It's been a tough few days for musicians as now another legendary recording artist is headed to that great big rock'n'roll party in the sky. Paul Raven, critically acclaimed bassist for Ministry and Killing Joke was found dead over the weekend in Geneva, Switzerland of an apparent heart attack. While details are sketchy, the death has been confirmed by his record label and publicist who issued this press release yesterday.
October 20, 2007 FRANCE - Ministry's bassist Paul Raven was found dead today in a private home in a small French village on the Swiss border. Initial reports indicate Raven's passing was due to a heart attack. Raven (known also for his work with Killing Joke, Prong) was in Geneva working with French recording artists Treponem Pal on their new release, with Marco Neves, Ted Parsons (Prong) and members of The Young Gods.
Born in Wolverhampton UK on January 16, 1961, Paul Vincent Raven established himself with his work in the seminal post-punk/industrial group 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. Throughout his extensive career, Raven participated in other collaborations including Prong, Murder, Inc., Pigface, Godflesh.
Most recently, Raven was nominated for a 2006 Grammy for Best Metal Performance for his work with Ministry's Al Jourgensen, with whom he had begun working with in late 2005 on the 13th Planet release Rio Grande Blood. After a 2006 World Tour with Ministry, Raven helped Jourgensen and Prong's Tommy Victor pen the September 18, 2006 Ministry release The Last Sucker, Ministry's final studio release.
States Jourgensen: "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.
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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."
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 www.thirteenthplanet.com