Asia [with John Payne], “Ghost in the Mirror” from Silent Nation (2004): One Track Mind

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A surging mid-tempo rocker, the Billy Sherwood co-written “Ghost in the Mirror” — and, really, all of the Silent Nation project — marked a turning point for this incarnation of Asia. The album, released on August 31, 2004, was John Payne’s last before long-time partner Geoff Downes left to rejoin with Asia’s original lineup, creating a schism that led to a legal battle over the band name.

Payne, who had spent some 14 years at that point leading Asia, would eventually claim the right to continue with his own version of the group. But, more importantly musically, tracks like “Ghost in the Mirro” solidified the tenure of guitarist Guthrie Govan.

He’d joined as a sideman on 2000’s Aura, then become an official member in time for Silent Nation. Govan would continue with the subsequently renamed “Asia Featuring John Payne” through 2009. He was also involved with Payne’s more recent project, Americana.

“We have remained the best of friends and I’m happy to see [Guthrie Govan] grow into one of the more revered players in the world,” John Payne tells us, in an exclusive Something Else! Sitdown.

“God bless the chap. He’s so talented, an all-around musical genius,” Payne adds. “I even had John Petrucci come up to me and say: ‘Are you still playing with that freak? He’s not human.’ Both he and [long-time Asia drummer] Jay [Schellen, who initially joined during the writing sessions for Silent Nation] are like brothers to me. None of us has had a cross word, and we work equally well together in the studio as in the bar drinking! Both guys only ever take one or two takes to nail their parts.”

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
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