John Payne's first real group was a Hendrix-inspired one called Moonstone. He played with that band for ten years, but it never really paid the bills, so he turned to doing session work. His work in that capacity included appearances with such artists as Roger Daltry, Erasure, and Mike Oldfield. In 1991, Payne became the newest vocalist in Asia, replacing John Wetton. He has been the singer and frontman of the group ever since.