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Carl Palmer on Asia’s future: ‘There are no plans to carry on as we speak’

Carl Palmer © Getty Images

Asia’s future is currently on the hold in the wake of John Wetton’s death, Carl Palmer has said.

Following John’s untimely death from cancer in January, Asia honoured their North American co-headline tour with Journey throughout the spring and summer with Billy Sherwood filling in. John himself had personally given Billy his blessing just weeks before his passing.

However, their scheduled four-date November 2017 UK tour with Foreigner, billed as a John Wetton tribute, was postponed in March. When the rescheduled dates were announced for May 2018, Asia were no longer on the bill.

Asked about the what the future holds for Asia by Billboard this week, Carl Palmer said: "There's nothing planned right now.

"I'm not saying it's not going to happen. It's a bit soon. There are no plans to carry on as we speak; That's not to say it won't happen, we just haven't had time to talk about it and how we'll do it."


Asia’s Sam Coulson, Carl Palmer, John Wetton and Geoff Downes in 2014 © Getty Images

Reflecting upon the Journey tour, Carl added: "We were very positive right up to the last three weeks of John's life; he really wanted to do the tour and thought he'd be able to.

"We explained to Journey that we couldn't do this because John had died, and Journey's management and agents came back and said, 'No, we want you. Get it sorted out.'

“So we used Billy - that was the one person John wanted us to use - and we had a phenomenal time. It was a great experience all around, and I'm pleased we did it. John would have loved to be on that tour, so I'm pleased we did it for him, anyway."

Carl also said he was completely unaware of any divisions within Journey on the 40-date jaunt. Guitarist Neal Schon has been alluding to fractures within the band on social media in recent weeks, particularly between himself and Jonathan Cain.

"It was not evident at all," Carl Palmer said. "They were incredibly professional... probably the most professional band I've ever toured with, and their crew was just phenomenal.

“And the standard they produced each night really got me thinking that if we were to carry on with Asia, we have to step up and get to the standard they have."

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