(From The Guardian, UK daily paper, 22 October 2007)
Ministry/Killing Joke's Paul Raven: R.I.P. 1961-2007
Paul Raven, Ministry bassist—also former bassist for Killing Joke and Prong—died this weekend in France. Initial reports are calling it a heart attack. Raven had been in Geneva, Switzerland, working with French band Treponem Pal on their new release with Marco Neves, Ted Parsons (Prong) and members of The Young Gods.
Born in Wolverhampton, England, on January 16, 1961, Paul Vincent Raven initially established himself with his work Killing Joke when, in 1982 he replaced the original bassist for the band, recording and touring with the group throughout its most commercially successful period, performing on Fire Dances, Night Time and Brighter than a Thousand Suns. Later Raven worked with Prong, Murder, Inc., Pigface, Godflesh, Society 1 and of course Ministry, who he hooked up with in 2005 for Rio Grande Blood.
Most recently, Raven was nominated for a 2006 Grammy for Best Metal Performance for his work with Ministry. After a 2006 World Tour with Ministry, Raven helped Al Jourgensen and Prong's Tommy Victor pen Ministry’s final studio album, 2006’s The Last Sucker.
In a statement, Jourgensen said, "I am in total shock. The world of music is a sadder, emptier place. Not only was Raven an extraordinary talent, but one of my closest dearest friends. Our condolences and prayers go to his immediate family. He will be truly missed by artists, musicians and his fans the world over. The one consolation is knowing Raven's already hooked up with the right people and started a new project in the After Life. God's speed, Raven. Rest in peace, you fucking pirate."
Matt, Zane, Society 1 frontman, added in a statement, "Paul Raven was the most stand up guy I ever had the pleasure to work with. The thing about Raven is that after working together he made an effort in the following years to stay in touch even if it was just to drop you a quick message to let you know he was keeping an eye on you. That was the coolest thing about him. He respected you and made it a point to let you know that. With everything he has done with his career he didn't have to stay in contact or even admit his involvement with me and my band but that's what separated him in my eyes from all the other musicians I've had dealings with over the years. I have the greatest respect for him. A great musician and a great person. I will truly miss him."
Raven's newest project, Mob Research, featuring members of Warrior Soul and The Mission UK, and schedule for release on 13th Planet Records in 2008, was in the final mixing and mastering phases at the time of Raven's sudden and unexpected passing. A memorial dedicated to the Life and Art of Paul Raven can be found at ThirteenthPlanet.com.