Riley Gale, lead singer of Texas thrash metal band Power Trip, has died aged 34. No cause of death has been announced.
The band wrote in a statement:
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 are regarded as one of America’s most exciting and politically astute metal bands, whose sound draws on hardcore punk. They formed in Dallas in 2008, and released two acclaimed albums, 2013’s Manifest Decimation and 2017’s Nightmare Logic, plus a compilation of early tracks and a live album.
In 2020, Gale guested on Point the Finger by Body Count, the thrash band featuring rapper Ice-T, who was among those paying tribute to Gale. “I’m devastated… Still don’t know how… I’m speechless,” he wrote on Twitter. Members of Slipknot, Machine Head, Anthrax and other bands also paid tribute; the band Code Orange wrote: “You made a huge dent in heavy music history that will last for ever.”
Gale was an outspoken critic of Donald Trump, saying in 2017 that he “certainly falls under what I would label as ‘the enemy to the common people’. I think that man violates human rights on a regular basis and I think he’s awful and I think he needs to be stopped.”
His songwriting addressed social inequality and activism, and he described Nightmare Logic as “dealing with this waking nightmare, things seem so surreal that they’re unbelievable … trying to find optimism and a motivating force and realising that the 99% of us have more in common than we think”. The band tweeted “cease and desist” to Fox News after their music was played on the channel in 2017.
Other reports have stated Gale’s age as 35, but his age was confirmed to the Guardian via his UK press representative.