Last week, the rock and metal worlds were shocked and crushed to hear that Riley Gale, frontman for Texas thrash act Power Trip, had died at 34 years old. As both the frontman of one of metal’s biggest rising acts and a friendly, outspoken dude who felt like one of us, Riley was one of heavy music’s most promising talents, and having him taken away from us is absolutely heartbreaking.
On the latest episode of our heavy-metal talk show Last Words, former Dillinger Escape Plan and Giraffe Tongue Orchestra guitarist Ben Weinman joins hosts Jordan Olds (Two Minutes To Late Night), Katy Irizarry (Season Of Mist), and Doc Coyle (Bad Wolves/Ex Man Podcast) in remembering Riley as a musician and a member of the metal community.
“I think when you see this happen for a band like Power Trip, it really just shows their place and how impactful they were as a band, ” says Katy, “and it shows the impact they had on this community and on metal as a whole. But I think this is what made the death of Riley so difficult…this is a band that could have been one day Slayer levels of big…seeing someone who had such a bright future in a band that was just shooting up to the top that didn’t make it there.”
For Weinman, whose rise as an underground musician in a band with more brains than your average county fair act in many ways mimicked that of Gale, the vocalist’s passing was especially rough.
“I just hope that music like that will now be more popular,” says Ben. “Because Power Trip came out at a time when metal and metalcore and hardcore became very contrived and formulaic and computerized, and not raw, and kind of technical…and then a band like Power Trip comes and just feel like a raw thrash band, like Suicidal Tendencies and Slayer and Testament and all those raw bands that we grew up on…To me, it was a band like Power Trip that gave me faith in heavy music.”
Check out the episode below: