com