Remember Riley Gale

Today, December 5th 2020 would have been the 4th Hospital Fest. Today instead, we remember the luminary figure Riley Gale whom I had the privilege of collaborating with thanks to an early introduction by Hospital family member Arthur Rizk. 

Riley understood the big picture potential for reaching other people across distant shores. I was raised in a time of underground music in the 90s that if an artist had the opportunity to reach a new audience that it was the artist’s responsibility to do so, especially if the crowd resided outside one’s own comfort zone. Riley took that seriously and enacted it tangibly year after year. 

As Power Trip continued to grow in prominence to the point of basically taking over modern live metal music, he backed up his love of music with actions, always supporting new bands on stage, in interviews and culminating in their own singular fest ‘Evil Beat’. Riley never forgot his roots. He used his resources to their fullest potential of a worthy cause of finding commonality in music - something that the underground should always represent: DIY Freedom.

Riley was True.

When the idea came to manifest this collaboration which began as the Prurient intro to the ominously titled ‘Waiting Around To Die’ on the now larger-than-death album ‘Nightmare Logic’, it seemed like a long shot. The band had been relentlessly touring the globe and for the entire year and was slated for a last homecoming gig in Texas and ready to stop ‘living out of a suitcase’. 

The idea for this set came late and without any consideration for themselves or their much deserved break. Power Trip and Riley jumped back on an airplane to do one last gig of the year ‘Power Trip featuring Prurient’. My surprise to them was that there would be a special guest drummer whom was essential to attempt a dream of mine to perform live ‘Christ Among The Broken Glass’ which Arthur had tracked complex 12-string guitar and the dreaded fretless bass (the cheapest possible bass we could find online). 

The recurrence of the anvil striking throughout the track had to be executed live if the piece were to have any authenticity. That was handled by another selfless artist Iggor Cavalera. The anvil brought in by truck (covered in chains) at Iggor’s request arrived at the very last minute. I can’t be sure, but after Riley screamed the last lines from ‘Christ Among…’’ in my mind he struck that anvil with his microphone or maybe even his fist at the climax. When I hear that anvil strike now I know that the bonding of metal on metal (steel and noise) continues to live.

Remember Riley Gale.

- Dominick Fernow, December 5, 2020

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