(From the MTV News, 21 October 2007)
Ministry Bassist Paul Raven Dies of Heart Attack
Industrial metal veteran Paul Raven,
who played bass with Ministry, Killing Joke, Prong and others, was found
dead on October 20 in a private home in a small French village on the Swiss
border. He was 46.
Raven, who co-wrote and played on the new Ministry album, The Last Sucker, is believed to have died of a heart attack. He had flown to Geneva to work with French band Treponem Pal on the groupís first album since 1997ís Higher. Drummer Ted Parsons (ex-Prong, Swans) and members of the Young Gods were also working on the project.
On his MySpace page, Parsons wrote that the day before Ravenís body was discovered, the musicians had spent all day recording, then gone out for drinks to celebrate the bassistís arrival. ďI found Raven asleep in a chair the next morning in the living room. I thought nothing of it, as Raven would sleep like this on the tour bus in the front lounge all the time,Ē wrote Parsons. ďThen I looked closer at him and he looked very gray. I checked his pulse and there was none. I yelled for the other guys in the band. We immediately did some CPR and called for an ambulance. Medics arrived quickly but after an hour of trying to get his heart beat back they could not save him. They said he died in his sleep probably around 6 a.m. It was then 9:30 a.m.Ē
Paul Vincent Raven was born in Wolverhampton, England on January 16, 1961. He played in Neon Hearts and Kitsch before replacing Youth in Killing Joke in 1982. He played with the band through its most successful era, performing on 1983ís Fire Dances, 1986ís Night Time and 1986ís Brighter Than a Thousand Suns. The band broke up in 1988, but returned with Raven two years later for their reunion disc, Extremities, Dirt and Various Repressed Emotions. However, internal tensions soon resurfaced, and Raven quit the band to form Murder, Inc. He also contributed to the industrial supergroup Pigface and joined Prong, playing on their 1994 disc Cleansing and 1996ís Rude Awakening.
When Prong broke up, Raven worked as a producer and remixer and played with Godflesh before rejoining Killing Joke for their 2003ís self-titled album and its follow-up Hosannas From The Basements Of Hell. In 2005, Raven worked with Ministry on their 2006 album, Rio Grande Blood, for which he and his bandmates received Grammy nominations for Best Metal Performance. Raven toured Europe and North America with Ministry to support the album, then returned to the studio with Ministry frontman Al Jourgensen and Prong guitarist and singer Tommy Victor to write The Last Sucker, which came out September 18.
Ravenís last fully recorded project was an album by a band called Mob Research, which also featured members of Warrior Soul and The Mission UK. The bandís debut, which was in the final mixing and mastering stages at the time of Ravenís death, is scheduled for release in 2008 on Jourgensenís 13th Planet Records.
ďI am in total shock [about Ravenís death],Ē Jourgensen said in a statement. ďThe 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.Ē
A memorial to the Life and Art of Paul Raven can be found at www.thirteenthplanet.com.