Musician brings shot heavy blues rock sound to Rifflandia

Some people get adrenaline rushes from skydiving, cliff jumping or bungee jumping. For Jesse Roper, it's hitting the stage to perform.

Some people get adrenaline rushes from skydiving, cliff jumping or bungee jumping. For Jesse Roper, it’s hitting the stage to perform.

The Metchosin musician and frontman of the band, Jesse Roper said performing in front of a huge crowd is unlike any feeling he’s had before.

“The feeling that the more I let go of what’s bugging me throughout the week or the more I freak out and sink myself into the music, the better I feel afterwards,” said Roper, who will be performing at the Rifflandia Music Festival this week.

“I look forward to it. It’s like therapy for me. It’s just like skydiving. You get up on stage and it feels so good to do it.”

But Roper wasn’t always eager to perform. While he’s been shredding the guitar since age six, during his first performance, his friend had to force him on stage during an open mic night.

“I realized it was a lot of fun and not that scary,” he said, adding his guitar skills came from his father who also played the instrument.

After that, he was hooked. Leaving behind his nine-to-five job as a residential painter, Roper moved to Toronto and played in every bar and corner coffee shop for almost a year.

Family problems eventually brought the guitarist and singer back to Victoria, where he continued to play in various bars including the Irish Times Pub.

Roper has since garnered a following of people who love his “shot heavy blues rock” sound.

He’s performed at Rock the North and Rock the Shores and will grace the stage at Rifflandia for the second time in as many years.

Modest Mouse, Chromeo, Mother Mother, the Arkells and Tokyo Police Club are some of the other bands, scheduled to perform.

While Roper admitted he doesn’t have a set list planned yet, audiences can expect half an hour of intense energy.

“I just really enjoy doing this stuff. Being that it’s 3 p.m. in the afternoon, no one is going to be tired, that’s for sure,” he said, adding he’s excited about watching other bands perform as well.

“It will be the tightest, best set we’ve ever played. That’s what I aim for at every show — the tightest, best set.”

Roper hits the stage the R.A.P Main Stage (1014 Caledonia Ave.) on Sunday, Sept. 20 just after 3 p.m.

Rifflandia runs from Thursday, Sept. 17 to Sunday, Sept. 20 at various venues around Victoria. For tickets or the full schedule of bands visit rifflandia.com.