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Guitarist Steve Howe Quits Asia; Band Announce Replacement

Prog-rock legend Steve Howe has officially announced his departure from Asia, the supergroup he helped found with John Wetton (King Crimson, Uriah Heep), Geoff Downes (Yes, The Buggles) and Carl Palmer (Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Atomic Rooster).

Howe has stepped down from the group to focus on other projects, mainly Yes — who will be playing three of their classic albums live this year — and his own trio.

"Myself and the band wish to thank their fans for the enthusiasm shown during the original members' reunion," said Howe in an official statement. "I will continue with Yes, and with my trio and solo guitar work. I wish my friends continued success."

The band regrouped last year to celebrate their 30th anniversary, recording a new album, XXX, and touring extensively.

The remaining members of Asia have decided to continue on without Howe and have announced that guitarist Sam Coulson will join the band for upcoming live dates, including Sweden Rock 2013.

"Asia is ready to take its next steps along this remarkable road," Wetton said. "We cannot wait to perform again for the fans and also to unveil some of the new material, of which we are very proud."

The band are expected to hit the studio sometime this year to record another new album, tentatively titled Valkyrie.