Tributes to Power Trip’s Riley Gale from Code Orange, Deafheaven, Touche Amore, Ice-T & many more
We're still stunned by yesterday's news that Power Trip frontman Riley Gale has died. Since forming 12 years ago, Power Trip have become one of the most-loved bands in punk, metal, and hardcore and they were the best thrash band going, one who truly stood tall next to the '80s veterans who inspired them. Power Trip only released two full-length albums (2013's Manifest Decimation and 2017's Nightmare Logic, the latter of which we named the 57th best album of the 2010s), as well as a few EPs, splits, and demos (much of which is compiled on Opening Fire: 2008-2014), but their impact goes far beyond their concise studio output.
Countless musicians, labels, festival organizers, venues, writers, photographers, and others in the hardcore and metal communities have been paying tribute to Riley, and so many of them agree: he was not just a great frontman but a great person. He was vocal about social justice issues, he frequently put younger bands on, and those who knew him all say he was a great friend. Tributes have come in from the veterans who inspired Power Trip, the younger bands Power Trip inspired, and Riley's peers, and they all hold Riley in the highest regard. Here are many of those tributes:
Code Orange wrote, "Rest In Peace Riley. You made a huge dent in heavy music history that will last forever. Our deepest condolences to his friends, family and the guys in Power Trip."
Touche Amore wrote: "Riley forever. Devastating news. All our deepest love and condolences to his band, family, friends and Texas."
Hatebreed wrote, "Rest In Power Riley Gale. A great frontman, wise beyond his years & bad ass on the mic! You will be greatly missed. Such a loss for heavy music. Our condolences to all who loved him." Hatebreed frontman Jamey Jasta added, "This is awful. Devastating news. My deepest condolences to Riley’s band, family, friends and fans. Please respond w/ a memory or your favorite PxT jam. See you on the other side brother."
Anthrax wrote, "Completely shocked and saddened at this news. Our condolences go out to family and friends Power Trip." Anthrax's Scott Ian adds, "Just heard about Riley. Goddamnit. Sending love to his family and friends and his band." Anthrax's Charlie Benante adds, "Totally shocked about this, RIP Riley, my heart goes out to his family and the Power Trip guys."
Knocked Loose wrote, "Rest In Power to a true legend, Riley Gale. An inspiration to all of us. Life won’t be the same without you. We will never forget. Our hearts go out to the Power Trip family." The band's Isaac Hale adds, "I’ll never forget my father showing me Power Trip for the first time. One of the first bands that got me into hardcore from the metal world. So important to me. Riley was always so kind every time I talked to him. I’m devastated." Knocked Loose's Kevin Kaine also adds, "Dude very sad to hear about Riley Gale. My condolences to Power Trip, and their friends and Family. Rest in Power."
Creeping Death wrote, "Riley always put on for the home team, he and Power Trip helped open a lot of doors for us and many other bands out of the Texas hardcore scene over the years. The music world lost a huge star, Rest in Power Riley Gale."
Judiciary wrote, "We wouldn’t exist without Power Trip and we wouldn’t be here without Riley Gale. Riley put on for us and gave us opportunities when he absolutely didn’t have to, and some of the bands best memories are directly owed to him. Riley Gale forever."
Ice-T, whose band Body Count's new album has a song featuring Riley, wrote, "I just got the news.. He was only 35.. I’m devastated.. Still don’t know how... I’m speechless. So Fd up.. smh." He also posted this video that Body Count made with Riley in quarantine, with an intro in tribute to Riley:
La Dispute wrote, "Sending love to Power Trip, friends of Riley, family, Texas, all our friends feeling the loss, everyone he so clearly left better for having met or for, like me, just having felt his energy so many times through headphone speakers. Rest in power."
Thursday's Geoff Rickly wrote, "No, no, no. This is too much. So much love in my heart for Riley. This is a real heartbreak. I met Riley at a real low point in my life and he made me feel welcomed and accepted into his life and home from the first time I hung out with him. An actual kind person. A ripper. A righteous fucking guy. Too young."
Fucked Up frontman Damian Abraham said, "I will love and miss you forever Riley."
Harm's Way wrote, "We are in complete shock. Riley and the PT family have ALWAYS been welcoming and kind to us, from day one. Our community lost genuinely one of the nicest, most fun loving souls I have ever encountered. Tell your friends and family you love them, even the ones you don’t talk to."
Machine Head's Robb Flynn wrote, "Very sad to hear about the death of Power Trip singer Riley. Saw them open for Cannibal Corpse and they were fucking awesome. Sending positive energy to the bandmembers and his family."
Gatecreeper's Chase Mason wrote, "Crushed by the news of Riley's passing. On this tour in 2017 we were constantly confused for one another so eventually we just started forging each other's signature. I'll always remember waking up at Riley's house the day our first record was released in October 2016 because he had let us sleep on his floor the night before. So many memories. Another one gone far too soon 💔Rest in peace brother."
Combust wrote, "If you were a hardcore kid in 2011/2012/2013 you remember Power Trip comin up and absolutely ripping apart every gig and melting everyone’s brain and being one of the best HC bands of our generation. Riley was a powerful force and a genuinely nice dude. Legends never die. RIP"
Jay Weinberg (of Slipknot, ex-Against Me!, etc) wrote, "So sad to hear of Riley Gale’s passing. I only had the good fortune of meeting him once, but he had a way of making you feel like you’d known him forever, instantly. Such a profound loss. Love and deepest sympathies to Power Trip and everyone close to him."
Rotting Out wrote, "To a great front man and a even greater friend! Every time RO played TX, you took care of us and always showed us love! Condolences to your family/ friends/ fans. We love you, Riley!"
Two Minutes to Late Night wrote, "Riley always spoke about so many important issues—deff the biggest person in metal to constantly address prison reform LGBT+ rights and progressive causes. His influence and idealism cannot be forgotten. It’s a privilege to be an artist with a platform and he was the best of us."
Vile Creature wrote, "He used his voice, status, & actions to strike against oppression in a music community too used to complacency & toxic masculinity. We could all take a lesson from how he held himself & do better, no matter how we are doing now. Thank you for yr care, yr work wont be forgotten."
Stephen Brodsky (of Cave In, Mutoid Man, and more) wrote, "Power Trip is a staple of modern heavy music, and Riley was their head corner stone. Really sweet guy, genuinely as loud with fanaticism for art as he was with a mic onstage. Rest in Power, Riley."
Year Of The Knife wrote, "Riley always spoke out about what was right and wasn’t afraid who it upset in the process. Supported and put on for so many bands, and inspired many more. Rest in power."
Red Death wrote, "No one championed this band harder than Riley did. Spreading our demo around within the first hour of it being online. Constantly putting on/looking out for us. Eternal love and respect for Riley and Power Trip. Proud to call you guys brothers." Red Death and Genocide Pact's Connor Donegan wrote, "Without Riley I’d legitimately be working some miserable office job instead of pursuing the things in life that I love. In 2016 he called me out of the blue and basically forced me to drop out of school to go on tour with Power Trip. That experience completely changed my life. I never got to express that to him, but now I really wish I had. He believed in me more than I believed in myself and I’ll never forget that. This hurts."
Overkill wrote, "We are saddened to hear this shocking news. Thoughts go out to Riley’s friends and family. RIP brother."
Kreator wrote, "RIP to our brother, Riley Gale. We will see you again and finish the business we started! Love and respect - Kreator Family"
Turnstile's Daniel Fang wrote, "during tour, I asked Riley what he was reading. he closed the book, handed it to me, and said something along the lines of “I love this guy’s stuff. tell me how you like it when you’re done and then I’ll finish it.” who does that?? we were beyond lucky to have Riley on this Earth."
The Black Dahlia Murder's Trevor Strnad wrote a lengthy statement that reads in part, "I'm not going to pretend like I knew Riley very well, I didn't. I do know that a lot of you did and I feel for you all, tremendously. What I can say is that he was a real man of the people... like the mayor of friendship. He seemed to have a million friends everywhere he went. Someone that really brought people together. A seemingly infinite well of charisma. [...] I always saw Power Trip as this very special even mythically awesome band, the one you absolutely don't want to play after. It was an honor to tour with you. Truly a legend in the making in every sense. Power Trip's rise was astronomical and I always imagined that it would see them playing over us, Lamb of God... who knows?" His full post:
Khemmis wrote, "We are heartbroken to hear about Riley’s passing. He was a top notch dude who always exuded positivity and joy through his art. Rest in power."
Frozen Soul wrote, "Riley has been one of the oldest friends we’ve had and we share many memories together. To say we’re devastated is an understatement. Rest in power to a true legend. Power Trip forever."
Lamb of God's Randy Blythe wrote in part, ""Rest In Peace, Riley Gale. I don’t know what happened to him yet, but I do know that I was really looking forward to touring with him & @powertriptx again- in fact, we were already have supposed to have toured in Europe & then this pandemic happened & screwed that up. [...] Besides being a great frontman, Riley was smart, articulate, well read, politically astute, compassionate, & fearless in expressing his views. These are all things I value highly in an artist & a human being- we got along really well. He loved hardcore and metal, & it is shame for our scene that someone who burned so brightly is gone way too soon- he was a mere 34 years old. Just a great dude with some insanely hilarious stories, & I’ll really miss shooting the bull about life & comic books with him." His full posts:
Head below for even more tributes from Converge, Ceremony, Every Time I Die's Keith Buckley, Deafheaven, Full of Hell, Terror, Killswitch Engage's Jesse Leach, Best Coast, Coheed & Cambria, Municipal Waste's Tony Foresta, Judge, Cavalera Conspiracy, Citizen, HEALTH, Uniform, Saint Vitus Bar, Revelation Records, Terminal Nation, Pelican's Trevor de Brauw, Sunami, Incendiary, Trinidad James, Sound & Fury Fest, Venom Prison, One Step Closer, Exciter, Xibalba, Joe Hardcore, Triple B Records, State Faults, The Story So Far, No Joy, Narrow Head, Trash Talk's Lee Spielman, Twitching Tongues' Colin Young, United Blood Fest, Trivium, Into It. Over It., Section H8, Danica Roem, hate5six, Shai Hulud, The Acacia Strain's Devin Shidaker, and more...