Jesse Barnes plays his drums with a sea and mountain vista in the background. It's sunny and he is wearing sunglasses.
Photo Credit: ImJesseAF / YouTube

Island Drummer Found the World’s Best Stage in the Sayward Valley

Jesse Barnes rocks out

Who wouldn’t want to smash on the drums on top of a mountain?

Jesse Barnes of Sayward played the drums as a teenager. It was something he loved to do. But, like with most of us, life as a grownup didn’t leave much time for music.

Until the pandemic hit.

He had some extra time on his hands. So he picked up his sticks. And we’re so, so thankful that he did.

YouTube video
Jesse Barnes plays along to Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” on top of a mountain.

But Jesse Barnes doesn’t just play in his basement. Oh no. Drums are loud. They need space if you really want to rock out.

So he and his girlfriend/videographer, Adriana Gutierrez, put the drums and the dog in the truck and head for the hills around Sayward Valley.

This is awesome for us, because they post the videos on YouTube for us to watch.

But why play in such wild places?

“The scenery is dope, and it just feels really good to play outside,” he told the North Island Gazette. “Plus people in other places don’t really get to see the scenery that we get to see.”

There is a global community of drummers who play along to songs and post their videos online. But not everyone gets to play on top of a mountain.

It isn’t always easy.

“You have to deal with the bugs, weather, and just everything that goes with being outdoors,” he said. “If it’s too windy, you can’t play because of the microphones.”

He played the Ed Sheeran video posted above during the heat dome in June. It was 37º at sunset!

But Barnes and Gutierrez are clearly having a good time. You can tell in the videos.

You can subscribe to the YouTube channel, ‘ImjesseAF‘—Barnes’s middle names are Anastasio Francis.

We put a family-friendly video in this post. But if you want to hear him smash to bands like System of a Down and Alexisonfire, check out some of their other videos.

Some YouTube commenters are already asking if he takes requests. Maybe that’s why he covered “Backstreet Boys.” 😉