Paul Raven (musician)

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Paul Raven
Birth namePaul Vincent Raven
Born(1961-01-16)16 January 1961
Wolverhampton, England
Died20 October 2007(2007-10-20) (aged 46)
Geneva, Switzerland[1]
  • Bass
Years active1980–2007
Associated acts

Paul Vincent Raven (16 January 1961 – 20 October 2007)[1] was an English bassist best known for his work in the post-punk group Killing Joke. He later played in the industrial music bands Prong, Ministry, and Zilch.


Raven was born on 16 January 1961 in Wolverhampton, Staffordshire. He was the son of folk musician Jon Raven, and nephew of author Michael Raven.[4] His early musical career included stints in Neon Hearts, who released three singles from 1977–1979 and the album Popular Music in 1979, and the short-lived 1982 glam rock band, Kitsch, which also included Rook Randle and Tyla, before he would go on to larger success with his band, Dogs D'Amour. In the summer of 1980 he played bass with the also short-lived Tony McPhee's Turbo. The band played a few gigs and recorded a three-track session for Capitol Radio. Turbo included Clive Brooks, the drummer with Tony McPhee's band the Groundhogs (1972–1975).

Raven's big break came when he replaced original Killing Joke bassist Youth in mid-1982, just in time for the North American tour documented on the Ha! live EP and also in the photo book 'Land Of Milk & Honey' which features previously unreleased photos by Tony Mottram (released January 2021). He was with the group through its most commercially successful period, appearing on the Fire Dances, Night Time and Brighter than a Thousand Suns albums, before leaving during the recording of 1988's Outside the Gate, rejoining in time for 1990's Extremities, Dirt & Various Repressed Emotions.

After touring in support of this album, Killing Joke split up, with all members except lead vocalist Jaz Coleman going on to form Murder, Inc. in 1991, adding vocalist Chris Connelly.[5] During this time, Raven also participated in Pigface, a project conceived by drummer Martin Atkins, which operated with a fluid change of differing musicians in their lineup.

Killing Joke reformed in 1992, but it was with original bassist Youth back in the fold. Raven next joined Prong, appearing on their Cleansing and Rude Awakening albums. After leaving Prong in 1996, he began a career as a producer and remixer and also played with the group Zilch, along with hide, Joey Castillo and Ray McVeigh.

In 2002, Raven had been brought on for a Godflesh two-month tour of the United States, but the band disbanded just before departing.[6] In 2003, Raven played bass on Exit Through Fear with Society 1 and performed on the subsequent tour for the album. He later left Society 1, rejoining Killing Joke for their 2003 release, Killing Joke (their second album by that name), and its follow up, Hosannas from the Basements of Hell. In 2005, Raven began working with Al Jourgensen of Ministry for their album Rio Grande Blood. In 2006, Raven completed a European and American tour with Ministry. In 2007, Raven wrote and recorded on Ministry's next studio album The Last Sucker and also began work together with Mark Gemini Thwaite (of The Mission and Peter Murphy's band) on a new project called Mob Research. Warrior Soul frontman Kory Clarke and ex-Queens of the Stone Age (and later Peter Murphy) drummer Nick Lucero completed the line-up.[7]

Raven died of a heart attack in his sleep on 20 October 2007 in Geneva, Switzerland, where he was recording with Treponem Pal vocalist Marco Neves.[8][9]


Year Act Album
1979 Neon Hearts Popular Music
1982 Kitsch
Killing Joke
1983 Fire Dances
1985 Night Time
1986 Brighter than a Thousand Suns
1990 Extremities, Dirt & Various Repressed Emotions
1990 Pigface Lean Juicy Pork
1991 Welcome to Mexico... Asshole
Murder, Inc.
1992 Corpuscle EP
Murder, Inc.
Pigface Fook
1994 Prong Cleansing
1995 Raggadeath The Family Worship EP
Why Ask Why
1996 Prong Rude Awakening
1996 Zilch
1998 3.2.1.
2001 Econoline Crush Brand New History [10]
2002 Godflesh[note 1][6]
2003 Society 1 Exit Through Fear
Killing Joke Killing Joke
2005 Ministry
2006 Killing Joke Hosannas from the Basements of Hell
Ministry Rio Grande Blood
Treponem Pal
2007 16volt FullBlackHabit
Ministry The Last Sucker
2008 Treponem Pal Weird Machine
2009 Mob Research Holy City Zoo


  1. ^ Godflesh disbanded in 2002 when Broadrick suffered a nervous breakdown just before departing for a tour of the U.S. Raven had been hired as a sideman, and accompanist during the two-month tour.


  1. ^ a b "Killing Joke bassist Raven dies". BBC News. 22 October 2007. Retrieved 24 October 2007.
  2. ^ Abrahams, Ian (20 November 2007). "Obituary: Paul Raven". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  3. ^ Harper, Jim. "Paul Raven". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  4. ^ "Oscar hope for music of star Raven". Express and Star. Wolverhampton, England: Midland News Association. 8 February 2010. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
  5. ^ Harris, Chris (21 October 2007). "Ministry / Killing Joke Bassist Paul Raven Dead At 46". Viacom International. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  6. ^ a b Wiederhorn, Jon (1 May 2002). "Godflesh Singer Suffers Breakdown, Breaks Up Band". Retrieved 20 October 2009.
  7. ^ "Holy City Zoo". Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 16 April 2009.
  8. ^ Brandle, Lars (22 October 2007). "Killing Joke/Ministry Bassist Paul Raven Dies". Billboard. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  9. ^ Raven, Paul (2007). "Interview: Paul Raven of Ministry". Interviewed by Cooper, Ryan. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  10. ^ "Econoline Crush - Brand New History (2001, CD)". Retrieved 6 May 2020.


Further reading:

  • Hämäläinen, Jyrki "Spider" (2020). Killing Joke: Are You Receiving?. Milton Keynes: New Haven Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-1912587407.