Perhaps the most chaotic, deranged, fear-for-your-damn-life concert I attended in 2016 was a Power Trip show. Maybe it was frontman Riley Gale’s tortured screams, Chris Ulsh’s hyper-speed drumming, or the band’s dueling guitars and their doomsday-siren squeals, but the Texas thrashers transformed an audience of otherwise well-adjusted punks and metalheads into a force of nature, hell-bent on a destructive path that would make a Florida hurricane seem like a spring breeze. To put things more succinctly: people lose their fucking shit at Power Trip shows.
Despite this, it’s important to Ulsh that Power Trip performances remain welcoming to everybody. “I think you can still dance and mosh and be respectful of the people around you,” he says. “It’s just a matter of audience members realizing the space they take up. I find some people like being ignorant for the sake of being ignorant at shows and I think that’s the stupidest fucking thing.” Just as impressive as Power Trip’s vicious live show is their ability to capture this energy in the studio, as evidenced by Nightmare Logic, their second LP on Southern Lord Records.
When you tour as relentlessly as Power Trip, discovering new bands on the road is inevitable. Ulsh, who also shreds his guitar and throat in the excellent Mammoth Grinder, employs several other methods to finf new music. “There are certain record labels that I follow,” he explains. “Especially for metal stuff. I’ll subscribe to newsletters and stuff like that. I just think that that’s the easiest way for me.” Ulsh kept it fresh when tasked with picking his favorite Bandcamp artists, choosing acts he had recently listened to or saw live.