Power Trip’s Riley Gale Dead At 34
Riley Gale, lead singer for the incredible Dallas crossover thrash band Power Trip, has died. The band shared a statement on their social media accounts today announcing Gale’s death. Gale was 34 years old. His cause of death has not been announced.
Gale grew up in the Dallas suburbs. He founded Power Trip in 2008 when guitarist Blake Ibanez answered Gale’s ad on a local message board. In 2013 the band released their debut album Manifest Decimation on the influential metal record label Southern Lord. The album was widely acclaimed, and Power Trip’s intense live shows attracted even grander praise. In 2017 they returned with a second album, Nightmare Logic, which continued to grow their popularity both within the metal scene and beyond.
Speaking to the Chicago Tribune two years ago, Gale speculated about why Power Trip caught on with such a broad spectrum of listeners: “I wanted a metallic hardcore band with thrash elements when we started. But the songs gradually became more complex, which gave us a more metal sound not as primitive as hardcore or punk. I knew I always wanted to be heavy, but now we’re writing songs with more pop tricks, a bit catchier with verses and choruses. As our songs have gotten better and more accessible, it opened up the kind of bands we play with and the kind of fans we draw. We’ve never stopped to think is this too weird, does this not fit? We write what we like, not what we think other people will like.”
As the 2010s wore on, Power Trip earned a reputation as one of the best and most important metal bands working today, thanks in part to Gale’s raw, commanding vocals. They were important within their scene, organizing events like this past January’s Evil Beat Vol. 2 festival. They were also progressives who cut against the stereotype of the conservative metal band, whether critiquing Fox News for featuring their music or sparring with the Trump-supporting nu-metal relics Trapt on social media.
In June of this year, Power Trip released the live album Live In Seattle 05.28.2018. Their most recent studio recording was the 2018 Adult Swim single “Hornet’s Nest.” Gale also recently started a side project called Masterpiece Machine with members of Fucked Up.
Here is the statement being circulated by Power Trip and Gale’s family:
It is with the greatest of sadness we must announce that our lead singer and brother Riley Gale passed away last night.
Riley was a friend, a brother, a son. Riley was both a larger than life rock star and a humble and giving friend. He touched so many lives through his lyrics and through his huge heart. He treated everyone he met as a friend and he always took care of his friends. We will celebrate Riley’s life and never forget the great works of music, charity, and love that he left behind. You, the fans, meant so much to him, please know how special you are. If you have a memory of Riley please share it, no matter how small, as we remember him.
Please respect our wishes for privacy during this time. In lieu of flowers please send donations to Dallas Hope Charities, the link to donate directly is here: https://bit.ly/3jcyY5y
– Rlley’s Loving Family
P.S. Funeral and visitation arrangements are pending.
Below, witness a full Power Trip live show and select highlights from their discography.
An earlier version of this post incorrectly listed Gale’s age as 35.