Click here to listen again to the interview:
The musical soundtrack to my 80s teenage years included several timeless powerpop classics such as Asia’s Heat Of The Moment, which for one hot summer was everywhere, no matter where you were. Hard to imagine that thirty years later I’d be in the espresso bar of the Tate Modern with Asia’s lead singer, chatting about the band over a cheap coffee in a cardboard cup while overlooking the Thames. This must be why I love my job so much.
This supergroup, formed from the remnants of bands such as King Crimson, Yes and the Buggles, certainly hit the ground running with their eponymous debut album, which was the biggest selling album IN THE WORLD in 1982, mainly thanks to shifting 10 million copies in the States. Although their members had prog leanings, the new radio-friendly songs made such an impact on the US psyche that even today programmes like South Park can find time to feature it in a mostly-non-ironic way:
Asia have been going strong for several years and have just released their 14th album, Gravitas, to critical acclaim. I had the privilege of chatting to lead singer and bass player John Wetton, who despite being a rock superstar was also a thoroughly nice bloke. Click at the top of the page to hear it all again.
Asia will be touring the UK later this year but if you can’t wait, Gravitas is out now from all good internet and non-internet record shops. You can keep up to date with the band at their official website, Facebook or Twitter pages.