The family of late POWER TRIP frontman Riley Gale has issued a new statement clarifying some of its earlier comments about a surprise performance by surviving POWER TRIP members Blake Ibanez (guitar, vocals), Nick Stewart (guitar, vocals), Chris Whetzel (bass) and Chris Ulsh (drums) which took place on December 1 at Mohawk in Austin, Texas. They were joined for the set by SKOURGE vocalist Seth Gilmore, who also plays with Ibanez in FUGITIVE, which was the official headliner of the Mohawk gig.
After FUGITIVE finished its set, Gilmore and Blake remained on stage and were soon accompanied by Stewart, Whetzel and Ulsh for performances of POWER TRIP songs "Soul Sacrifice", "Executioner's Tax", "Hornet's Nest", "Manifest Decimation" and "Crucifixation".
On Tuesday (December 5),Riley's father Brandon Gale released the following statement via social media: "The Gale family posted a message on December 2nd and we were saddened to hear that many fans interpreted our original message as some attempt to grab money, which is absolutely not the case. The wishes communicated were simply the ones Riley had shared with his friends and family given the state of the world in 2020, prior to his death. They were never demands. Please take a moment and allow us to correct any confusion we created.
1. The loss of our son, brother and friend Riley is something we will never recover from.
2. The Riley Gale Memorial Foundation (RGF) was established after Riley died by Riley's family and a handful of his friends and POWER TRIP fans. The mission of the foundation is to continue the legacy Riley created by raising money for the social causes that were important to Riley and his fans.
3. The Riley Gale Memorial Foundation is an IRS approved 501 c 3 non-profit legal charity and any funds raised must be handled by the laws governing non-profits.
4. 100% of the net funds raised for the foundation are distributed to the causes that Riley supported.
5. The RGF has no employees, no paid executives and only distributes funds to charitable causes. It operates completely by the kindness and dedication of volunteers.
6. Riley's surviving siblings and his parents agreed that all royalties and income due to Riley's estate go into the foundation.
7. The Gales have not taken a single dollar nor benefited in any way financially from Riley's estate and in fact the Gale family has used its own resources to fund the establishment of the foundation and all expenses for the fundraising events.
8. To date, the foundation has made significant contributions to Dallas Hope Charities (over $100,000 in direct contributions and donations from RGF) and Dog Ranch Rescue.
9. The RGF established The Riley Gale Band Tour Grant to help up and coming hardcore/metal artists to cover touring expenses. The first recipient of the band grant was FROZEN SOUL, who also headlined the foundation's fundraiser, Riley and Friends Vol. 2 in August of '22.
10. The RGF will continue to support Dallas Hope Charities, animal rescue and re-homing organizations, The Riley Gale Band Tour Grant, and mental health & wellness support organizations going forward.
"We also would like to specifically appreciate and thank Seth Gilmore. He really put his all into that performance.
"Our only mission is to embrace the incredible legacy of caring for and comforting those who are marginalized, discarded, or simply forgotten by society. Those of you who truly knew Riley know this was and is his legacy. We are grateful that Riley's passion for the hardcore community and his work growing POWER TRIP to one of the best bands in the world will help fund Riley's wishes for decades to come.
"As Riley's dad and the person who wrote the original message, it broke my heart to hear that I got it wrong. I humbly request that you understand the raw emotions we face and how they impact us every day thinking about what the world lost when Riley died.
"Respectfully, Brandon Gale on behalf of the Gale family and The Riley Gale Memorial Foundation".
A day after the Mohawk concert, the Riley Gale Memorial Foundation and Gale family released the following statement via social media: "The Riley Gale Memorial Foundation & Gale family are aware of the event that took place at Mohawk in Austin, TX on December 1st, 2023. It caught us entirely by surprise.
"At no point in the planning or lead up to that moment was anyone in the Gale family consulted, or even invited. We were not asked our thoughts or feelings about it taking place. If we were, we would have liked to discuss who would fill in on vocals, since Riley had laid out very specific requests for this exact scenario.
"We would have requested it take place in Dallas, where Riley and POWER TRIP were born, and where Riley was instrumental in building up the Dallas hardcore and metal community before even setting foot on stage as a performer. We would have liked it to be a surprise and wonderful addition to the Riley Gale & Friends Day concert, the main fundraising event for the Riley Gale Memorial Foundation, a 501(c)(3) that supports the causes Riley cared about as well as aiding up-and-coming bands through the Riley Gale Band Touring Grant.
"Riley's family would have liked the opportunity to show our appreciation to you, Riley's fans who continue to support him by listening and buying albums because we know how much his lyrics and music meant to his fans.
"As Blake said on stage at Mohawk, they owe a lot to Riley, and the Gale family agrees wholeheartedly.
"Riley's family was not included, and that's unfortunate, but for those among you who love Riley and what he stood for, you can show your love by buying albums directly from Southern Lord Records and becoming a part of the Riley Gale Memorial Foundation at the link below.
"Keep an eye out for our announcement of Riley And Friends Vol. 3 early next year — it will feature bands that Riley knew and loved along with hundreds (hopefully thousands) of Riley's fans and family.
"'Birth. Life. Death. Repeat. The goal is to manifest higher than before.'
"REST IN POWER. www.rileygale.org ".
Prior to the December 1 gig, featuring openers DRESSCODE and NINTH CIRCLE, the Mohawk venue teased a "special guest" on the concert flyer and added, "Less than 100 tickets left, trust us you don't want to miss this show."
Less than three years ago, the Gale family sued POWER TRIP's surviving members, seeking ownership over Riley's share in the band's business. Some of POWER TRIP's response to the original lawsuit and a follow-up document filed by the Gale family's attorney can be found online.
Gale died on August 25, 2020. An autopsy report for Gale ruled that he died from the toxic effects of fentanyl, while the manner of death was ruled accidental.
Following the news of Gale's death, a number of other artists shared tributes to the frontman, including members of CODE ORANGE, ANTHRAX and COHEED AND CAMBRIA.
Riley guested on the track "Point The Finger" on BODY COUNT's "Carnivore" album, released in March 2020, and BODY COUNT frontman Ice-T later suggested in an interview with Stereogum that Gale's death was opioid-related. Ice-T said in December 2020: "When we shot the video [for 'Point The Finger'], he looked healthy. It was a good vibe. That's why I got blindsided when I got the call from his dad, who said that Riley passed away. Apparently, he was dealing with the same bullshit everyone is — this opioid stuff. He'd gotten clean, and when you relapse, you go back to the same dose you're used to and it kills you. It was a really sad thing."
Gale's autopsy report noted that he died from pulmonary edema — a condition caused by excess fluid in the lungs. This was caused by "the toxic effects of fentanyl" in Gale's system. The fentanyl in Gale's blood was measured at 22.5 ng/ml (nanograms per milliliter),and he tested negative for all other drugs and alcohol.
The report went on to note that Gale had a "history of Xanax abuse" and a "history of depression," and revealed Riley was found "unresponsive on the floor at home."
In October 2020, plans were announced for the Riley Gale Library at the Dallas Hope Center — the city's sole shelter for LGBTQ+ youth.
POWER TRIP released two albums on Southern Lord, 2013's "Manifest Decimation" and 2017's "Nightmare Logic". A rarities compilation, "Opening Fire: 2008-2014", followed in 2018.
"Nightmare Logic" peaked at No. 22 on Billboard's Hard Rock Albums chart.
POWER TRIP was said to be working on its third album at the time of Riley's death.
As an organization of family and friends committed to continuing Riley's legacy, we ask for a moment to correct any confusion we created
Posted by The Riley Gale Memorial Foundation on Tuesday, December 5, 2023
Please keep supporting Riley directly by listening to Power Trip and purchasing albums directly from Southern Lord #RGF #RILEYGALEFOREVER #powertrip #powertriptx #cicadas
Posted by The Riley Gale Memorial Foundation on Saturday, December 2, 2023