Wednesday, October 24, 2007

RIP Raven (Killing Joke)

When I first started listening to guitar based music back at the tender age of 14 one band I discovered on my own was Killing Joke due to the single 'Love Like Blood'. This band's music is incredible and should be appreciated by all fans of alternative music. I don't know how exactly to classify their music. Some would say they were one of the first industrial bands yet others might consider them a punk or goth band. However classification isn't important although I do remember their records being shoved into alternative bins in local record shops. During the nineties they became known as the band that filed a lawsuit against Nirvana due to riffs from 'Come As You Are' resembling Killing Joke's song 'Eighties'. However the suit was dropped when Cobain shot himself. Killing Joke said something like the problem has gone after the suicide of Kurt Cobain. It seemed odd, given the past incident, that later Dave Grohl drummed on the band's excellent second self-titled album.

The death of Paul Raven comes as something of a shock as Killing Joke always seemed to one of those bands who would never die.

I found this report on the Punknews site.

Paul Raven, bassist behind influential post-punk/industrial outfit Killing Joke has died of an apparent heart attack.

Paul Raven began his career in The Neon Hearts, a 1977 punk band.

He was in Killing Joke, but this announcement is wrong that he was with them until 1991 -- he was with them on their 2003 2nd s/t LP and on Killing Joke's 2006 LP, Hosannas from the Basements of Hell. Paul Raven was also on Killing Joke's XXV Gathering DVD from 2005 showing a reunion appearance.

People are usually eager to say Killing Joke are some old band that broke up a long time ago; but they have put out two LPs in the last 4 years and Raven was on both those, two.

In other words, Paul raven's been involved with punk from at least 1977 til now.

The 46 year-old was the second bassist in Killing Joke and remained with the band until their first break up in 1991. After that, he performed with both Prong and Godflesh and later collaborated with Ministry for their 2006 full length, Rio Grande Blood.

Killing Joke keyboardist Rez Udhin told one media outlet:

Paul was a very amazing man who I loved and trusted very much. He always had great ideas, ventures and always looked out for me as if I were a little brother to him.

"I was very fortunate to be in contact with him several times in his last week and I had great conversations with him, we laughed and joked, which was an integral part of his personality. "Paul will be greatly missed by music fans, friends and mostly his family; his bands will miss him terribly. He was a great man and a unique bass player who has died at such a tragically early age.

Ministry's Al Jourgenson also commented:

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.

Our condolences to his friends and family.

Here is an '82 video of the Killing Joke song Wardance with Raven on bass.

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