Power Trip Reflect on Riley Gale’s Passing, Say They “Want to Continue to Play Music Together”

"It's been a long time, but it doesn’t feel like it"

Power Trip Reflect on Riley Gale's Passing
Power Trip, photo by Joshua Andrade

The remaining members of Power Trip reflected on the tragic passing of Riley Gale and touched on the future of the band in their first interview since the singer’s death last year.

The four remaining members — guitarist Nick Stewart, guitarist Blake Ibanez, drummer Chris Ulsh, and bassist Chris Whetzel — came together for the first time since Gale’s funeral to speak with the Los Angeles Times in advance of the Grammy Awards this Sunday. It marks the first time the band has commented publicly since releasing a statement upon the singer’s passing on August 24th, 2020.

“It’s been a long time, but it doesn’t feel like it,” Stewart said. “I guess it hasn’t really hit me until right now.”

Though it’s undetermined whether they’ll continue using the band name, the remaining members are hoping to stick together for future music projects. “We do want to continue to play music together; we just are not sure what that looks like at this time,” Ibanez said.

Power Trip are nominated for Best Metal Performance at the 2020 Grammy Awards this Sunday for a live version of their signature song “Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe)”. The nod is symbolic of how much Power Trip have achieved since breaking on the scene as a young Texas thrash band in 2008. Whetzel said that listening to the track now “definitely hits home,” taking him “right back to that show.”

“Losing Riley was the saddest thing that ever happened to me,” Ulsh added. “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.”

Power Trip are up against fellow thrashers Body Count in the same Best Metal Performance category. One of Gale’s final recordings was a guest appearance on Body Count’s 2019 single “Point the Finger” — including a memorable cameo in the music video. After the Grammy nominations were announced, Body Count frontman Ice-T told Heavy Consequence that he was rooting for Power Trip to get the award just as much as his own band. “It would be just like I won the Grammy ’cause [Riley Gale] was my guy,” he said.

Stay tuned to Heavy Consequence for further updates on the future of Power Trip and the results of their Grammy nomination. Listen to the Grammy-nominated live cut below.