This past Monday, Riley Gale of the Dallas thrash metal band Power Trip, died at 34. The band confirmed his death in a news statement, though the story is still in development.
The band wrote, “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.”
Power Trip formed in 2008 when Gale was only 22-years-old. He was attending school at the University of North Texas and working a regular job at an office. The band released two albums, including their 2013 debut album Manifest Decimation and their 2017 sophomore release, Nightmare Logic, under the Southern Lord label.
In 2018, they released a rarities compilation titled Opening Fire: 2008-2014, as well as a live album in early 2020.
By the end of the 2010s, they had become one of the most successful thrash metal bands around. Nightmare Logic even entered the Billboard charts at one point, receiving various accolades from a range of publications.
If anything, Gale was outspoken in the realm of politics. John Lewis, the late civil rights icon, was the inspiration for “If Not Us Then Who” found on Power Trip’s Nightmare Logic.
Interviews with Gale point to the fact that the album surrounded the idea of revolting against the rich in reaction to the extreme disparity in wealth. The band noted on multiple occasions that the songs on the album were about social inequality and activism.
The band once tweeted “CEASE & DESIST” after their music had been played on the Fox News network. In a 2018 interview with Revolver, Gale said “We try to make it pretty clear that we might all be white males, but this is not a band for white males to enjoy and be dumb rednecks.”
The band often seem confused as to how they had gotten so big. Gale mentioned on multiple accounts that he saw them hitting a ceiling long ago, though people told them the band had the potential to turn into a career.
“I don’t even know if I have it in me, but we’re going to try.”
As of now, the band is asking fans to donate to Dallas Hope Charities in memory of Gale. News of the cause of death is still cloudy. Funeral and viewing options are pending.