2020 sure has been a rough year. It’s like we are living in a really crazy episode of The Twilight Zone mixed with Idiocracy. Yesterday, it was announced that Riley Gale the singer of the band Power Trip had passed away (no cause of death has been mentioned as of yet). It’s incredibly sad and unsettling. Over the past few months, I had really started to get into his band Power Trip. The bands album, Nightmare Logic has been in constant rotation while I work from home. They had a real knack for making great thrash metal with the right amount of groove to it. And from all the live videos I’ve watched, they put on one hell of a show. Riley was on his way to being one of the best frontmen as well. His presence on stage and energy was undeniable. It’s truly a shame that he has passed. It kind of hits home a bit since he was so close to my age, which is a major bummer. Hopefully, if he was in any sort of pain, he can find peace now. I know I’ll be blasting his bands albums for a couple days!
This piece has taken me a while to write. Not because I was extremely influenced or inspired by Chester but rather, because I’ve never looked at Linkin Park other than a great marketed band. Throughout the past couple days since the news broke of Chester’s suicide, I took some time to really delve into Linkin Park and see if there was something I missed. That’s not what this piece is about though. Chester was a guy who put himself out there and that alone stands for something. There are so many people out there that shit on him and the band but, those are the people that never put themselves out there and tried.
Chester was a guy like many of us out there that has struggled with depression, addiction and other demons. Sure he was a celebrity but, that doesn’t change the fact that he was a person just like the rest of us. He suffered for many years with many ups and downs. He laid it all out there with his words and voice. Listening to their songs, you can really hear it in his performance. His desperation and suffering really showed through as the band continued on their journey. Not everyone is going to like the next thing a band does but, sometimes that doesn’t really matter. It’s about where you are in life and how you can continue to better yourself. Recently, Chester took a lot of the criticism of his bands new album One More Light very personally. The comments sections on the internet were full of disgusting negativity about the direction of the album. Chester directly addressed a lot of these critiques and it really got to him. Chester and Chris Cornell were also very good friends, so I’m sure he was struggling to come to terms with Chris’s death as well. It doesn’t matter how deep you try to bury the feelings you don’t want to feel, they tend to always come back and pick at you little by little in some way.
I’ve been deeply affected by other deaths in my life and this one has slowly crept in there. My wife was a big Linkin Park fan way back when, and I’ve seen her take this pretty hard. It’s never easy to lose someone that you are connected to on a specific wavelength. The power of music really does help save lives.
You don’t have to be a fan to feel the pain and anguish others are going through. I truly hope that those out there that are suffering and in need of help, can get it. Mental health isn’t a subject that should be brushed over. People need to really pay attention to what is happening. Take the time to show you care, and that you are there for those that you know are having a hard time.
A Place For My Head:
Faint (I’ve always thought this video was awesome):
Since Chris Cornell’s unexpected passing last week, there has been a slew of bands paying tribute to him during their shows. I personally am still in shock over it and have been listening to Chris’s bands non stop.
I’m in absolute shock over the news of Chris Cornell. It’s mind boggling to think that he is gone. Chris had such a profound impact on rock music with his voice, lyrics, and songwriting. I would even put Chris on the list of greatest singers ever. I remember the first time I heard Soundgarden way back when I was a little kid around 7 or 8 and “Outshined” came on. I was mesmerized by it. My mom was really into it and she’s the one that went out and bought Bad Motor Finger. From that point, I was hooked on Soundgarden. I spent many a night when I was young listening to music and studying the lyrics of my favorites. Chris Cornell had such a poetic touch to his words. My personal favorite Soundgarden album is Down On The Upside. There is something about that album that really hits home. I can’t tell you what, but, there is something really magical about that record.
When I heard that Chris had joined forces with the remaining members of Rage Against The Machine, I was beyond excited. Then I heard “Cochise” and was instantly sold. Audioslave became such a great vehicle for Chris to expand his already poetic sensibilities, and share a different side of himself. It wasn’t until the bands last album Revelations, that Audioslave truly found their sound but, Chris really went for it lyrically and vocally on that album. Check out the songs “Wide Awake” and “Moth” and you’ll hear what I mean.
I feel lucky to have seen Chris perform 4 times over the years. Twice with Audioslave, once solo, and once with Soundgarden when they toured with Nine Inch Nails a few years ago. Chris was always great live. His presence on stage was gripping and captivating. I’ve had this thought for a while that, if Robert Plant really didn’t want to be a part of doing shows with Led Zeppelin that, they should get Chris Cornell to fill the spot. If you think about it, you know that would be something great and amazing.
Here’s to all the great music and words Chris left us. His legacy is intact with great songs and performances. I feel for his children. I hope at some point they can come to terms with this loss.
Here are a few of my favorite songs Chris has been a part of.
Today is February 20, 2017, also what would have have been Kurt Cobain’s 50th birthday. I thought today would be a good day to pay tribute to him. Over the course of his short yet very influential career, Kurt’s music took on a different life. Listening back to Bleach, there was a healthy dose of pop sensibilities in that album. Kurt’s love of The Beatles, especially John Lennon really resonated with that album. By the time In Utero came out, his attitude towards what was happening in his life was a complete 180. The sharp and abrasive In Utero was logical and made the most sense in his mind. Rather than repeat the same things they did on Nevermind, Nirvana opted for raw and uncompromising songs and production. I still think to this day that In Utero is Nirvana’s best studio album. One of the most poignant things Nirvana did in their career was the MTV Unplugged. Hearing those songs stripped down to the core, brought out a different side of Kurt and the band. If Kurt were still alive, I could see him doing acoustic tours and albums. Today is a day to look back and remember the music that helped to connect a generation and inspire so many.
Happy Birthday Kurt!
Here are my 10 favorite Nirvana songs (In No Particular Order):
03) All Apologies:
04) The Man Who Sold The World (David Bowie Cover):