John Payne became the frontman of the supergroup ASIA in 1992 at the invitation of keyboardist Geoff Downes, replacing vocalist/bassist John Wetton. With John Payne fronting the band, ASIA released 8 stunning studio albums, several live albums, a live DVD and toured the world extensively for 14 years.
In 2006, Geoff Downes left the band to reform the 1982 line up for their 25th anniversary. On the 9th of May 2006, John Payne, Geoff Downes, John Wetton, Carl Palmer and Steve Howe contractually agreed that John Payne would continue his 14 year legacy with ASIA as “ASIA Featuring John Payne”.
ASIA Featuring John Payne have been touring in North America since 2008. In 2009 the band released an EP entitled “Military Man”. A new studio album entitled “Americana” is planned for release in 2011.
The ASIA Featuring John Payne logo was designed by John Payne and rendered by Tracy McCrite.
ASIA Featuring John Payne is:
John Payne (lead vocals, bass)
Erik Norlander (keyboards, backing vocals)
Mitch Perry (guitars, backing vocals)
Jay Schellen (drums, backing vocals)
JOHN PAYNE – Vocals, Bass
Vocalist/bassist, guitarist, recording engineer, songwriter and producer John Payne fronted ASIA for 14 years replacing John Wetton in 1992. Eight studio albums, a live DVD and 6 live albums followed including extensive world touring and recording with the band. In 2006, John formed “ASIA Featuring John Payne” and continues to perform and record in this configuration. Previous to ASIA, John sang with Roger Daltrey, CCCP, ELO Part 2 and more recently GPS, Lisa Larue and Lunatica. He has done work for film, TV and stage, including playing the Parson in Jeff Wayne’s The War Of The Worlds stadium tour.
photo by Josh Krause
ERIK NORLANDER – Keyboards
Keyboardist Erik Norlander joined ASIA Featuring John Payne in November of 2007. Erik’s evocative synthesizer technique is reminiscent of the legendary Rick Wakeman, Keith Emerson and Jon Lord while still very unique made him an obvious choice for the band. A diligent collector of vintage analog synths and a designer of modern digital instruments enables Erik to use the best of both worlds. He is key supporter of the Bob Moog Foundation. His works include over 25 releases with wife Lana Lane, groups Rocket Scientists and Galactic Collective and solo titles.
photo by Neal Hamilton
JAY SCHELLEN – Drums
Drummer Jay Schellen joined as ASIA’s drummer in 2005, toured in Europe with the band and recorded the album ASIA Featuring John Payne EXTENDED VERSIONS for Sony in 2006 when he remained with ASIA Featuring John Payne.
Before joining ASIA, Jay played drums for Hurricane, Unruly Child, Badfinger and Conspiracy with Chris Squire from Yes. Jay also records and gigs with CIRCA: featuring former Yes members Billy Sherwood and Tony Kaye. Along with John Payne, Jay is a founding member of GPS.
photo by Mark Waterbury
MITCH PERRY – Guitar
Guitarist Mitch Perry joined ASIA Featuring John Payne for the 2009 summer tour. Gold records, sold out concert tours, MTV video and network TV appearances, numerous magazine features and recognition in the form of several guitar awards, over the last 25 years Mitch Perry has accomplished all of the above in a career working alongside some of the most renowned and popular musicians in the world. Mitch’s discography and touring experience reads like a who’s who of rock ranging from Aerosmith to Michael Schenker Group to Cher and Edgar Winter. His performances both live and in the studio show him to be a truly world class guitarist.