*Note: This interview was done in collaboration with Corey Herndon*
Backstage at Club Dada in Dallas, Power Trip’s lead singer Riley Gale is about to go on stage, forming a last-minute setlist for the band’s last hometown show for the foreseeable future. “We try [to change it up],” says the singer, and songwriter, for the Dallas-based thrashcore titans. Riley’s spontaneous and improvised setlists add character to the show, since nobody expects Power Trip’s choice delivery of punishment. The eager crowd understands this well, as many of the show’s attendants have followed Power Trip from their inception in 2008 to their first international tour to now.
The monumental events are STILL compiling on the band’s resume, as Power Trip plays This Is Hardcore Fest in July a second time. Riley insists that “it’s kinda a no-brainer to say yeah…it’s the biggest hardcore fest in North America, so why not? Joe [the organizer] has been aware of us for a long time, so it’s cool of him to hook us up and give us a chance. It’s gonna be fun; we have some cool sh*t in mind…we want to top what we did last time [link to last time].” That may be a difficult task to complete, as last time was a site of absolute mayhem; within Philadelphia’s Electric Factory, the entire rooms was chock-full of stage dives, pile-ons and spin kicks. The insanity will be caught on film by a remote controlled camera drone, courtesy of hate5six.com.
When Riley found out about the drone-camera, he said, “hey man, science fiction becomes fiction all the time.” He and Corey agreed that technology has become such an inseparable part of world, with Star Trek-predicted tablets traveling with us wherever we go. “I’ve heard about [Ipads] in middle schools…it’s interesting to imagine what we’re capable of. If you think about the unexplained events in history, we question more and more what is possible. Everything is always shifting. There’s no absolute zero. There’s not…you can’t reach zero in terms of physics [I’m so bad at math, so I’m gonna sound ignorant]. The basic gyst is that the coldest substance in the universe can still be touched by heat. It’s part of entropy. There’s heat, and that creates energy…I have no space talking about [physics] though (laughs).” He talks about his friend at UC Berkeley where the teacher teaches them formulas for a week, then surprises them by teaching them the inverses. There are so many possibilities that anything and its inverse can exist. For example, you can’t say there isn’t a planet full of Ewoks or a planet full of babes, because we cannot disprove it.
We brought the conversation back to music when I asked him about his opinion on this year’s This Is Hardcore lineup. “Code Orange Kids are the homies…they’re a good band with a unique sound. We had a lot of fun with them [on tour]. They’ll be through [Dallas though].” The Dallas scene is vibrant and well-receiving of touring bands. “I feel like the east and the west coast reject us and we have to work harder as bands coming from Texas. I think bands from Texas are proud,” says Riley. He’s noticed that over the past decade, the scene has grown tremendously from small to bustling. “If less than 50 people show up [nowadays], it kinda sucks,” because there is a newer expectation that people will come out and support more vigorously than they did in the past.
According to Jay Chary of Modern Pain. Saying the Texas scene is small “couldn’t be more false.” Riley attests that smaller places like McAllen, TX and Midland, TX, have kids “that love music.” Midland specifically has The Pinebox as a venue and bands like Ivy League TX that are championing the Texas scene. “Shout out to Ivy League,” Riley interjects excitedly. “Those are the boys!”
Although his hometown scene is near and dear to his heart, Riley has decided to move to Chicago, Illinois. “I need to live out of state once before I turn 30…then maybe [outside] the country, then maybe live long enough to see someone live out of state.” His innate desire to branch out is the driving force behind this monumental decision. He says that he “think[s] he’ll end up back here,” but it’s an experience that he wants under his belt. Isn’t experience what we all want?