By: Kat Harlton
B.C. based singer-songwriter and guitarist, Jesse Roper recently stopped in Toronto in support of his latest album, Access to Infinity, which was inspired by a late night walk. “I was on a walk one night, strolling along, daydreaming about the album and the big things to come and in my head I was doing an interview and the question was ‘where do you pull inspiration from?’ and my answer was ‘it’s kind of like having access to infinity’.
Produced by Ian Davenport (July Talk, Band of Skulls, Supergrass) Roper’s third album encompasses the raw riffing on which Roper has built his reputation, combined with a modern take on the psychedelic explorations of Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd. “For the album, I just shut off all the records and tried to get deeper into my own head. I’m too much of a chameleon, in that if I listen to a tune, then I start to write like that. I definitely look to Jimi Hendrix and ACDC as far as some of my favorite artists.”
Roper admits he was destined to be a musician from an early age “I was listening to my dad and brother play guitar and I asked my dad if I could learn to play and he bought me a guitar, sat me in his lap and showed me how to make a chord. It wasn’t until I took lessons and they started teaching me how to read theory and stuff, that I really understood it. I just wanted to make sounds, and then I got into ACDC and was like ‘this is what I want to do.’
Since the album’s release early this year, Roper has reached 2.8 million streams on Spotify and has hit the stage with numerous other top acts including, Big Wreck, Johnny Reid, Tash Sultana and Burton Cummings, which Roper shares have all left an impression. “I’ve taken something away from all of them. Something different, everyone’s got their thing. No one’s ever really said anything to me directly, I think it’s more about observing how everyone else does it, and taking in the thing you like and trying to incorporate it into your own show. One of the best things for me is watching myself perform. I mean everyone has cell phones and watching those things are painful because they are so honest and the sound is terrible on those things, so if you’re singing terrible, it’s obvious, if you’re standing in one place, it’s obvious.”
When asked if he has any advice for emerging artists, Roper echoes an often heard sentiment “Only do it if you love it. Be prepared for it to not go the way you expect it too. You’ve gotta be creative and you’ve gotta love it.”
For tour updates and more check out: www.jesseroper.ca