Daily Archives: March 26, 2014
This whole “Marvel NOW!” thing has got a bit of a buzz going on, doesn’t it? I mean, as Marvel Comics’ answer to DC Comics’ “New 52” re-launch a few years back, it’s got longer legs, for one, and, arguable, more long-standing enthusiasm from readers for another.
Instead of re-starting all of their publishing titles with brand new #1’s on their covers in one go like DC did, Marvel has slow-played their marketing scheme, launching new titles or highlighting existing titles with great storyline jumping on points, as a “Marvel NOW!” issue. It’s been enticing, exciting, fresh, and, unlike today’s “New 52” which doesn’t feel so “new” anymore, “NOW!” is still, well, now!
And now (pardon me!), Marvel finally brings us to the edges of the cosmos: “anywhere and everywhere – hang on!” we’re told, with the new Marvel NOW! Silver Surfer monthly series!
Progressive rock giants Yes are currently touring across Canada with their 3 album tour, playing their classics Close To The Edge, Going For The One and The Yes Album (in that order). Reviews have been stellar, and the band is on fire (you can read my review of last year’s Toronto show here). In the meantime, the group have announced a summer tour of the U.S. along with their new album, Heaven and Earth, the first to feature new vocalist Jon Davison and second in a row to include keyboardist Geoff Downes.
Downes has got to be one of the hardest working men in music today. Along with his commitment to Yes, he and his colleagues in Asia have just release their new album, Gravitas, a memorable collection of songs that once again highlight the special songwriting tandem of Downes and bassist John Wetton. Geoff was kind enough to talk to us via email about Asia, Gravitas, being on the road with Yes and much more.
Andy Burns: Thanks for taking the time to talk to Biff Bam Pop again, Geoff! 2014 is already shaping up to be a big year for you – the new Asia album Gravitas is about to drop, you’re continuing the Yes Three Album tour, and there’s a new Yes album in the pipe. First question – how do you manage your time?
Geoff Downes: This year is particularly hectic, and it’s a credit to the management teams of both Yes & Asia for managing my time in this regard. Despite the tough schedule, it’s really exciting for me to have the two albums coming out, and of course performing on the tours as well. I think I can adapt to each band fairly quickly, but this year will certainly raise a few challenges.
Andy Burns: The new Asia album, Gravitas, is big and bold and confident, which is great considering you have a new, young guitarist in the band. How did you discover Sam Coulson?
Geoff Downes: I think it’s a very strong album, and both John & myself are really pleased with the way our compositions turned out. It’s always something of an unknown area when we start writing an album, but eventually the bits all start to fall into place. Having Sam (who was recommended to us) on board has also helped really bring the project to life.