Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Paul Raven

For people who haven’t been keeping up since the beginning, the world of industrial music is a convoluted, incestuous mess. If you were to look at a list of the lineups of any 10 industrial bands, you’d see that they shared all the same members in some shape or form.

The biggest part of industrial music was spawned out of Chicago, surround Wax Trax and Invisible records. These guys are bunch of like-minded people, all who have become underappreciated music legends.

One of those legends was Paul Raven.

Raven has played in sooooo many of the industrial heavy-hitters, it gets hard to keep track. His big start was with Killing Joke, but he also had a hand in Prong, Ministry, Godflesh, Murder Inc., Pigface… the list goes on.

To be sure, my first exposure to Raven was with Killing Joke's “Money is Not Our God”, which came out when I was in high school.

I got to interview Raven for my Web site a few weeks ago . It was an amazing phone call, we just chatted forever, about all the old great names in industrial music, who was what, etc. He even gave me his cell phone with a promise to connect when he was in Detroit with Ministry next year.

I think you see where this is going.

Shortly after I put the interview up on my site (two days later), I got an email from his PR Agent. Raven died of a heart attack in Geneva, where he was working on recording a project with Mob Research.

It was kind of stupefying news.

I was reminded of one thing we’d talked about in the interview. We had talked about William Tucker. Tucker was another one of the incestuous network of industrial musicians. We saw him in Grand Rapids playing an acoustic show with Chris Connelly, and TFN had hung out with him at Pigface shows. He was a stellar guy, who committed suicide shortly after the Reptile House.

When Tucker died, he and Raven had been working on a project together called Sons of Domination. According to Raven, a few of those songs were completed. I hope they get released someday.

Here’s one with William Tucker (and yes, that’s the same drummer in the striped shirt as was in the first video with Raven – this is the incestuous network I’m talking about).

During the interview, Raven said this about Tucker: “God bless that fucker. That’s all.”

I think that could apply to both of them.

Rest in peace, man. It’s a shame I never got to have that drink with you, but I hope you know I thought you were awesome.

If you’re in the mood, here’s one more with Raven. It’s Murder Inc., which features Chris Connelly, who was the person playing with William Tucker when I saw him, and Martin Atkins, the drummer from both of the previous videos in this post. Small world, made just a little bit smaller...

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