Power Trip's Riley Gale: Hype Equals Unnecessary Pressure

Telling bands that they’re on course to ‘save’ rock and metal is a needless burden, stresses Power Trip frontman Riley Gale...

Power Trip's Riley Gale: Hype Equals Unnecessary Pressure
Riley Gale, speaking to James MacKinnon
Angela Owens

The current climate – at least over in the States – seems to be there’s three great white hopes for heavy music. When I talk to people from labels or magazines, it comes down to us, Turnstile or Code Orange, and they always say, ‘One of you is gonna save the music industry!’ That idealism really gets under my skin, because I don’t see why it ever has to be one band.

When you consider the Big Four, you could argue that Metallica were number one, but you don’t hear those bands bickering about who was top dog. They’re always like, ‘We shared this space and we were all successful.’ It’s similar with Turnstile and Code Orange. We’ve all come up together, we’re all friends, and we’re all sitting around, like, ‘This is so stupid.’ It frustrates us because it feels like we have to compete, and we don’t!

Those kinds of hyperbolic saviour adjectives become hurtful to some bands. It puts a lot of pressure on them to be something that they never intended to be. And it sucks, because it ultimately makes criticism easier if you don’t live up to that hype. I don’t want fans to be influenced into thinking that way. I don’t want some band to feel like they can’t enter this place, because the industry is like, ‘Don’t start a thrash band because Power Trip have that market cornered.’ If all our bands ended tomorrow, music would be fine. Other great bands would take our place. I don’t see some rapture of music if we don’t have the second coming of Metal Christ, y’know?

Essentially, I think that healthy competition is fine. But this language of ‘Who’s gonna be the next apex predator of these young bands?’ feeds purely into the industry’s egotism and it’s so unnecessary. There’s enough for everyone to eat at the table. When me and Jami [Morgan, Code Orange] are bullshitting, we’re not getting into who’s better. We’re congratulating each other and it’s more like we’re taking a step forward together. I believe in our music and I believe in theirs. It is what it is, so let us do our thing.

Check out more:

Now read these

The best of Kerrang! delivered straight to your inbox three times a week. What are you waiting for?