Jim Shea of Metal-Realm.net recently conducted an interview with bassist Paul Raven (MINISTRY, KILLING JOKE, PRONG). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
Metal-Realm.net: Let's start things off by asking what exactly brought you to MINISTRY.
Raven: "Well, basically I got a call from Al (Jourgensen). I've been splitting my time between living in Portland, OR and Prague and the Czech Republic while I was taking care of my duties for KILLING JOKE and we've just finished recording the new KILLING JOKE album. I came back hunting in Portland and a couple of days after I got home I get a call from Al saying, 'Get your candy ass on a plane and write some tunes for a new MINISTRY record.' And then we got Tommy (Victor) involved and you know, the fruits of our labor is already out there for everyone to hear."
Metal-Realm.net: Now what kind of input did you have on the new MINISTRY album, "Rio Grande Blood"?
Raven: "We got together and threw a little ideas together and some of us like Al and Tommy…you know, we have an existing musical palette with Tommy and I with our work together in PRONG. So it was sorta easy as both Tommy and I have been a fan of Al's music and MINISTRY's music. It was a privilege to come in and put our 'twist' in it."
Metal-Realm.net: Speaking about Tommy in PRONG, how was your stint with PRONG? How did that go?
Raven: "That was great till I got fired. (laughs) But he loves me again so it doesn't matter."
Metal-Realm.net: Of course (laughs)
Raven: "But you know, it was PRONG's most successful time as a group and I've learned a lot and it was a natural departure for me and my work with KILLING JOKE. So you know, I've always been sorta like the metal guy with KILLING JOKE who likes some of the more hard-edged stuff and I've felt that's what I've brought to the table with this into me (mumbles something)."
Metal-Realm.net: Now early late last year it was announced you left KILLING JOKE for MINISTRY. What’s your current status with KILLING JOKE? Is this a temporary thing or a permanent leave?
Raven: "Hate me now. They think I'm a traitor (laughs) You know, we don't do our dirty laundry out in public and in fact, I'll give you the honest, straight-forward reason of what occurred. This started off as a scheduling problem when the KILLING JOKE album was coming out in the beginning of February. Then I was going to do a European tour to back that up in the spring and then start in April with MINISTRY. Then everything went smooth, but Jaz (Coleman) took a lot of time and whatever budget with finishing the record, so the scheduled clashed. Unfortunately I've already committed to MINISTRY, so it was just one of those things. We still went out and did the tour anyway and that's that. But I mean we're still together and I'm sure we'll make another record until then."
Metal-Realm.net: OK, so it's cool to see there's still a chance for you to come back to KILLING JOKE, but going back three years ago with the release of the self-titled KILLING JOKE CD, it actually opened the door to a lot of new fans. How do you feel about this accomplishment for KILLING JOKE?
Raven: "That was very good for us, I mean for KILLING JOKE we consider ourselves kind of like AC/DC or something. It was like we kept doing the same thing over and over again and sometimes people like and sometimes people don't. We really don't give a fuck either way (laughs) We just sorta plow ahead. You know, selling roughly the same amount of records and it was a little bit more prevalent with this one as we had Dave Grohl involved which brings a new focus and people. And I'm just happy to be part of the plot and that 2003 album is pretty polished stuff and the new album that just came out ('Hosannas From the Basement of Hell') that's a little bit of a departure from that and a little bit more personal perspective on it which didn't have a lot of preaching going on in the last one."
Read the entire interview at Metal-Realm.net.