Jesse Belcher, Shane Vargas and T.J. Ayres at Land Mind Productions' production studio in Medford. - Photo by Naiobi Foote

Chesterfield at Relax Sports Bar

Punk rock with a metallic, but melodic, edge defines Chesterfield's sound. Listening to progressive punk rockers such as the Descendentsand Bad Religion and the early heavy metal of Metallica and Iron Maiden influenced Chesterfield's members the most.

"Those were the bands that caught our ears," says bassist and vocalist T.J. Ayres. "After listening to them for years, we just came off sounding like them."

Chesterfield, also featuring drummer Shane Vargas and vocalist and lead guitarist Jesse Belcher, will perform at 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21, at Relax Sports Bar, 1350 Plaza Blvd., Central Point.

Passionate, dark and gritty, Chesterfield's sound brings to mind basement punk when bands made and distributed their own records through friends, according to information posted on mentalrecords.net. Mental Records produced Chesterfield's debut EP, "The Definition Nowhere," and its 2008 "Death Grip."

Mental Records, an independent multimedia label in Medford operated by Doug Hill and John Foote, uses new media technologies such as YouTube to advance the distribution of its artists. Hill and Foote have created two episodes of a situation comedy called "The Dickweeds" that features the three members of Chesterfield.

"Whenever we spend time around the guys, something incredibly stupid happens," Hill says. "And we thought it would be an interesting way to promote the band. We'll release the first episode in April at dickweeks.com. Ultimately, we'd like to give it the visibility of network television, but the content is a little salty."

"Dickweeds" pokes fun at Ayres, Belcher and Vargas — including Vargas' eternal quest for a girlfriend — and features the band's punk rock music. A clip is available at youtube.com/mentalenter-tainment. It could be rated "R" for ridiculous, and those under 18 should take off their headphones and cover their eyes.

"The guys actually have proven to be accurate actors," Hill says.

"Oh, we try, we try," Ayres says. " 'Dickweeds' is loosely based on the three of us. We basically just play ourselves. It's acting, but not really."

Ayres, Belcher and Vargas have played together as a band for about 15 years. The three hail from Newcastle, Wyo., and have been based in Medford for five years.

There is no cover for the show at Relax Sports Bar. Call 664-1617.

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