Power Trip's Surviving Members Remember Riley Gale in New Interview

"We do want to continue to play music together; we just are not sure what that looks like at this time"
Power Trip's Surviving Members Remember Riley Gale in New Interview
Photo: Sarah Churchill
The surviving members of Power Trip have given their first interview since the passing of frontman Riley Gale, remembering their late friend and bandmate ahead of the group's first Grammy nomination.

Guitarists Blake Ibanez and Nick Stewart, bassist Chris Whetzel, and drummer Chris Ulsh spoke with the Los Angeles Times ahead of this Sunday's (March 14) awards ceremony. Power Trip are nominated in the Best Metal Performance category for a live recording of "Executioner's Tax (Swing of the Axe)," which appeared on their celebrated 2017 album Nightmare Logic.

The interview marks the first time the group have spoken publicly since Gale's death. "Losing Riley was the saddest thing that ever happened to me," Ulsh shared. "But I'm so proud of everything we accomplished together. One of the coolest things from the start was that there was no ceiling to this band, and this Grammy nomination is a perfect example of that.

"It still feels very fresh. It's hard to talk about [Gale's passing]. We were close. I spent a lot of my downtime on tour with him. It's still hard to fathom."

Ibanez added, "We've never been through anything like this.But it's definitely brought us closer. You're together all the time, then in the blink of an eye, you know you'll never see each other again."

Stewart said, "But this has helped us all realize how much we love each other."

The L.A. Times notes that Power Trip had been at work on new material in January of 2020, and guitarist Ibanez added that while the band are beginning to think about their legacy and future, they are unsure of what next steps will be. 

"We do want to continue to play music together; we just are not sure what that looks like at this time," he shared.

Among the tributes to Gale — which ranged from Fucked Up to Fox News — was the renaming of a a transitional home for LGBTQ+ youth in Dallas in his honour. 

"I hope we changed people's perceptions about what a metal band can be," Ibanez said. "We didn't have to compromise; we just were who we were, and people respected that about us. I hope that's how people will remember us."