Riley Gale, the late frontman of Power Trip, passed away on August 24, 2020, from the toxic effects of fentanyl. Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid over 50 times more potent than morphine, killed the vocalist in his sleep. Much has been said about the late rock star musician. Those who knew him commemorated his death by launching the Riley Gale Foundation to support various charitable groups in his memory. For those who never had the pleasure of knowing him, let’s share with you the legacy of a man who positively impacted everyone he met.
Staple Diet of Music Led to Him Becoming a Musician
Brandon Gale, the late musician’s father, loved music as a teenager, and he recalled that he was introduced to the music scene by a friend in high school. Iggy Pop’s father also happened to be his English teacher, and when Pop began selling music, Brandon was an avid supporter attending every show. The love for music continued, and when Gale’s mother was pregnant, Brandon would put headphones over her belly. Gale’s father told Revolver Magazine that he chose Beethoven, Bach and Brahms because he had read that such music stimulates young brains. Of course, given how much Pop had influenced him, Brandon played his music later on when Gale was young. Although Brandon describes himself as a music fan, he never understood how his son gravitated towards metal music. Gale appeared to be a walking encyclopedia of music, reciting when albums were released, the names of each member in a band and even reference riffs. For this reason, it made sense that by the time he turned 15, the vocalist was in the local Dallas bands. Mostly they played in basements, but in 2005, Gale was proud to be in a band that had managed to pull an audience of 100 people. He attracted hardcore music fans, and having as many as 100 people, was considered a great turnout back then.
His Influential Lyrics
After his first band broke up in 2008, Gale was interested in doing a crossover style of music; after growing up listening to hardcore punk and metal, he wanted he combine the elements. He told Crunch Magazine that he and Blake Ibanez lived in the same Dallas suburb. Therefore the two partnered up, and Ibanez taught Gale some riffs. Since Ibanez had a friend who played the drums, they invited him to join them as they played in local shows. They were not focused on taking over the music scene in Dallas, but the public, especially those outside Texas, loved their music; thus, the young men formed Power Trip. Unfortunately, their start was a bit rocky, seeing that the first label to sign them was Double or Nothing, which lived up to its name. Gale said they gambled and lost because the label lost the record and disappeared. They picked up the pieces and moved on, and one of the things that will forever remain engraved in Power Trip’s fans’ minds is the late frontman’s lyrics. According to Medium, Gale had been influenced by his college professor to read up on post-modern philosophy and existentialism, and the lyrics in “Nightmare Logic” are proof. However, his critical thinking abilities started when he was much younger, thanks to extensive reading because his parents encouraged him. Brandon even confessed that he had never seen anyone read as many books as his son did. The thirst for knowledge was never quenched no matter how many books he read. Even in his adulthood, Gale preferred stocking up on books during tours and ensured that he read all of them by the time the tour ended. Therefore even when his father started listening to Gale’s music, he could feel that the lyrics were not dumb. They were different, and Brandon became a fan once he understood what his son was communicating through his songs.
Gone but Never Forgotten
Gale will be remembered for more than his musical talent. He was a born leader. Although Brandon did not want to use “natural-born leader” to describe his son, he still felt it was the perfect term. As a young boy in elementary school, Gale always went out of his way to make those left out feel included. He would walk over to those sitting alone and talk to them. That genuine concern for people did not fade in adulthood. His brother, Zach, told Central Track that Gale always made time to talk to the people who showed up for his performances regardless of how big or small the shows were. He would go the extra mile to connect with people; those who talked about their projects would get his undivided attention, and when he saw them again, he made follow-up questions. Zach added that even when other Power Trip members were not interested in interviewing with Little Punk People, a YouTuber, Gale was excited to do it because he always was a helper. His big heart extended even to animals, and Brandon said he would love for Gale to be remembered for his empathy. The late musician even adopted Tommy, a dog that nobody wanted. He also walked the talk even with the LGBTQ community; like Tommy, who could not find a home, Gale wanted the homeless in the LGBTQ community to know they could count on him. According to Dallas Observer, he started donating a portion of proceeds from the sale of Power Trip tickets to Dallas Hope Charities (DHC). After his passing, his family and band members preferred that well-wishers send contributions to DHC. The organization announced it would name its new transition home for LGBTQ homeless youth after the late musician. Additionally, DHC’s library will also be named after Gale, and Ryan Williams, a former Power Trip’s member, said that the musician would have loved that. It is, therefore, safe to conclude that Gale’s legacy will live on through the various ways that he has contributed to the community even in his absence.