Sam Coulson Web Chat Feb 24, 1:00 PM EST

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Sam Coulson Web Chat Feb 24, 1:00 PM EST admin 2/24/13 9:48 AM
The web chat will be starting in 15 minutes. The Guestbook is currently locked to posts until after the chat. The email address to send your questions to will be announced at 1:00 PM.
Re: Sam Coulson Web Chat Feb 24, 1:00 PM EST admin 2/24/13 10:00 AM
The chat has started! Send your questions to and watch this space for his replies.
Re: Sam Coulson Web Chat Feb 24, 1:00 PM EST admin 2/24/13 10:11 AM
What was your original reaction to being asked to join Asia?

Thanks for the question.

I was thrilled to get the email through from John asking me to come down and meet with them. I love the music and I am very grateful to now be part of the band!
Re: Sam Coulson Web Chat Feb 24, 1:00 PM EST admin 2/24/13 10:15 AM
How did Asia "find" you after Steve Howe retired from the band?

The guys had a few favorites that they originally asked, one of those was Paul Gilbert.

Paul and I have been friends for a while and I was playing with him last year at The Great Guitar Escape in New York State.

So Paul put my name forward to take up guitar duties.

And of course when Paul told me I was over the moon!
Re: Sam Coulson Web Chat Feb 24, 1:00 PM EST admin 2/24/13 10:19 AM
Hey Sam, first of all welcome to my fav band AsiA.

Here we go: Other than HOTM, OTWT, etc..were you familiar with the Asia catalogue? What's your favourite Asia album?

Thanks so much for the welcome.

HOTM and OTWT are certainly the songs I was most familiar with before joining the band. I would say that the first album is my favourite at the moment...

But my favourites change all the time ;-)
Re: Sam Coulson Web Chat Feb 24, 1:00 PM EST admin 2/24/13 10:21 AM
Who has been your biggest influences as a guitarist?

I have a lot of big influences from a lot of different genres.

I am a big fan of Gary Moore, Walter Trout, Paul Gilbert, Michael Schenker, Guthrie Govan and Eric Johnson to name a few.
Re: Sam Coulson Web Chat Feb 24, 1:00 PM EST admin 2/24/13 10:23 AM
What would you say are for favourite tracks to learn so far?

At the moment my favourite track to play is Sole Survivor.

It's real hard hitting with lots of cool Steve Howe guitar licks.

It's been a joy to learn and a real thrill to rehearse with the guys!
Re: Sam Coulson Web Chat Feb 24, 1:00 PM EST admin 2/24/13 10:33 AM
I have been a livelong fan of Asia. I have to say I wasn't sure about the transition from Steve initially.  However, after watching the 'fly on the wall clip', I have to say that I was mighty impressed. As a guitarist myself, I was wondering since joining ASIA how has your life changed?

I know that my favourite album is ASIA one which is yours and why? . Have you always been a fan of Asia and how did you find out that you would be the replacement for the legendary guitarist, Steve Howe?

Who have been your guitar hero's and who do you look up to as an individual?

I know that you will be playing on the Rock Cruise soon, how do you feel about this gig, being your first ever with ASIA?

I wish you all the best, and will hopefully see you when you return to America!

Thanks for the questions! Glad that you enjoyed the video of rehearsal.

How has my life changed since joining? I've really enjoyed getting to know the band on a personal level. It feels fantastic to be part of a world renowned band and I am grateful for that. Apart from that my life hasn't changed a huge amount honestly. I still go about life as usual.

My favourite album at the moment is the debut. It has killer songs with lots of progy twists. Awesome stuff!

My favourite guitarists are Walter Trout, Paul Gilbert, Richie Faulkner and many others! I look up to those guys a lot for sure

The first gig I am doing with ASIA is in fact Sweden Rock... I am indeed very excited for my debut with the band.

Thanks for the questions, see you when we are state side!!
Re: Sam Coulson Web Chat Feb 24, 1:00 PM EST admin 2/24/13 10:36 AM
I am so glad to hear that you are part of Asia. I have checked out your YouTube Channel, and what a great inspiration to those who's dreams are to be in a world class band such as Asia. I have a couple questions below that, as an avid fan, I would love to know;

1.) What does it feel like to be part of the Asia?
2.) How do you feel about playing Steve Howe's solo's and do you feel any additional pressure?

Many thanks and I can't wait to see you guys at some point this year!

It feels great to now be part of ASIA as a fan of the band and the genre. I am eagerly looking forward to the live shows later this year.

Steve Howe is a fantastic and unique player! It's been a challenge to learn some of his licks. However the guys are very encouraging when it comes to stretching out with my own ideas in some solo sections which I am very pleased about.

Sure there is always pressure being the new guy in an established band but I feel pressure helps me bring my A game so to speak.
Re: Sam Coulson Web Chat Feb 24, 1:00 PM EST admin 2/24/13 10:38 AM
 Hey Sam, will you play the Steve Howe Solo's in the Asia Songs like Steve? For example "Time Again"???

For many of the solos (such as Time Again) I am keeping various themes of Steves original solos but embellishing some phrases with my own licks.

Thank you for the question!
Re: Sam Coulson Web Chat Feb 24, 1:00 PM EST admin 2/24/13 10:42 AM
Are going to play Howe's parts note for note live? I've observed for example, you added vibrato in OTWT. Is the band to sound heavier?

For the most part I will be playing Steve's parts but with my own character.

Steve Howe has a great classical style (vertical to the string) vibrato which sounds great!

My own method of vibrato has always been the sort of Eric Clapton approach moving the string more horizontally.

I feel that technical changes like this will give the band perhaps a heavier edge.
Re: Sam Coulson Web Chat Feb 24, 1:00 PM EST admin 2/24/13 10:44 AM
Have you watched the "Don't Cry" music video yet? If so, what do you think of it (both the video and the song)? I love both!

You know I'm not yet familiar with the video although I know the song very well indeed. It's a fantastic tune and I really enjoy playing it!
Re: Sam Coulson Web Chat Feb 24, 1:00 PM EST admin 2/24/13 10:50 AM

Hi Sam, I think it is fantastic to see you in Asia, really excited by this.  It was great to hear that the Asia unit was set to continue, and you are on board.
Given the very special heritage of guitar playing associated with Asia throughout the years, do you think you will replicate the original playing of the earlier tunes, or plan to refresh the playing with a tasteful touch of your own?
What music inspires you playing currently?  What has been your favourite non-Asia albums of the past year or so?
Best wishes for the future Sam, you playing is outstanding.
Can't wait to hear you guys live.

In regard to replicating the earlier tunes, I feel that the guitar parts will be the same but perhaps the way I play them will be slightly more to my own feel and technique, also my tone and choice of gear will lend to a slightly heavier edge. I am very much looking forward to putting my own touch on these songs at live shows.

My favourite album of 2012 was without a doubt Slash's Apocalyptic Love. I am a big Myles Kennedy fan and his soaring vocals mixed with Slash's guitar work made for an epic listening experience!

Thank you for your kind words and questions!

All the very best
Re: Sam Coulson Web Chat Feb 24, 1:00 PM EST admin 2/24/13 10:59 AM
Hi Sam from Japan.
I'm looking forward to seeing you in Japan concert.

My question.
I want to know your first impression of John, Geoff and Carl.

My first impressions of my new band mates have been fantastic. They have been most welcoming to me and it has been a joy to be in the company of musicians of there caliber.

Also we all hail from the same area of England so we have much in common in that regard.
Re: Sam Coulson Web Chat Feb 24, 1:00 PM EST admin 2/24/13 11:05 AM
Hi Sam, Congrats on joining the band. Other that Asisa's classic works, can you identify any other classic rock albums that are favorites of yours?

Many thanks for the congrats!

Favourite rock albums you say?

For me favourites change on a weekly basis when it comes to music.

Here's a few that I have been spinning recently...

Pride and Glory - Zakk Wylde
Appetite for destruction - Guns n Roses
Blizzard of Ozz - Ozzy Osbourne
Relentless - Walter Trout
Lean into it - Mr Big
Machine Head - Deep Purple
Re: Sam Coulson Web Chat Feb 24, 1:00 PM EST admin 2/24/13 11:06 AM
 I would also add my welcome to you to Asia as a long time fan. I too have been impressed with your you tube videos and wondered if you have any of your music available--downloads or cds, from your work pre-Asia? I also like Eric Johnson a lot and you remind me of him some. And Sole Survivor is my favorite song and love the power on Go as well. Looking forward to you blending your style with Asia and some new music. Anything in the works there? Thanks for taking time to chat!

I have some solo stuff I have done available via

Eric Johnson is certainly a big influence of mine, He has a wicked way of getting those blistering 2 note per string pentatonic runs. That is without a doubt a leaf I have taken from his book...

Go is another of my favourite songs, like Sole Survivor it has a great driving rock feel with a prog edge. Also Those two songs allow me to stretch out during the outro solos which I find most pleasing!

We are recording a new album later this year, indeed i am looking forward to putting my stamp on it guitarwise!

Thank you for the questions, most appreciated!
Re: Sam Coulson Web Chat Feb 24, 1:00 PM EST admin 2/24/13 11:12 AM
WELCOME to the /ASIA\ legacy! Not only do I want to welcome you to the band... but I also want you to feel a warm welcome from the appreciative /ASIA\ FANBASE too, sir.

MY QUESTION is 3-part... so if any of this has already been answered, please consider what hasn't...
1- Which ALBUM TRACK (non-hit single! LOL) from /ASIA\ do you look forward to performing live the MOST?
2- What song from the newest /ASIA\ album "X X X" do you look forward to playing live the most?
3- When /ASIA\ goes on tour for the upcoming VALKYRIE album... is there any experience you look forward to in my home state of FLORIDA??
Thank you for your time, Sam - and as much as the work of Steve Howe genuinely means to me: Your youtube videos make me very enthused about the vital potential of VALKYRIE!!

My favourite classic track to play live i would say at the moment is Sole Survivor...

From the latest ASIA offering XXX I am greatly anticipating playing  the song Face on the Bridge.

As for doing a Valkyrie tour I would very much enjoy playing some shows in your home state of Florida! I have had the pleasure of playing various parts of the USA previously but I have not yet been to Florida. Lord knows I could use some sunshine, It's pretty grey and wet here in England at the moment!

Thank you for the questions my friend!
Re: Sam Coulson Web Chat Feb 24, 1:00 PM EST admin 2/24/13 11:16 AM
I am so happy to see ASIA continue as I just think their music is so inspirational! However,are you going to write new material with the band? Also who are your biggest inspirations?

Can't wait to see you soon with John, Geoff and Carl on a stage near me!

I know that the big writing partnership in the band lies between John and Geoff as they both write predominantly on keyboard.

However I am looking forward to pitching some of my music to the band at a later date, we haven't yet discussed new material in any depth but I'm sure we will be in the coming months.